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What in your opinion is Chaucer

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Introduction

What in your opinion is Chaucer's view of the religious characters in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales? Geoffrey Chaucer born in 1343 in London, was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. The tales, some of which are originals and others not, are contained inside a frame tale and told by a collection of pilgrims on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales are written in Middle English; although the tales are considered to be his greatest piece of many of the religious characters in The Canterbury Tales represent character traits that are different from what is traditionally expected of them. This is because the Catholic Church, which ruled all of England, Ireland and most of Europe in the Fourteenth Century, was extremely wealthy. Extravagant cathedrals were built in every big city while the people suffered from poverty, disease and famine. The contrast between the wealth of the church and misery of the people was overwhelming. As a result, the characters in Chaucer's tales were portrayed as deceitful, greedy ultimately a subtle attack on society. ...read more.

Middle

He also stays outside too much rather than being a 'prikasour' which would seem to show that he would have been looking at women and he would seem to be a sexual predator and has 'maad ful many a marriage, of yonge women at his owene cost,' this suggest that we would deflower the girls and if they were to get pregnant he would need to find them a scapegoat husband immediately so that nobody would know the baby was his and new husband would be fooled into thinking the baby was his. The monk is not supposed to look evil but is a man who lacks control and ignores duties set to him. The friar is shown as a desperate and depraved man who yearns for sexual activity which is similar to the monk yet, he is "madd ful many a marriage, of yonge women at his owene cost". This means that he would probably impregnate the young women and would then have to find an unsuspecting husband for these women which he was able to blackmail. Chaucer states that "for many a man so hard is of his hert he may nat wepe althogh him sore smerte. Therefore, in stede of weping and preyers, Men moot yeve silver to the povre freres." ...read more.

Conclusion

nothyng for correccioun of sin" over confident and conceited, also other pardoners are held responsible for objections of the Reformation, as they are a group of evil people and he is not even the worse. He then describes some of the Pardoner's appearance as he says when talking about his hair "as yellow as wex", although " thinne it lay, by colpoons oon". He also had to wear a skull cap and had "swiche glaringe eyen hadde he as an hare" which may not make him better looking the the hare is also a symbol of lust but we can not be sure of sexuality. As Chaucer says "voys ... as smal as hath a goot". However, the Pardoner was very unique in England as Chaucer says there was not a Pardoner like him - probably due to his evil sins. Chaucer is portraying the Church and the people around it to be falling apart and drifting away from their morals. He mostly criticises all the characters except for two which he praises for living the perfect Christian life in the thirteenth century. The aim of Chaucer writing this book was to entertain the public and to show society and the Church what was happening at this time and that greed and personal want was getting in the way of peoples lives and their religion. ...read more.

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