• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Chaucer not only ridicules tale conventions of courtly love but challenges the concept of love itself" "The Merchants tale" like many of the tales within "The Canterbury Tales"

Extracts from this document...


Mary-Ann Moloku "Chaucer not only ridicules tale conventions of courtly love but challenges the concept of love itself" "The Merchants tale" like many of the tales within "The Canterbury Tales" is written in Fabliau, ridiculing the conventions of courtly love responds sensitively to the tone and attitude in Merchant's Tale, noting how the poetry suggests and counteracts various possible assessments of January, May, and the Merchant, leading to a complex sense of humorous effects and conceptions of courtly love. The passage of debate of whether January should marry, with Justinus and Placebo is a passage full of humour which ridicules the conventions of courtly love. From the very beginning of the scene field lexis is employed to heighten the tone, evidently January has married May for "gret ease and lust in marriage". ...read more.


than of any religious importance: "I trowe it were to longe yow to tarie/ If I yow tolde of every scrit and bond". The language also supports the medieval anti-feminist view that women are just material goods to be transacted. A negative effect plays a key role in the play as the narrator is the merchant, a tradesman. His agenda is to exemplify whether a wife is a bargain or not, a good deal or bad deal. A sense of materialism in the tale is portrayed through the narrator; love is simply a financial exchange. The garden scene is another passage where the conventions of courtly love are humoured. This passage is compared to the secular expectations of the Romance of the Rose, a simple gesture of courtly romance to portray a man's love for his lady. ...read more.


At the beginning of the tale May was the "fressche" and meek character and as January longed for "lust" from her, May was "still as stone". Now, May has taken control it is her that "thrusts" with Damian and January is left behind. In this passage the Merchant has reached his purpose of his tale that of which women are "deceitful" and cunning. They are in no match compared to the Virgin Mary, even though no woman can be like her. As the Merchant reverses the audience of perception, we feel a sympathy swap for January whom now, "only for the love I had to thee". Ridiculing courtly love conventions and challenging love itself is clearly not the only way in which Chaucer creates humour in the Merchants prologue and tale but also by religious and courtly satire. However, it is effective in doing so, as Chaucer is able to employ many different devices to parody contemporary values and conventions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Medieval Medicine In Geoffrey Chaucer's " The Canterbury Tales".

    Not once in the text does Chaucer ever speak of the physician performing some kind of surgical procedure (Girgsby 1). During this time there was a big difference between a physician and a surgeon. A physician was required to attend many years of school, give or take about fourteen to twenty years to finish (Smith 3).

  2. Chaucer's use of biblical material in ‘The Miller’sTale’.

    Having vowed revenge, Absolon comes back to Alison's house with a hot 'colter' (plowshare), which is a backward use of the Biblical adage turning swords into plowshares.

  1. In this paper I am going to deal with Dryden and his essay Preface ...

    if he is blessed with longevity of life and continued public encouragement. Dryden takes pleasure in translating the works of Homer and finds it ' a more pleasing task than Virgil'. He further says translating Homer is very tedious. Both Homer and Virgil contradicted each other in their 'manners and natural inclinations'.

  2. The Pardoner's Tale.

    / For soothly thou art oon of his assent / To sleen us yonge folk, thou false theef!" (426-430). To them, it seems quite logical that figures from each realm could travel back and forth between reality and fantasy. By extension, it becomes logical to the reader as well.

  1. With special reference to The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, would you describe ...

    and although by today's standard this would not be considered as significantly feminist, in the context in which it was written, it could be considered a highly feminist piece of literature. Therefore, to understand Chaucer as a feminist writer we must avoid comparing him to modern day feminists such as

  2. Write an essay on the variety of ways in which Chaucer treats the subject ...

    duel for Emelyn, "But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght / and wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille, / Have heere my trouthe; tomorowe I wol not faille", where the lady has no choice by affection but rather is the gift of heroic chivalry, and the one who

  1. Are fairytales 'just' stories for children? Refer to at least two tales in ...

    Charles Perrault wrote many fairytales, the most famous being "Cinderella" and "Little Red Riding Hood". His elegant and simple style made these tales extremely popular, and they quickly became the accepted version of the stories. These tales, as we have them today, owe their form and beauty to Perrault's magical retelling.

  2. Literature and Dissent in the Age of Chaucer

    They will also have their attentions redirected to the flaws of those whom they do not understand and as is the nature of most people, they also will not see their own flaws, but only those of others. This is one way in which Chaucer indirectly attacks certain aspects of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work