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University Degree: Geoffrey Chaucer

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  1. Chaucer's Pardoner's tale Analysis on lines 520 through to 602

    "Now lat us sitte and drynke, and make us merie, And afterward we wol his body berie." The church was a place of redemption in those times, people turned to the followers of God as their moral compass but the pardoner openly flaunts his lack of guidance and even his lack of guilt for his actions. He acknowledges that good doing is rewarded in the end but then is the last one to learn from his own words. Irony is rife in the pardoner's tale as the young men all vowed to each other that they would protect and look after each other as brothers but the irony is that they have barely just sworn the oath when it is already falling apart after the first hurdle.

    • Word count: 1987
  2. After reading Chaucer's "General Prologue" I can clearly see that the way in which Chaucer presents "frankelyn" and the "millere" are very different. Throughout the prologue

    These references to the colour white and naturalistic images are used to create a positive effect towards Franklyn. However the Miller is the complete contrast. We can see quite clearly that Chaucer doesn't like the miller, he is portrayed as a low class middle man who is gruesome to look at and a crook. "Upon the cop right of his nose he hade A werte, and theron stood a toft of herys, Reed as the brustles of a sowes erys;" Here Chaucer also uses naturalistic imagery but not in the same way as he does for Franklyn. Chaucer uses the naturalistic imagery in a negative way towards the miller unlike the positive way towards Franklyn.

    • Word count: 1067
  3. The Wife of Bath's Tale is an exemplum, providing an answer to the question, "What do women want?" Chaucer uses the Wife of Bath to explain and give an example

    Through the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale in The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer portrays the Wife of Bath as a selfish hedonist and feminist trying to gain complete control over men. Her new stand on women's supremacy only shows her selfishness because she wasn't trying to make a difference or revolutionize anything, she was only trying to gain personal benefits. The Wife of Bath's prologue is used to explain the basis of her theories on authority and sovereignty. The medieval Church at the time of the Wife of Bath saw her as a wicked woman, and she boasts about it with pride: "If I turn difficult, God give me sorrow!"

    • Word count: 1785
  4. Write an essay on the variety of ways in which Chaucer treats the subject of love.

    of love, with the Wife of Bath starting the count, relating love to mere appearances and for sexual pleasure, rebelling against male ideology and depicting love and marriage as a power struggle to have 'sovereyntee' over their husbands. This of course scandalized the Clerk- he was unworldly and an ascetic, he "looked holwe and therto sobrely", and thus he becomes the mantle of a corrector of false views about love and matrimony after the Friar and Summoner and gives a view of love as pure and sacrificial, with Griselda as the epitome of patience and ungrudging obedience.

    • Word count: 2919
  5. What is the Merchant like?

    In addition, the Merchant is an ignorant misogynist who is obsessed with money and financial gain, his insensitivity in this regard permeates the tale in his belief that everything has a price tag tied around its neck. He talks weightily mostly about his growing profits, and is anxious for the sea lanes to be kept open between Orewelle and Middelburgh, to serve his trade, "He wolde the see were kept for anything Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle." However, he is a very efficient businessman he knew how to deal foreign currencies, buy and sell, "Well Koude he in eschaunge sheeldes selle.

    • Word count: 1779
  6. 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"

    At the beginning, January's words connotates marriage as either sexual "whan him lust" has lead him to find a woman of "fair schap and fair visage" or as a religious connotation "to lede in ease and holynesse his lyf". Despite the sexual and religious connotations of this passage, there is no simple connotation of the most important element of a marriage, simply love. Chaucer ridicules this passage as January, does not attempt to adhere to the usual courtly romance procedure meaning he is not in love but merely in love with "beaute" and "fair schap".

    • Word count: 733
  7. Chaucer's Favorable Treatment of Women's Plight for Equality

    A woman named Cecilia Chaumpaigne bailed him out (Beidler 6). Once again, Chaucer would have had much reason to hold women in high regard. Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale" is an instrument for arguing in favor of female sovereignty and exposing the injustices of inequality. Within the framework of the larger story, Alison's tale allows Chaucer to disguise himself, further distancing himself from being the author of the overall work. He convinces the audience that Alison is the author of the tale, such that he might effectively make his feminist argument.

    • Word count: 2003
  8. An Interpretation of Chaucer's "Dream Vision" Narrative Frame

    In the fantastic poetic landscape of Chaucer's "dream visions," non-human entities such as animals frequently speak, allegorically assuming personas. This occurs in The Parliament of Fouls, when the narrator witnesses various species of birds congregating in a stratified fashion on Valentine's Day to choose their mates. This also occurs in The House of Fame, when the narrator finds himself in conversation with a giant eagle, which seems to have a strikingly familiar voice, perhaps the voice of his own conscience. At times, the fantastic images illustrated are but the physical manifestations of earthly notions such as rumors, fate or patience, as seen in The House of Fame.

    • Word count: 1055
  9. Are fairytales 'just' stories for children? Refer to at least two tales in your answer.

    This made a tale subject to change, dependent on the teller's culture, values, and the desired moral lesson to be taken away by the listener. However, it was only when oral folklore was transcribed on paper that fairy tales solidified into a genre. The reader of modern fairy tales brings to the experience a mind already well populated by stock character types. As in the tabloid press, the doings of the royals are featured, princesses are beautiful, and princes are handsome.

    • Word count: 2397
  10. Medieval Literature 2, Testament of Cresseid: To what extent should the planetary gods be blamed for Cresseid's downfall in Henryson's "Testament of Cresseid"?

    Thus Cresseid is guilty of blasphemy and deserves a harsh penalty, a fact which even she acknowledges towards the end of the poem, though she has blamed everyone but herself previously, remarking Nane but my self as now I will accuse (line 574). Furthermore, it is hinted in the text that after her rejection by Diomede, Cresseid becomes a prostitute (Than desolait scho walkit vp and doun,/And sum men sayis, into the court, commoun. [lines 76-77]). In the middle ages, leprosy was commonly regarded as a sexually transmitted disease; hence it can be seen that Cresseid may have contracted leprosy through her prostitution, and consequently her downfall is directly caused by her own carnal sins.

    • Word count: 1520
  11. Commentary on 'Keeping Mum'

    The linguistic techniques and literary content used in both pieces has considerably been affected the purpose, audience and genre. I wrote 'Keeping Mum' with the anticipation for it to be performed on stage. By leaving the piece free of stage directions, I felt the audience and actors would be able to interpret the character in a more fascinating way. I felt the language and techniques used are substantial enough to allow the reader to readily anticipate the characters appearance and paralinguistics similarly but do allow a degree of individual interpretation which in my opinion makes it more appealing.

    • Word count: 2154
  12. "It is difficult for the modern reader to enjoy a tale that is so consistently hostile to women" Using lines 1 - 30 as a starting point and including an examination of at least two other passages, say how far you agree with this view.

    Chaucer expresses these views thoroughly throughout "The Merchant's Tale" by effectively using the narrative voice of the Merchant. The very first passages of the poem express the negative view the Merchant; "I have a wyf, the worste that may be; ... She is a shrewe at al" Where he explains the bad luck he has had with his wife and the "sorwe..we wedded men liven in". Obviously the Merchant is extremely cynical of the female populous and these opinions are focused greatly in his talk of love and marriage, which are the key features of "The Merchant's Tale".

    • Word count: 601
  13. In this paper I am going to deal with Dryden and his essay Preface to the Fables.

    He polished the Heroic Couplet, which he inherited from his predecessors and it became the dominant verse form in the composition of longer poems like the epic. Dryden displays much of his common sense and clarity in his critical works. The literary form - satire scaled great heights during the age of Dryden due to religious and political fanaticism of the times. Absalom and Achitophel and Mac Fleknov are Dryden's most outstanding political satires. Sri Aurobindo says, " Even the satire of Pope and Dryden rises sometimes into a high poetic value beyond the level they normally reached".

    • Word count: 1440
  14. Chaucer's use of biblical material in ‘The Miller’sTale’.

    Nicholas did. While St. Nicholas was very zealous in his efforts to maintain ecclesiastical discipline and honor, especially in relation to the marriage laws, Nicholas the clerk has no concern for honor and respect toward marriage, as he is successfully pursuing a married woman. When one Countess left her husband for a paramour, St. Nicholas commanded that she should be excommunicated unless she returned to her husband. Nicholas in 'The Miller's Tale', however, is even using religion to break the sanctity of marriage and influencing Alison to commit adultery, a sin.

    • Word count: 1584
  15. How do Bennett and Chaucer present women in their texts? Refer to 'The Outside Dog' in 'Talking Heads 2'.

    Chaucer sees Alison, and possible women in general, as a contrast of black and white; the white of her apron is contrasted to the black of her hair and eyebrows. White is traditionally seen as a pure colour and black's a dark, mysterious colour. This shows that on the surface Alison may be beautiful, but she is not so pure and loyal to her husband at the end on the tale. Chaucer may be generalising this to all women, suggesting they can 'put on a front' and be something they are not.

    • Word count: 1313
  16. Discuss differences in effect and structure created by the first-person narration in Dante's The Inferno, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    It was encouraged to study classic literature, as well as all other forms of art that liberate the mind. Of course, it was to be a while yet before these ideas found their way into the current literary and artistic output, but the work of Dante often seems to pervade this and is almost predictive of the humanistic influences that would soon dominate literature. Whereas a god-fearing Medieval populace had embraced and unquestioningly abided by the teachings of the Church, humanists began to draw equal influence from their devoted studies of literary classics and the liberal arts. This did not lead to a rejection of religious values, by any means, but did result in increased concentration on improving life

    • Word count: 1673
  17. 'Langland's Piers Plowman greatly influenced The Canterbury Tales'. Discuss, with particular reference to estates satire and narratology.

    He shows people of various classes engaged in their characteristic activities. Although Piers Plowman does not fall neatly into the category of medieval estates literature, as it is primarily concerned with the link between good works and heaven, it certainly contains relevant material. The Canterbury Tales presents us with 'a compaignye/ Of sundry folk' (I.A. 24-5) which includes much the same spectrum of people as we see in Piers Plowman. Chaucer makes known in the Prologue to the tales that he will be showing us 'th'estaat' and 'th'array' of his pilgrims, which, along with the portraits of the characters (satiric representations of people of varying classes), immediately establishes the form of estates satire.

    • Word count: 4253
  18. Fragmentation in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

    In The Waste Land, however, he went beyond the Imagist technique: while he still collected stark images of the modern world, juxtaposed with speakers' memories of a glorious past, he realised the limitation of writing a treatise for the world purely based on one image - instead, he created a series of images, fragments, and placed them together. With the release of the original manuscript to the poem in 1971, information to back up this idea of fragmentation in all aspects of The Waste Land came to light: "From the marked differences in handwriting, paper and typescript, the manuscripts reveal

    • Word count: 2648
  19. The Pardoner's Tale.

    Described very effeminately in the General Prologue as a "gelding or a mare" (693) with no beard, long blonde hair and the finest clothing. He is an admitted hypocrite and sinner, who goes back and forth between what seems like true sincerity and pure salesmanship. This is obviously not a realistic characterization, but rather an exaggeration that helps to create a sense of fantasy. At the very at the beginning of the tale, the Pardoner interrupts the fictional story with a nearly 200-line diatribe regarding the evils of various sins. Right away, the line between fiction and reality is blurred.

    • Word count: 1587
  20. Geoffrey Chaucher's The Canterbury Tales - The Wife of Bath.

    These are important because they give her creditability because we see that she has spent more than half of her life being married. I think it is very important to the Wife of Bath to let her peers understand that she is not simply a woman who has been married and lacks intelligence. She wants them to know her as a person. She goes on to cite passages from the Bible, when she says; "Lo, here the wise kyng, daun Salomon; I triwe he hadde wyves mo than oon- As, wolde God, it leveful were to me Which yifte of God hadde he, for alle hise wyvys(Chaucer 35-39 WOB)!

    • Word count: 1672
  21. Chaucer's Depiction of the Clergy.

    By owing these dogs she violated the vow of poverty but the most apparent item that she owns is a gold broche that and leads the reader to believe that she was not entirely devoted to the church. Chaucer spent a great deal of time explaining how she was extremely obsessed with her etiquette, that hints to the reader that she is more suited to be a beloved lady rather than a nun. In the days of Chaucer, women used excellent etiquette to attract and keep lovers.

    • Word count: 537
  22. Medieval Medicine In Geoffrey Chaucer's " The Canterbury Tales".

    This system was based on the four humors, blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile (Gibson). All of these are directly related to four earthly elements, earth, air, water, and fire (Gibson). Earth paired with black bile, air with blood, water with phlegm, and fire with yellow bile (Gibson). Each of these pairs brought upon a certain amount of balance in order maintain health. "Melancholy, like earth, was cold and dry. Phlegm, like water, was cold and wet. Blood, like air, was hot and moist; and choler, like fire, was hot and dry (Smith 4)." Diagnoses were based on the abundance of any of these one humors (Gibson).

    • Word count: 1031
  23. Character Analysis: The Clerk In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

    In the general prologue the portrait of the Clerk fiercely contrasts that of the Merchant (Rossignol, ). The Merchant's opulence and acquisitiveness allow one to more ably notice the Clerk's poverty and devotion to "enriching his mind rather than his pocketbook" (Rossignol, ). The Clerk is introduced by mention of the near-emaciated thinness of both he and his horse. His clothing was threadbare and his face was gaunt (Chaucer, Prologue to The Canterbury Tales). The Clerk's appearance gives tangible evidence of where his priorities lay (Rossignol, ).

    • Word count: 665
  24. Medieval literature. There ware many famous medieval authors John Gower- Confesso Amantis William Langland- Piers Plowman Julian of Norwich- Revelations of love But by far the most famous was Geoffrey Chaucer

    is called his Italian period because during this time his works were modelled primarily on Dante and Boccaccio. Also among the works of this period are the unfinished Legend of Good Women, a poem telling of nine classical heroines, which introduced the heroic couplet (two rhyming lines of iambic pentameter) into English verse; To Chaucer's final period, in which he achieved his fullest artistic power, belongs his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales (written mostly after 1387). This unfinished poem, about 17,000 lines, is one of the most brilliant works in all literature. The poem introduces a group of pilgrims journeying from London to the shrine of St.

    • Word count: 602

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss differences in effect and structure created by the first-person narration in Dante's The Inferno, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    "In conclusion, it can be seen that Dante and Chaucer choose to employ first person narration for vastly different reasons. In the case of The Inferno, this perspective is ideal for the introduction of humanistic literary techniques and an increase in the importance of individual characterisation above role and gender stereotypes. It also increases the elements of adventure, as we are very close to Dante and the unfolding events. Ultimately, it serves to heighten the solo hope and futility of his epic quest (although not travelling alone, his destination is ultimately a personal one), while enriching the journey with the detail of characterisation and the characterisation of personally perceived detail. Chaucer, on the other hand, has far more mischievous motivations, and employs the first person perspective throughout his many tales in order that the characters get a fair chance to present themselves and that we get a fair chance to judge them. He relishes the fact that, given enough rope, they will inevitably satirise themselves to a degree that cannot be argued with."

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