Dear Arch Bishop of Canterbury, (letter on Geoffry Chaucer's 'The General Prologue').

Authors Avatar

39 Mortham Street



                                                                                             E15 3LS

                                                                                                          26th January 2004

To Arch Bishop of Canterbury



B5 7QP

Dear Arch Bishop of Canterbury,

I have recently finished studying an anthology of poetry by Geoffry Chaucer called “The General Prologue”, having done so I am completely enraged and horrified to discover the appauling and disgusting behaviour of the religious people in the 14th century. Three out of four religious characters were corrupt, and it was shocking that the disgraceful behaviour was not stopped. I am writing to you to share my knowledge of this corruption in the church at this time.

        The first and maybe the most important point I would like to bring to your attention, is the fact that many of these characters did not perform their religious duties. The monk was expected to spend his whole life in prayer but instead, he spent most of his time outside the monastery, “An outridere.” Chaucer uses the word “outridere” and this implies to us that the monk spends most of his time on horseback, this is truly disgraceful because he should be in the church performing his religious duties. This shows he is not a honourable monk that does not want to worship god. The monk is very greedy and self-absorbed he is there just for the money; he does not care about serving the world “Let Austyn have his swynk to hym reserved”. The monk is extremely self indulgent because as a religious person he should dedicate his life to god and his people. However, we can clearly see that this monk has not because his duties include praying but he does not seem to take any pride in that because he is always busy riding his horses.

Join now!

        The friar is not any better because even though he performs his religious duties, he misuses and takes advantage of his power “Yet wolde he have a ferthying, er he went”. Chaucer’s tone of language suggests to us that the friar is very greedy, he had a licence to beg and he always got more money than he needed. As a religious person, the friar should not have a lot of money and if he has extra he should give it to the poor and the needy. Chaucer’s choice of words influence our opinion about the friar because he seemed ...

This is a preview of the whole essay