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Character Analysis: The Clerk In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

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Panzarella 1 Jillian Panzarella CP English 12 Mrs. Costanzo January 7, 2003 Character Analysis: The Clerk In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, of the narrator's twenty-nine companions, few of them are described without criticism or irony. Chaucer delights in applying one, or even several, of the seven deadly sins to his fellow pilgrims while choosing a select few to represent ideals and set standards for the rest of the debauched passel. Among the pilgrims is a student, a Clerk, a character that, Chaucer feels, portrays the archetype of the dedicated student. The Clerk is unconcerned with material possessions or a worldly appearance, he is fiercely dedicated to learning and study, as well as soft-spoken, speaking only what and when it is relevant and necessary. ...read more.


Dedication is a significant facet of the Oxford Clerk's character. With his work and studies he took the "utmost care and heed" (Chaucer, Prologue to The Canterbury Tales). In the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales it mentions that he had been studying for a lengthy period of time, they mention as well that he both learned and taught gladly, this suggests that he is no longer an undergraduate student, but a graduate student working towards his M.A. (Rossignol, ). The mere fact that the poor Clerk finished his undergraduate studies and continued to work toward his Master Degree is testament enough to his dedication without the mention of his eagerness to both learn and teach. ...read more.


Panzarella 3 The Clerk of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales represents Chaucer's ideal student, but while many may disagree with one or two aspects of the Clerk's character, Chaucer brilliantly portrayed him as a self-effacing, admirably dedicated student, whose words are all the more regarded and respected for their infrequence. Where or, more importantly, from whom Chaucer received inspiration for the Clerk, or any of his other fellow pilgrims, one could only guess, perhaps from his family or close friends or just perhaps they were created from what Chaucer felt were his own virtues and shortcomings. Panzarella 4 Chaucer, Geoffrey. "Canterbury Tales. Litrix Reading Room, 2001. December 12, 2001. Chaucer, Geoffrey. "Canterbury Tales." The Language of Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee et. al. Boston: McDougal Littell, 2000. 113-166. Rossignol, Rosalyn. "The Clerk." Chaucer A to Z. ...read more.

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