Satire in Chaucer Canterbury Tales, the most famous work written by Geoffrey Chaucer presents readers a story of pilgrimage to St. Thomas Beckets coffin in Canterbury land. St. Thomas Becket was an Archbishop of Canterbury. While the historical events are briefly describes, greater emphases are laid on the stories of pilgrims. The novels about knights, court stories, tales, fablio, beast fables, allegories, hagiographies and homilies (Bethurum 27) all these kinds of literature find their full reflection in the book. The diverse collection of stories represents diverse collection of characters, pilgrims of diverse occupation and class-status.
Canterbury Tales represents a good example of broad-sighted satire. Ill focus attention on several protagonists in order to illustrate Chaucers satire: For example, Madam Eglantine, being a prioress, was very modest and shy. Yet, Chaucer satirically notes: 132 In courtesy she had delight and zest 139 She was at pains to counterfeit the look 140 Of courtliness, and stately manners took, 141 And would be held worthy of reverence. One of the most effective literary techniques Chaucer uses to involve the reader into his historical world is the use of details. He allows the reader to see more in the Canterbury pilgrimage than anyone can. The reader is constantly led towards a reflection; he is lost in his thoughts, involving within the text.
Chaucer describes a monk who loved hunting. He didnt obey the The rule of Maurus or Saint Benedict because it was old and somewhat strict. The monk explained: 175 let such old things slowly pace 176 And followed new-world manners in their place. 177 He cared not for that text a clean-plucked hen 178 Which holds that hunters are not holy men; 179 Nor that a monk, when he is cloisterless, 180 Is like unto a fish that’s waterless; 181 That is to say, a monk out of his cloister. 182 But this same text he held not worth an oyster; Chaucer agrees with the monk. He satirically notes: Why should the monk study as a madman in his cloister cell if he can go labour with his hands and swink and sweat as St. Augustines said. So, riding and the hunting of the hare | Were all his love and the monk did nothing except of it.
Women throughout the ages have had diverse personalities, and their various behaviors are significantly depicted in Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales. He tells of several women; two are among the travelers on the pilgrimage to Canterbury and the others are characters in numerous tales during the journey. The Wife of Bath, the old woman in the Wife of Baths Tale, and Griselda, a character in the ...
Next protagonist, Hubert, was a wanton and a merry, | A limiter, a very festive man (Chaucer, 208-209).
He was well liked by all and was a generous man. At the same time, Chaucer keenly notes: 251 There was no other man so virtuous. 252 He was the finest beggar of his house; 253 A certain district being farmed to him, 254 None of his brethren dared approach its rim; Hubert could sing and play upon the rote very skillfully. He was very smart and easy-going person. In towns he knew the taverns much better than begging lepers because 244 Accorded it, as far as he could see, 245 To have sick lepers for acquaintances.
246 There is no honest advantageousness 247 In dealing with such poverty-stricken curs; 248 It’s with the rich and with big victuallers. The next character is a merchant with forked beard. He spoke very proudly, stressing the times when he had won, not lost. He had many debts but he was so successful in hiding it that everybody considered him a respectful and rich man. Next protagonist, a sergeant of the law, was wise and smart. Yet, he was a great corrupt official: 317 He took large fees and many robes could own.
318 So great a purchaser was never known Chaucer speaks about the student, a clerk from Oxford and describes him as merely the only honest man of all those pilgrims. The clerk was honest and poor because he neither had office nor was lucky to become a priest: 287 As meagre was his horse as is a rake, 288 Nor he himself too fat, I’ll undertake, 289 But he looked hollow and went soberly. 290 Right threadbare was his overcoat; for he 291 Had got him yet no churchly benefice, 292 Nor was so worldly as to gain office The student was a philosopher and everything he might borrow from his friends hed rather spend on books and manuscripts. His speech was rich in moral virtue and he prayed hard for those who gave him wherewithal for schools. A cook whom they brought to cook various dishes, was very skillful and talented. He could prepare chicken, could roast and seethe and broil and fry 385 But very ill it was, it seemed to me, 386 That on his shin a deadly sore had he; A doctor of physic was unsurpassed in his masterly exceptional abilities to diagnose patients and to cure them with medicines.
Geoffrey Chaucer?s Impression of Women during Medieval Times Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales in the late 1400s. He came up with the idea of a pilgrimage to Canterbury in which each character attempts to tell the best story. In that setting Chaucer cleverly reveals a particular social condition of England during the time. In this period, the status, role, and attitudes towards women ...
He knew the cause of every malady and was a very good practitioner. Yet, 425 Ready he was, with his apothecaries, 426 To send him (the patients) drugs and all electuaries; 427 By mutual aid much gold they’d always won- 428 Their friendship was a thing not new begun. Chaucer described moral and ethical principles in a satirical manner. The author resolved problem both formally and stylistically: he found simple and humorous words that deride courtliness, vices, hypocrisy, conceit, to mention a few. Simple narration is quite difficult for Chaucer, but he succeeded in finding it. He managed to give the idea of medieval society with brilliant stylization.
Medieval historic and cultural constructions are mixed together. In conclusion I want to say that this book is worthwhile reading. It belongs to historical-satirical genre and contains plenty of satirical thoughts about the pervasiveness of courtly love, the corruption of church and law and reflections on high values presented in a comical, sometimes grotesque manner of narration. Bibliography Bethurum, Dorothy, (1960).
Critical Approaches to Medieval Literature. New York: Columbia University Press Chaucer, Geoffrey. (2000).
Canterbury Tales. Penguin Classics.