Professor Adam Howard
June 29, 2012
Citing specific evidence from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (not from the textbook), how “religious” was medieval society (or was it not religious)?
In the Canterbury Tales, Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious, making religion a significant theme of the work. The characters with holy occupations run the full spectrum of good and evil.
The Prioress and the Monk are gentle characters, with mostly harmless vices and tendencies. The Prioress attempts to be dainty and “to counterfeit a courtly kind of grace” (5).
The Monk, “Fat was this lord, he stood in goodly case.”(7).
The first corrupt pilgrim we meet is the Friar, who “in town he knew the taverns, everyone, and every good host and each barmaid too – Better than begging lepers, these he knew” (8).
“There was a good man of religion, too,” (15) unlike the Friar, the Parson, who was the ideal country priest, lived by example. “He taught, but first he followed it himselve”. (17).
The Pardoner, a man of the church and thus a saintly person, would sell indulgences remitting punishment for sin. The Wife of Bath, controlled by passion, “I followed always my own inclination, by virtue of my natal constellation.” She quotes Paul’s teaching to justify her many marriages.
Comparative Essay Good versus Evil In most known fairy tales, the theme of good and evil is usually there. This essay will compare Rapunzel to Sweetheart Roland and give the reason as to why the theme good and evil even exists. In order to show why good and evil exists in most known fairy tales, this essay will have to deal with what good and evil is. It will proceed to discuss small details of ...
The pilgrimage in the work ties all of the stories together, and may be considered a representation of Christians’ striving for heaven, despite weaknesses, disagreement, and diversity
Chaucer, Geoffrey. Selected Canterbury tales. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print.