The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales
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In “The Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses satire to make a statement about the nature of humanity. “The Prologue” shows the importance of a historical meaning as it describes the social classes of the 1300’s. However, most modern readers can relate to the hypocrisy being displayed by the first three major characters.
Chaucer begins his examination early with three religious characters-first being the monk. Monks were supposed to live their lives in poverty, chastity, and obedience-something that this particular monk failed to do. He took pleasure in owning many horses and dressing nicely which defiled his purpose of poverty. If he wasn’t living by this characteristic, then of course, he wasn’t being very obedient.
Immediately following the monk, the nun is described as a very counterfeit person. She loved to put on a show in front of others and act cheerful, mannerly, and religious; this was not her true self. She knew very little about her religion, which made her a very hypocritical person. If she wanted to have the role of a nun, she was supposed to represent it properly, but she did not.
Chaucer concludes his list of consecutive hypocritical characters with the friar. In the 1300’s, friars were supposed to live by strict codes such as representing a Christ-like image and not taking anything unless given. This friar, however, preferred not to be around the poor and sick which is not representing the life of Christ because those were the people he was usually around. He also desired to dress as richly as the pope, which wasn’t very Christ-like. He also never did a favor for anybody unless he was rewarded for it; this contradicted his humbleness.
The hypocrisy in “The Prologue” is made very clear when Chaucer balances the evil with goodness represented by the parson and plowman.
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:: 10 Works Cited
Prologue Life Of Christ Hypocritical Characteristic Preferred Social Classes Monk Balances Parson Goodness
These brothers are honest, humble, and sincere about their religion. They basically possess all of the qualities that the religious figures mentioned above do not. The goodness they portray easily disgrace the monk, nun, and friar; yet, they give hope to humanity.
By reading “The Prologue”, we see humanity at its best and worst. We, as modern readers, can relate to the 1300’s as we conclude from Chaucer’s use of satire that hypocrites have always existed.
Summary Of The Canterbury Tales Essay
1370 Words6 Pages
Summary of The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories set within a framing story of a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, the shrine of Saint Thomas à
Becket. The poet joins a band of pilgrims, vividly described in the General
Prologue, who assemble at the Tabard Inn outside London for the journey to
Canterbury. Ranging in status from a Knight to a humble Plowman, they are a microcosm of 14th- century English society.
The Host proposes a storytelling contest to pass the time; each of the
30 or so pilgrims (the exact number is unclear) is to tell four tales on the round trip. Chaucer completed less than a quarter of this plan. The work contains 22 verse tales (two unfinished) and two long prose tales; a few are…show more content…
He was jealous and he kept her close to him.
The woman was fair skinned and her body was slim. She wore a stripped silken girdle. Her eyebrows were arched , black, and partly plucked to make them narrow. The womans singing was loud and lively.
It so chanced that this gentle Nicholas fell in love with this young wife, while her husband was away, and suddenly he caught hold of her and said,
"Unless you will love me, sweetheart, I will die." And he held her tight around the waist. she jumped back and wiggled away. She replied," I will not kiss you
Nicholas! If you don't let me go I will scream out Help!" But Nicholas began to beg and made offers to her that at last she granted him her love and swore by St. Thomas that she would leave the Carpenter when she had a chance. She told him how jealous he was.
Then it fell on a holy day that this goodwife took her to the church to work on Christ's own works. At the church there was a clerk named Absalom.
He had curly hair, rosy cheeks, and his eyes were gray. Absalom, who was so pretty and fine, went on this holy day with a censor, trying to get the goodwives of the city. He then noticed the carpenter's wife and he thought she was so neat and sweet. That night the moon was shining and Absalom went to the carpenter's house and sang in the window. The carpenter woke up and asked the wife if she heard him singing and she