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“Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales

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Presentation on theme: "“Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales

2 Purpose Spring – rebirth, Pilgrimage to Canterbury
Pay homage to the martyr Saint Thomas a Becket Tales characters create to pass the time

3 Purpose Characters = various aspects of society
Presented in order of their rank Each pilgrim tells four stories

4 Terms Satire – a humorous writing or speech intended to point out errors in order to reform human behavior or human institutions. Physiognomy - the art of determining character or personal characteristics from the form or features of the body, esp. of the face. (dictionary. COM)

5 Terms Frame structure & Frame Tale – a story that provides a vehicle for the telling of other stories Characterization – the use of literary techniques to create a character. Indirect & Direct? Irony – a difference between appearance and reality.

6 Setting & Narrator Southwark, The Tabbard Inn 29 travelers
Narrator (+ 1) – meets travelers and will go on pilgrimage with them Offers descriptions of each of the travelers

7 Setting & Narrator Will be repeating the tales of everyone
Going to speak plainly “The word should be as cousin to the deed” – Narrator quotes Plato

8 Knight An honored fighter…he always wins Dress – shabby and stained

9 Squire Son of the Knight 20 yrs. Old Danced, wrote poetry, sang
Lover (“He slept as little as a nightingale” What is his motive for following his father? Sin?

10 Yeoman With the Knight and the Squire
Dress of the forester – bright green, geared up for hunting Sin?

11 Nun, Prioress Mother Superior; had another Nun and 3 Priests
Feigned knowing French – knowing French would mean having status How did she eat? Courtliness – politely or flatteringly Counterfeit courtly grace - clumsy Physical Features – fat, ugly Jewelry – bright and expensive Amor vincit omnia – Love conquers all Sin?

12 Monk Hunting regularly
Strict with his religious duties? - “took the modern world’s more spacious way” Sin?

13 Friar Wanton – extravagant, unrestrained “knew taverns”
“giving each/Of his young women what he could afford/Her” – fascinated with women (lustful) Good beggar Where is the money going? = Sin?

14 Merchant Stately, rich in dress
“In solemn tones, he harped on his increase/Of capital” – talked about all of his assets (money) “none knew he was in debt” Sin?

15 Oxford Cleric Very skinny…sickly, weak
Couldn’t work in Church or outside of Church What did he actually do with his time? What should he be doing? Sin?

16 Sergeant at the Law Lawyer
“He was less busy than he seemed to be” – feigning being busy…why?...sin?

17 Franklin Landowner; dressed well (colorful)
Dagger and purse – some sort of threatening nature What is the contrast that exists in this character? If he’s a social-climber, what’s his sin?

18 Guildsmen Tradesmen What are their aspirations? – to be aldermen
Tools were all polished, perfect, and matching Wives – stately airs; showing off their place at Church What is their sin?

19 Cook Are the foods listed difficult recipes?
Ulcer – disgusting element to someone that makes delicious foods He is not so appetizing to see = irony Sin?

20 Skipper Captain of a ship
Enjoyed drinking – “Many a draft of yellow and red/He’d drawn at Bordeaux” “The nicer rules of conscience he ignored” – what does this mean? Harsh and unforgiving - “He sent his prisoner’s home; they walked the plank” – What is “home” here? Sin?

21 Doctor Guile – slyness & cunning
“….each make money from the other’s guile” – who were all the people involved in the guile? Did not read Bible – what is the irony in his attendance on this particular trip? “Gold stimulates the heart, or so we’re told./He therefore had a special love of gold.” What are the Doctor’s vices (bad habits/sins)?

22 Wife of Bath Excellent seamstress
What would upset her at the altar? What would she do if she didn’t get her way? Men? – plenty of experience! Gap-teeth – gluttonous Self-proclaimed “love doctor”

23 Parson Poor Knew and taught the Bible
“Nay rather he preferred beyond a doubt/Giving to poor parishioners round about/Both from Church offerings and his property” – Where would he get the money from to give to the poor?

24 Parson “This noble example to his sheep he gave/That first he wrought, and afterwards he taught;/And it was from the Gospel he had caught/Those words, and he would add this figure too,/That if gold rust, what then will iron do?” What is the Parson’s ideal in this passage? What literary device does he use to portray it? “Christ and His Twelve Apostles and their love/He taught, but followed it himself before”

25 Plowman Worked in fields: tilled soil, planted corn, made manure, dug ditches “….and, as prompt as any,/He paid his tithes in full when they were due/On what he owned, and on his earnings too” What is his sin?

26 Miller Stout and red-headed
“His was master-hand at stealing grain” - How would he steal it? Sin?

27 Manciple Victuals – food supplies Illiterate – can’t read
Gifted at the market How does Chaucer compare the Manciple to the men that he works for (lawyers)? Sin?

28 Reeve He was in charge of the farming of his landowners
He was knowledgeable in every aspect of his job and could not be swindled Had his own staff of riches; How did he use them? (How was his lord involved?) Sin?

29 Summoner Ugly – “His face on fire…/for he had carbuncle. His eyes were narrow…/Black scabby brows he had, and a thin beard./Children were afraid when he appeared”; puss-filled pimples Drunk & loud Lines – How does Chaucer describe this man’s talents?

30 Summoner “Why he’d allow-just for a quart of wine-/any good lad to keep a concubine [(whore)]/A twelvemonth [(year)] and dispense [(to grant exemption from a law or promise)] him altogether!” “He knew their secrets, they did what he said.” - Blackmail

31 Pardoner Stringy, blonde hair; hare-like eyeballs
“He’d sewed a holy relic on his cap;/His wallet lay before him on his lap” – What do you think this juxtaposition means? “For in his trunk he had a pillow-case/Which he asserted was Our Lady’s [Mary’s] veil” – What is the truth about the relics? Taught lessons well!

32 Host Delicious food and amenities Fair, fun man
Comes up with the contest Acts as their “Governor”

33 Contest Two stories there Two stories back
Best tale (good morality and pleasure) gets a free supper Host = judge (will join the pilgrimage) Don’t play by rules = paying for expenses on trip (everyone’s) Draw straws to see who goes first - Knight

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