Presentation on theme: "The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims (1810) by William Blake. Engraving.
2 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Take a TourIf you went on a tour today, what types of people would you meet? Do you think you might come across a “character” or two?Chaucer’s characters are the kinds of people he would have known in real life and observed riding toward Canterbury on the old pilgrimage road.
3 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer used the East Midland dialect of Middle English. This dialect was the most common colloquial language at the time and became the basis for modern English.
4 English is a Melting Pot. Celtic Latin German French
7 Middle EnglishThe most important text of Middle English is Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
8 Another Way of Looking at the History of English Old EnglishBeowulf(from Beowulf!)“Gaæþ a wyrd swa hio scel” (OE)=“Fate goes ever as it must” (MnE)Middle EnglishChaucer(from CT)“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote ” (ME) =“When that April with its sweet showers . . .” (MnE)Early Modern EnglishShakespeare(from KL)“Sir, I loue you more than words can weild ye matter” (EMnE) =“Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter” (MnE)Modern English1800-presentAusten(from P&P)It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.OE=Old English ME=Middle English EMnE=Early Modern English MnE=Modern English
9 The fact that Chaucer wrote in English (Middle English), rather than French or Latin like many of his fellow writers, meant that ordinary folk could enjoy The Canterbury Tales and their vivid characters.
10 The late fourteenth century world was still very much one of the spoken word. Books were copied out by hand and were a rare luxury till the advent of the printing press 70 years later. The educated elite could read, but they preferred to hear texts read out loud for entertainment. The Canterbury Tales, with their earthy humor and and vivid dialogue, were a runaway success.
11 Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343-1400 Considered the father of English poetry Wrote in the vernacularServed as a soldier, government servant, and member of ParliamentIntroduced iambic pentameterFirst writer buried in Westminster Abbey
12 All different social classes Each tell a tale Contest for best story The Canterbury TalesChaucer identified ‘archetypes’ to represent the main professions or positions in his societyFeudal (farm / military)Ecclesiastical (church / politics)Urban (business / service)Religious pilgrimageAll different social classesEach tell a taleContest for best story
13 Consequently, Chaucer sent a message about the given social group PrologueHe picked 7 – 9 ‘people / profession’ and used humor, wit, and vivid description to characterize each in his prologue.Characterization revealed the flaws / positive traits of each individualConsequently, Chaucer sent a message about the given social group
14 Canterbury Tales as Satire A satire is a form of humor where the writer or speaker tries to make the reader or listener have a negative opinion about someone, by laughing at them, making them seem ridiculous or foolish etc.If someone is being satirical, their aim is not just to amuse, but to affect the person that they dislike; to hurt them, ruin them, etc.
15 Why Satire WorkedPeople like comedy (do not personally take offense)People realize flaws on their own by viewing the characters; rather than, in a direct lecture
16 The archetypes: Survivor, fighter, serial lover, lush, snob, bully, adulterer, hunter, preacher, convict, fugitive, philosopher, serial killer, a con-artist, and an infected As you read, see if you can figure out who’s who!
17 IV. The Three EstatesThose who work Those who fight Those who pray
18 The Travelers to Canterbury Working ClassPlowmanHaberdasherCookDyerMillerCarpenterReeveWeaverHostCarpetmaker
19 The Travelers to Canterbury Professional ClassMilitaryKnight, Squire, YeomanReligiousNun, 3 Priests, Friar, Parson,Pardoner, SummonerSecularCleric, Serjeant at Law, Merchant,Skipper, Doctor
20 The Travelers to Canterbury Upper ClassWife of BathFranklin
21 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Twenty-nine pilgrims are on their way to the shrine of Saint Thomas à Becket in Canterbury.The time is April, and the place is the Tabard Inn in Southwark (SUTH erk), just outside London.LondonCanterbury
22 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Literary Focus: Characterization Chaucer uses indirect characterization when he tells how each characterlooks and dressesThis yeoman wore a coat and hood of green, And peacock-feathered arrows, bright and keenspeaks and actsHer greatest oath was only “By St. Loy!”thinks and feelsAnd gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.
23 Indirect Characterization describes them by: Their jobs (level in the estate)The type and color of their clothingTheir “accessories” (jewelry, pets, other portables)The way they act (humble or haughty) and how others react to themTheir income and how it showsTheir “secrets”Their status in society as a wholeThe way they speak / their slang or accentTheir modes of transportationWhether they behave corruptly
24 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Literary Focus: Characterization Chaucer also uses direct characterization, when he comes right out and tells us what a character’s nature is—virtuous, vain, clever, and so on.There was a Friar, a wanton one and merry, A Limiter, a very festive fellow.In all Four Orders there was none so mellow,So glib with gallant phrase and well-turned speech.
25 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Literary Focus: Frame Story A frame story is a literary device that binds together several different narratives. It is a story (or stories) within a story.In The Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims’ journey is the outer story.The tales the pilgrims tell are stories within a story.The tales themselves also have thematic unity.
26 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Reading Skills: Analyzing Style: Key Details Chaucer had twenty-nine characters to introduce, so he couldn’t develop any one character at great length. Instead, he provided a few well-chosen details that would make each character stand out vividly.
27 The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Reading Skills: Analyzing Style: Key Details As you read the Prologue, pay close attention to any details that help give you an immediate impression of a character.Keep a pen and notebook handy to jot down key details of dress, appearance, and behavior.Note that some details contradict what the characters think of themselves (or want others to think of them).
29 One Answer: Religion. Why was it important to them? It’s the Middle AgesPlagueWarfareHigh Infant Mortality RateShort Life Expectancy…and if you were a peasant, you lived your whole life in harsh conditionsAbout the best thing that you had to look forward to was dying and going to heaven
30 Also, Canterbury was a Pilgrimage Site People of all classes went on pilgrimages to holy sites to ask for help with medical, financial or other problems.
32 Becket was a trusted adviser and friend of King Henry II Becket was a trusted adviser and friend of King Henry II. Henry named Becket Archbishop of Canterbury.
33 Becket’s outspoken style angered the King Becket’s outspoken style angered the King. One day, Henry complained, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” Three knights rode to Canterbury where they found Becket at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral.
41 Canterbury Tales1 Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweet-smelling showers2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, Has pierced the drought of March to the root,And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquidOf which vertu engendred is the flour; By the power of which the flower is created; Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When the West Wind also with its sweet breath,Inspired hath in every holt and heeth In every holt and heath, has breathed life intoThe tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender crops, and the young sunHath in the Ram his half cours yronne, Has run its half course in Aries,And smale foweles maken melodye, And small fowls make melody,10 That slepen al the nyght with open ye Those that sleep all the night with open eyes 11 (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages), (So Nature incites them in their hearts), 12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, Then folk long to go on pilgrimages, 13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, And professional pilgrims (long) to seek foreign shores, 14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; To (go to) distant shrines, known in various lands; 15 And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire's end 16 Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, Of England to Canterbury they travel, 17 The hooly blisful martir for to seke, To seek the holy blessed martyr, 18 That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. Who helped them when they were sick.
42 Group ActivityChoose a group of 3 or less (5 points will be deducted for additional group members; no credit will be given to groups with identical answers) <all info must be school appropriate>Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.1. Identify 3 main social groups in American Society?Ex: White Collar Workers2. Create a list of ‘archetypes’ for each social group. (You must have 5-7 people / professions for each group)Ex: CEO3. Choose one ‘archetype’ (person / profession) from a group to characterizeYou must have 5-10 sentences that clearly characterize your ‘archetype’ by pointing out their flaws / positive traits through the use of humor / vivid description.Your overall description of each ‘archetype’ must reveal an issue related to its corresponding classEx: Describe their appearance should relate to message (Ex: gluttonous =large presence)Describe clothing and possessions (Ex: greedy = expensive namebrands, jewelry, car, etc…)Describe mannerisms (Ex: arrogant = walk tall, loud, rude, …)Describe back story (Ex: fake = lots of money but in credit card debt,insider trading charges, …)4. Write the class issue you are highlighting under your ‘archetype’s’ descriptionEx: Unequal distribution of wealth within companies, corruption of the upper class, materialism, …)5. Construct a cartoon sketch of your ‘archetype’ that matches your description
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