Presentation on theme: "The Canterbury Tales by: Geoffrey Chaucer 1340s (ish) - 1400."— Presentation transcript:
1 The Canterbury Talesby:Geoffrey Chaucer1340s (ish)
2 Crusades: Popes, kings, and emperors unite and defend Christendom Middle AgesEmperors became more like kingsFeudalism: involuntary peasant labor on lands not their ownpersonal bonds and personal law beginning to replace impersonal law common to large expanses of territoryMedieval Guilds (exclusive, regimented organizations)The Catholic Church would provide spiritual and moral direction, as well as leadership and material support, during the darkest times of the early Medieval period.Feudalism: The Middle Ages’ social order*Christianity provided the basis for a first unified religion common to most of the continent.Crusades: Popes, kings, and emperors unite and defend Christendom2
3 Feudalism--A system of loyalties and protections Emperors granted land to nobles in exchange for their loyalty.Peasants could no longer count on the Roman army to protect them.German, Viking and Magyar tribes overran homes and farms throughout Europe.These nobles would have peasants/serfswork the land for them on their land because:Serfs would often have to work three or four days a week for the lord as rent.They would spend the rest of their week growing crops to feed their families.Other serfs worked as sharecroppers. A sharecropper would be required to turn over most of what he grew in order to be able to live on the land.
4 Important Events… 100 Years War with France Many deaths and strife throughout EnglandPeasants’ Rebellion (remember Robin Hood)The underprivileged lived a life of unhappiness, turmoil, and hunger.Corruption in the Catholic ChurchMany followers began to lose some faith.Power struggle between Pope and KingThis aided to the faith lose throughout the land.And, of course….
5 Important Events… THE BLACK DEATH! Between 1349 and 1350, England lost nearly half its population to the Black Death.It was easy to catch, painful to have, and deadly almost all the time.ACK! I got the Black Death from the rat!Technically, you got it from the fleas ON the rat…that jumped off and bit you, so you know. Don’t blame the poor rat.
6 Chaucer’s Language Father of English Poetry The Canterbury Tales is considered Chaucer’s masterpieceChaucer was the first writer to use English in a major literary workHe spoke Middle EnglishA mixture of Old English (Anglo-Saxons) and Old French (Normans)Middle English differs from Modern English in the pronunciation of the wordsLet’s look at some examples:
7 Chaucer’s Language: The Shift Middle EnglishSounds like Moderny,i "myne, sight""meet"e, ee "me, meet, mete" (close e)"mate"e "begge, rede" (open e)"bag"a, aa "mate, maat""father"u, ou "hus, hous""boot"o, oo "bote, boot" (close o)"oak"o "lof, ok" (open o)"bought"Vowels shifted upwards; vowel that was pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced higher up in the mouthPeople used to spell words how they sounded, but now they had a more standardized written/spoken languageNow: to the story…
8 The Canterbury TalesWhan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweet-smelling showers 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 liquid Of 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 into The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender crops, and the young sun Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne, Has run its half course in Aries, And smale foweles maken melodye, And small fowls make melody,That slepen al the nyght with open ye Those that sleep all the night with open eyes (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages), (So Nature incites them in their hearts), Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, Then folk long to go on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, And professional pilgrims (long) to seek foreign shores, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; To (go to) distant shrines, known in various lands; And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire's end Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, Of England to Canterbury they travel, The hooly blisful martir for to seke, T o seek the holy blessed martyr, That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. Who helped them when they were sick.The Canterbury Tales is written in Middle English.Click the star to hear a sample.
9 Canterbury Tales Chaucer writes the tales around 1386 He depicts a 14th century England populated by peasants, tradesmen, knights, and clerics, most of whom appear to be healthy and well fed.But the 14th century in which Chaucer lived was one of plague, rebellion, and corruption.Wait! No we’re not!We are so healthy and well fed and happy!We are off on our pilgrimage! Hurray!Was that a rat?! Did I just get the plague?I think I hear a rebellion! Let’s move!
10 There are two key literary techniques Chaucer incorporates: Canterbury TalesThe style…There are two key literary techniques Chaucer incorporates:1) A Frame Tale – a story that provides a vehicle, or frame, for telling other stories (More details on next slide.)*The voice of the poet-pilgrim himself, Chaucer – introducesus to other pilgrims*The person of “The Host” of the Tabard Inn*The conversations that occur between the tales, among theHost and the pilgrims, and the pilgrims themselvesAn Estate Satire – a literary technique used to highlight the foibles of a society and its particular people in the hopes of exacting some sort of change; it is sarcastic and sometimes often biting*Prioress, Monk, Friar, Clerk, Parson, Summoner and Pardoner (with the Clerkand Parson being exceptions) have lives that seem to be very removed from what might be expected in people of their calling*Chaucer’s commentary on how he views the religious system of the medievaltime period
11 The Canterbury Tales The style… Keep in mind with a framed story: a group of smaller works are put together in a framework.Each has a relationship to others. The piece is hooked together with important themes.Characters tell the stories in forms appropriate to them, using different verse forms.*To use such a diverse group of narrators, whose stories are interlinked by characters talking with each other, revealing much about themselves*Yes, that means poetry.Thus, the theme of thepilgrimage = life means that thehardship of pilgrimage = hardship of lifeWe experience all the various “hardships” of life through this work.
12 The Canterbury Tales The set-up… Chaucer intended that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back.A group of thirty people travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England) to see the shrine of Sir Thomas Beckett.The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel.He never finished this large task…Only twenty-four tales were composed before Chaucer's death in 1400.A rich, tapestry of medieval social life combines elements of all classes, from nobles to workers, from priests and nuns to drunkards and thieves.The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts. Thus, scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales.P.S. They meet at the Tabard Inn
13 The Canterbury Tales The set-up… The pilgrim’s occupations reflect different aspects of the 14th century societyFeudal SystemKnight, Squire, Yeoman, Franklin, Plowman, Miller, ReeveReligious LifePrioress (Nun), Monk, Friar, Clerk, Parson, Summoner, PardonerTrades and ProfessionsMerchant, Sergeant of Law, Five Tradesmen, Cook, Skipper, Doctor, Wife of Bath, Manciple, Host
14 Some believe that the narrator IS Chaucer… I’ll leave that up to you. The Canterbury TalesThe story…1) General Prologue consists of character sketches of each member of the group that is going to Canterbury, as described by the narrator. (1st person speaker)Some believe that the narrator IS Chaucer… I’ll leave that up to you.The fiction suggests that Chaucer is an observer of the scene, who accurately records the appearance, the stories and the conversations of the company.He is not responsible for what is said, nor how it is expressed.2) This was a familiar and fairly popular journey. People did combine with strangers into traveling companions for safety.Each character is described as a representative of his or her own social group, which covers the social spread of 14th-century England(Highly unlikely that such a varied group as Chaucer describes would have existed)(No representatives of either the aristocracy or the true peasantry, an unskilled land-worker)
15 The Canterbury Tales The Lit. Terms… Fable – teaches by providing a moral at the endParable – a brief story that parallels a more general moral lessonExemplum – a specific example of a general rule: it is supposed to prove a point by showing the truth of some moral ruleVerbal Irony – exists when a person says one thing while meaning anotherSituational Irony – exists when the outcome of a situation is opposite of what someone expectedDramatic Irony – occurs when the audience or reader is aware of something that the character does not knowDirect Characterization – writer telling the reader what the character is like (i.e., stupid, silly, kind)Indirect Characterization – writer shows the reader what the character does, says, thinks, or feels and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions about what the character is like
16 Questions?You will need to knowthis information.muhahahahahaha!