Presentation on theme: "The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer Chaucer was often called the father of English poetry. Wrote and spoke Middle English Began writing."— Presentation transcript:
Chaucer Chaucer was often called the father of English poetry. Wrote and spoke Middle English Began writing “The Canterbury Tales” in 1387 and never completed all the stories. He is buried in the “Poet’s Corner” of Westminster Abbey in London
The Canterbury Tales The format is that of a “frame story,” or a story within a story. The main story is of a pilgrimage and it includes each pilgrim’s story. According to Chaucer, people went on pilgrimages in spring because winter is over and it is time for renewal. The narrator is at the inn when 29 pilgrims arrive.
In Chaucer’s time, physical characteristics were thought to reveal a person’s true character. The Host of the pilgrimage has promised to be the judge of the best tale and to give the winner a supper, paid by all, in his tavern, the Tabard Inn. Anyone who refuses to tell a tale must pay the cost of the journey. Each pilgrim must tell two stories going and two stories returning.
The Pilgrims The knight has fought in wars that spanned some forty years. A squire is a knight’s attendant. Yeomen were once knights’ servants, but later they became landowners. A nun is a woman who takes vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
A Prioress is in charge of the nuns. A monk was the male version of the nun. Friars were people who went into the world as beggars to preach, help the poor, and cure the sick. He earns his living by forgiving sins and settling disputes for a fee. The merchant is the typical shop owner, but he hides the fact that he is in debt. The Oxford Cleric is the stereotypical “starving” student.
The Sergeant at the Law was one of a group of lawyers who served the King’s legal advisors. The Franklin is a self indulgent man who only cares about eating. Guilds were organizations of tradespeople who taught their trades to apprentices. The cook prepares wonderful meals but is covered in open sores. The Skipper was a sailor from Dartmouth.
The doctor treated illnesses based on the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Wife of Bath had been on several pilgrimages, which was rare in that time. The Parson is a “good” priest because he stays with his parish instead of trying to make money. The Plowman is portrayed as an instrument of salvation. Chaucer compares the miller to a rough, wild animal.
In the Middle Ages, a Reeve was a manager of an estate. He inspected everything and fined workers if he found something wrong. In Chaucer’s time, sex outside of marriage was cause for excommunication. The Summoner’s job was to track down offenders and deliver them to the Archdeacon for punishment.
Long hair was considered a violation for men that worked for the Church. The Pardoner’s hair was described as “hanging like rat tails.” Some of the pilgrims brought relics, or the remains of a holy person.