Presentation on theme: "Canterbury Tales Prologue"— Presentation transcript:
1 Canterbury Tales Prologue The character’s and their stereotypes: revelations and perceptions*Summaries borrowed from
2 The Knight (lines 43-80) Noble in battle—enjoys adventure The epitome of chivalryStrong and brave (especially to have survived so many battles—15 plus jousts—always killed his man)WiseModest “a true and perfect gentle knight”Has fine horsesDresses in natural clothing with smudgesRealistic/humanizedGoing on the Pilgrimage to show thanks to God for his talentsChaucer/the narrator admires the Knight despite the decline of chivalry. Most of his battles are religious leading us to believe he is a crusader.
3 Gossip!You have 2 minutes to gossip with your table mates about the traveler. Consider discussing...Your opinion of the travelerIf you would like to “get to know” them betterHow you feel about themSymbols that might represent themREMEMBER TO STAY IN CHARACTER!The most interesting table conversation will receive a prize at the end of our presentation time!
4 The Knight (lines 43-80) GOOD GUY Noble in battle—enjoys adventure The epitome of chivalryStrong and brave (especially to have survived so many battles—15 plus jousts—always killed his man)WiseModest “a true and perfect gentle knight”Has fine horsesDresses in natural clothing with smudgesRealistic/humanizedGoing on the Pilgrimage to show thanks to God for his talentsChaucer/the narrator admires the Knight despite the decline of chivalry. Most of his battles are religious leading us to believe he is a crusader.
6 The Squire (lines 81-102) Potentially GOOD GUY The Knight’s son—youthful (20 years old); “lover” and “cadet”Curly hair (as if pressed)Suggests he’s a dandy—concerned with his looksServed in the cavalry and done valiantlyLikes to sing and write songsDoes everything with a passionDestined to become just like his fatherContrasts with his father—the religious chivalric knight—the squire is very “romantic.” His dress is fancy and there is a lot of social desire. Always out to win his lady’s favor in the cavalry. Chaucer is accepting of the squire, but not admiring. He has growing up to do, but will make a good knight
8 The Yeoman (lines103-121) GOOD GUY An attendant of the Squire Dressed in green; carries peacock arrows and a bow and wears a bracelet to protect his arm; a sword; a shield; and a daggerHead like a nut w/brown faceA hunter and woodworker—attends the Squire but has his own personalitySt. Christopher’s medalPatron Saint of TravelersChaucer looks at the Yeoman positively and uses no irony in the description; Suggests that like the Knight and the Squire, the Yeoman is a worthy occupation
10 Prioress (Nun)—(lines122-168) Eglentyen/sweetbriarExceptionally mannerly when eatingAnimal rights activist—should be concerned with?PEOPLE!Sentimental and tender & speaks elegant FrenchSmile is “simple and coy”; “elegant” nose; “glass gray eyes,”; small, soft, red mouth suggests…Perfect beautyGreed & Pride(moderate)Coral trinket on her arm, green prayer beads, “Love Conquers all” on her golden brooch suggests…Rich tastes; worldlinessIrony of Chaucer: charity should be for needy people, but it is for animals; love is very worldly rather than Amor Dei, godly; expresses a desire to show courtly manners, rather than follow rules of simplicity; expensive jewelry suggests worldliness instead of poverty.
12 The Monk (lines 169-211) Greed (extreme) A Manly Man, fat, prominent eyeballs, supple boots, not pale,Loves hunting & fine foodBridle “jingles”; garnished sleeves; fine tunic; owns many horses and greyhounds; suggests…Wealth he should not haveIgnores the rules of the monasteryThe Monk it Chaucer’s prologue is corrupt; Loves good food, expensive clothing and hunting violate the monastic views of poverty and simplicity and displays no guilt. Hunting was a big no-no for Monks.Irony: “finest sort”, suitable to be an abbot, agrees with point of view, “fair prelaat”
14 The Friar (lines 212-279) Lust & Greed (extreme) Brother Hubert has a white neckSupports himself through begging—well rehearsed and spokenLoved among the rich land owners; Only deals with the rich; avoids the poor beggars and lepers…suggests…He is corrupt and only cares about worldly thingsSings and plays hurdy-gurdy and lisps to attract womenFixes up many young women…after giving them lovely gifts…suggests…He has seduced them firstKnows the taverns and the barmaids well suggests…Took confessions—and pardons them…for a “gift”…suggests…He manipulates people’s desire to be goodArbitrates disputes for a feeLust & Greed(extreme)Chaucer paints a picture of the corrupt clergyIrony: “strong pillar of the church”, calls him merry, sweet, pleasant and worthy
16 Merchant (lines 280-294) Misguided Good Guy Split beard, assorted dress, Flemish beaver hat, buckled boots.An expert with money and exchanging moneyIn debt but no one knows because he “cooks the books”Representative of the middle class; is in debt but pretends not to be an hides it cleverly; Chaucer says he is a worthy man—respects the middle class despite the deception
18 The Oxford Cleric (lines 295-318) Still a studentThin horse; thin, hollow, sober staring man; thread bare coatPrefers books to clothes“philosopher’s stone” reference—myth of philosophyFormal and extremely respectful—gladly learn and teachGood GuyIdealized character- a serious student who cars for little but studying and is so poor he cant even keep clothes on his back or books on his tables; When he speaks, he speaks with a purpose and he always prays for others. Forfeits worldly pleasure for knowledge.
20 The Lawyer (lines 319-341) Envy (moderate) Expert lawyer with great importOffers himself as a judgeDiscreet and cautiousHomely parti-colored coat, girt with a silken belt of pin-stripe stuffIrony: Chaucer makes a point to comment on pretending as a part of human nature and the Lawyer believes he is much more important than society really views him.
22 The Franklin (lines 341-379) Envy & Pride (Extreme) Daisy white beard, cheerfulAlways has food and drink ready at his houseParliamentary representative for the countryHad a dagger and a little purse of silk—white as morning milkSheriff he checked every entryThe Franklin as a social climber and spends most of his time pretending he is better than he is. He is a hedonist (pleasure is all important). He loves happy people who will eat and drink with him.
24 The Craftsmen (lines 371-388) Envy(moderate)Carpenter, haberdasher, dyer, weaver, tapestry makerDressed more mightily than their rank suggestsWives follow behind with and insist on being called “Madam” while their mantles are carried like royaltyThe craftsmen are treated as a group and none is given of single. Chaucer again is making the point that people like to pretend they are better than they truly are and he seems to satirize them through their wives.
28 The Skipper (lines 498-420) Greed (moderate) Very good at his job Rides wellWears a dagger on his neckTanned from the summer heatSteals wine from the captain while the captain sleepsOwned the Maudelayne
30 The Doctor (lines 421-454) Greed Talks really well about medicine as related to astronomyPractice magic and medicine according to the starsDid not read the Bible but knew all about Greek mythologyWore blood-red garments with bluish-gray linesHad a special love for goldThe doctor knew his art well, which he used to his advantage by making sure he could make a profit by manipulating the facts in cahoots with the apothecaries. Suggests he is very greedy, but is very stereotypical of the doctors of the time.
32 The Wife of Bath (lines 455-486) Pride & Lust(Moderate)Somewhat deafMakes woolGets married a lot (5 times already)Wore scarlet red hose and tight garter; bold, handsome, red face with a gap in her teethBeen on many pilgrimagesKnows everything about loveThinks of herself as the best person and dresses boldly. Gap toothed person in the Middle Ages is very lucky and travels far and wide. She knows how to enjoy herself and brags about knowing the cure for loves. Character appeals for the liberation of women—but she can be offensiveIrony: “Amor Remedia” rather than “Ars Amatoria” (remedy over art)
34 The Parson (lines 487-438) Good Guy Rich in spirit, but monetarily poorGives his own goods to his people and calls on people no mater whatAlways fair and wiseAlways follows what is rightIdealized figure: devoid of any irony or satire. The most virtuous of all the pilgrims but serves as a criticism of the priests in the Middle Ages. Opposed to excommunicating poor parishioners who could not pay their tithes to the church and sometimes gives his own money to the poor even though he has very little. Chaucer uses the imagery of a shepherd tending his flock because of his virtue. An ideal stereotype of what priesthood should be—contrast to other religious figures
36 The Plowman ( lines 539-555) Good Guy The Parson’s brother, works hard and honestly for his livingWears a tabard (loose jacket) smock and rode a mareIdealized character—industrious and a hard worker who lives in peace and always helps out his neighbors. He loves God and always pays his tithes. Chaucer admires his pride and is calling.
38 The Miller (lines 561-584) Wrath, Greed, Lust Robin weighs 224 lbs, very strong and wins at wrestling because he broad, knotty and short-shouldered; can heave a door off its hingesWart on his nose; nostrils were black and wide; mouth like a furnace doorCarries a sword and buckler; wears a hood of blue and a white coat and plays bagpipes (Irish descent)Representation of a dishonest man; he is a rich and makes as much of his own profits as he can; physical description is representative of his personality: shameless, wordy, quarrelsome, deceitful and lecherous. He steals grain and yet has a golden thumbIrony: “golden thumb” increases his own profits only
40 Manciple (lines 585-604) Greed (moderate) Buyer of provisions for a college or courtWatches the market preciselyIlliterate but outwits the educatedAs dishonest as the Miller and always makes a profit on his purchasesIrony: praise of financial wisdom that enables him to trick the wise of the country—professional malpractice
42 The Reeve (lines 605-640) Lust & Greed Oswald—slender and choleric; closely shaven beard; shorn hair abruptly stops above his ears; docked on top like a priest; chicken legs;Wears an overcoat of blue; has a rusty blade at his sideManages the estates of wealthy land ownersSteals from the estateLearned carpentryCholeric temper and slender legs indicate a lecherous character; inferior position indicated by facial hair; he is deceitful because he cheats his lord and blackmails the others in the county and everyone fears him as a result. He is richer than his lord and lends him money.
44 The Summoner (lines 641-688) Greed, Sloth Fire0red cherubinnish face with pus-filled boils all over; has narrow eyes and is lecherous; black scabby brows and a thin beard and his appearance scares small kidsLoves garlic, onions and leeks as well as strong wine and only speaks in Latin when he is drunkBlackmails everyone he canWore garland on his headAllows sinners to keep mistresses for a year in return for wine—likely he commits the same sinilliterateResponsible for summoning sinners before the church courts but Chaucer shows extreme loathing for the character; grouped with the pardoner—also hated by Chaucer; physical deformities represent an awful soulSarcasm: approval of the summoner “friendlier rascal”
46 The Pardoner (lines 689-734) Greed, Sloth Compared to Summoner—together they sing a song about lustful loveHas yellow waxy hair hanging down on his head thin like rat-tails; has bulging eyeballs; small voice like a goat; no beardWore a little capPersonification of evil; sells holy relics and favors to pardon people form all their sins to ensure purgatory; extorts money from people by preaching against having money; has repulsive physical features; special skill is singing at the offertory to extract money.Sarcastic tone rather than subtle irony
48 The Host (lines767-803) Good Guy Harry Bailey is friendly, agreeable, and sensiblevery warm and invitingOffers the story telling contest to the pilgrimsJoins them on the quest to serve as a mediator
49 Chaucer Author and appears as a pilgrim through the narrative Functions as a naïve narrator and the guide on the way to Canterbury and we learn about his society through the irony and sarcasm he relates through the tales and stories. His tone requires careful reflection
50 Good GuysKnightSquireYeomanMerchantOxford ClericParsonPlowmanHostBad GuysNunMonkFriarLawyerFranklinCraftsmenCookSkipperDoctorWife of BathMillerMancipleReeveSummonerPardoner
51 “The Ship of Fools”The allegory shows a boat “populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction.”
52 Good GuysKnightSquireYeomanMerchantOxford ClericParsonPlowmanHostBad GuysNunMonkFriarLawyerFranklinCraftsmenCookSkipperDoctorWife of BathMillerMancipleReeveSummonerPardoner
53 How can Chaucer’s Pilgrims be seen as a “ship of fools”? Give examples.
54 FeudalismSure! It's really easy to set up, but it made a big difference with my students. It's basically three interlocking circles for the three estates: orare (those who pray), pugnare (those who fight), and labore (those who work). Make sure you leave a LOT of room in the overlapping areas, because that's where most of the characters go! The idea is that the pilgrims aren't as easy to categorize as they may first appear. There are only three "perfect" ideals (parson, knight, plowman), but the tales themselves even contradict that idea. Each of my three classes ended up with a different diagram, but the way they explained their choices was the real value of the lesson. And they saw that the "best" classes had some not-so-great people, while the "worst" class had some great characters.
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