Presentation on theme: "Chaucer The Canterbury Tales. Biography Born in London in 1342 into middle class. Worked as page for upper class family. Could read French, Latin,"— Presentation transcript:
Chaucer The Canterbury Tales
Biography Born in London in 1342 into middle class. Worked as page for upper class family. Could read French, Latin, and Italian went to France during the Hundred Year’s War made several journeys abroad on diplomatic and commercial missions. 1732 went to Italy and became familiar with works of Dante, Patriarch, and Boccaccio.
The Canterbury Tales Background Chaucer’s plan was for each character to tell four tales, two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. But instead of 120 tales, he only completed 22 tales. The work was first conceived in 1386 Chaucer’s realism is unique to the age Chaucer’s aim was to create a literature and poetic language for all classes of society The Canterbury Tales contains nearly every type of medieval fiction at its best. Importance of pilgrimages in the Middle Ages
The Canterbury Tales Chaucer endows types with realty Use of frame tale or story within a story Double view – secular and spiritual Pilgrims are both individual and representative Narrator is both in and out of narrative Pilgrims represent a wide spectrum of ranks and occupations. Tales match tellers Tales are juxtaposed to bring out contrasts Use of detail, exaggeration, focus on single quality, sudden thrust
The Canterbury Tales Art of being at once involved and detached from a given situation Rich suggestiveness of details A flash of intuition illuminates the character
The Pilgrims The pilgrims are types, not individuals Taken together, they represent the whole range of life in Chaucer’s England.
The Host He gets things going and keeps them moving Varied roles of innkeeper, master of ceremonies, literary critic, social commentator, Mediator between the tales and teller He is genial.
The Pilgrims Knight – fights for Christian virtues Squire – Knight’s son Yeoman= travels with Knight and Squire Prioress – ironic portrait; she longs for a life beyond the convent; like a romance heroine Monk – care’s nothing for monk’s life; loves horses and hunting
The Pilgrims Friar – makes his living by begging; hears confessions; meddles in secular matters Merchant – a rich man; lends money for a price Clerk – loves books and learning; sacrifices taste for learning Franklin – a prosperous man; loves pleasure Five Guildsmen, Cook, Shipman
The Pilgrims Doctor – a satirical portrait; astrology; humors Wife of Bath – most well-known portrait; she knows what she wants and how to get it Parson – an idealized portrait; attempts to live by Christ’s example Plowman – a favorable portrait; an honest worker Miller – Chaucer detests; likes to tell coarse tales Manciple – a shrewd businessman Reeve – like a bailiff; not honest
The Pilgrims Summoner- Chaucer detests; lecherous Pardoner – a cunning deceptive man; sells indulgences; dishonest