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The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer. Father of English poetry Father of English poetry One of the greatest English poets in his lifetime One of the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer. Father of English poetry Father of English poetry One of the greatest English poets in his lifetime One of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer

2 Father of English poetry Father of English poetry One of the greatest English poets in his lifetime One of the greatest English poets in his lifetime

3 Geoffrey Chaucer Father of the English language Father of the English language Wrote in the vernacular Wrote in the vernacular –Language of the common man Traditionally literature was published in French or Latin

4 Masterwork The Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales –Framework story Inside story framed by outside story Inside story framed by outside story

5 The Canterbury Tales 124 projected tales 124 projected tales –Only 24 exist Only first half of frame exists Only first half of frame exists

6 The Frame The Prologue The Prologue –Setting Southwark, England Southwark, England The Tabard Inn The Tabard Inn April 11, 1387 April 11, 1387

7 Reasons to attend a pilgrimage Seek divine assistance Seek divine assistance –Obtain a miraculous cure Give thanks for something already received Give thanks for something already received Penance Penance Show religious devotion Show religious devotion Social purposes Social purposes

8 The Tabard Inn 29 pilgrims show up for the journey 29 pilgrims show up for the journey –14 th century heroes and rogues Medieval life Medieval life Medieval values Medieval values

9 Destination of Pilgrimage Canterbury Canterbury Shrine of the Holy Martyr Shrine of the Holy Martyr –St. Thomas a Becket Implications of religious corruption Rumors surrounding his murder

10 Journey Across Medieval Society

11 The Tales Each tale can stand on its own Each tale can stand on its own The tales reflect various aspects of Medieval literature The tales reflect various aspects of Medieval literature –Romance and Comedy –Rhyme and Prose –Crude Humor and Religious Mysteries

12 The Narrator Chaucer is the author and will serve as the narrator Chaucer is the author and will serve as the narrator –Will join the pilgrims –Offers an unbiased opinion –Tell facts; provide insight Condition of each pilgrim Condition of each pilgrim –Profession and degree –Apparel –Physical description

13 Chaucer Worldly Worldly –Has experienced many things and many people in his lifetime Educated Educated –Began Writing in twenties Poetry Poetry Translations of French Poetry Translations of French Poetry Realistic Realistic –Offers insight into human character

14 Characterization Direct Characterization Direct Characterization –Directly told what a character is like Indirect Characterization Indirect Characterization –Information is provided about the character, appearance and speech, which enables us to determine what the character is like

15 The Canterbury Tales Considered by historians and scholars to be the best contemporary picture of 14 th century England Considered by historians and scholars to be the best contemporary picture of 14 th century England

16 Admirable Characters The Knight The Knight –Chivalrous –15 Mortal battles Fought wherever he was needed Fought wherever he was needed –Modest –Stained Tunic –Rendering Thanks The Oxford Cleric The Oxford Cleric –Spent $ on books –Thin –Threadbare clothing –Somber –Would gladly teach and gladly learn –Interest in knowledge, not $ Not interested in working for the church Not interested in finding a quick way to make money

17 Acceptable/Flawed Characters Squire Squire –A knight in training Fights well Fights well Jousts Jousts rides rides –Interested in the ladies Dresses to impress Dresses to impress Fights to impress Fights to impress Acts to impress Acts to impress –Has the potential to be like his father Yeoman Yeoman –Proper forester –Proper equipment –Wears green –Medal of St. Christopher Patron saint of foresters Patron saint of travelers

18 Acceptable/Flawed Characters Merchant Merchant –Claims to be an expert –Offers opinion –Knows the sea –Knows currency –Was in debt Hypocrite Hypocrite Claims to be what he is not Claims to be what he is not Tradesmen Tradesmen –Started union for workers Protected member Hurt non-members Created a monopoly –Worked Hard Because of wives –Equipment is high quality and well taken care of

19 Acceptable/Flawed Characters The Cook The Cook –Knew all skills of a professional cook Roast, seethe, broil, fry Roast, seethe, broil, fry Bake a tasty pie Bake a tasty pie –Had an ulcer on his knee –Blancmange, creamy chicken dish, was one of his specialties –Poor hygiene –Possibly contaminates food

20 Corrupt Prioress Prioress –Overweight –Ate foods of wealth –Spoke terrible French Appear smarter than those around her Appear smarter than those around her –Sang with an intoning through her nose Appear sensual Appear sensual –Sympathies lied with animals Fed them foods of wealth Fed them foods of wealth –Jewelry Love conquers all Love conquers all –Physical appearance Red lipstick Red lipstick Exposed freakishly large forehead Exposed freakishly large forehead Monk Monk –Overweight –Hunted Not considered holy Decorated sleeves with fur –Would ride or hunt in free time –Ignored rules of St. Benet and St. Maur Founded and followed monastic rules –Did not study –Was not tormented –Refused to put life on a shelf

21 Corrupt Friar Friar –Intimate with women Arranged marriages Arranged marriages Offered gifts Offered gifts lisped lisped –Overweight –Offered absolution for a gift Blackmailed people Blackmailed people –Knew innkeepers and barmaids –Avoided sick and needy –Kept $ collected for the church Sergeant at the Law Sergeant at the Law –Knew every criminal and every crime Implies he is a criminal –Manipulated or took advantage of people Used position and power to make money Used intelligence to take advantage of less intelligent –Dress is gaudy and tacky

22 Corrupt Franklin Franklin –House open to all Really open to only rich Really open to only rich –Glutton In a society that is impoverished In a society that is impoverished –Lived for his pleasure alone Implies he does not care about others or if his pleasures interfere with the pleasures of others Implies he does not care about others or if his pleasures interfere with the pleasures of others –Hired help fears him Severe treatment if he is not happy with their work Severe treatment if he is not happy with their work Skipper Skipper –Sent prisoners home More of a pirate All walked the plank –No mercy –No conscience –Stole wine –Dagger on a lanyard around his neck Symbolizes violence –Dagger –Noose

23 Time periods may differ: Human nature changes little, if at all!!!


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