Cantebury Tales. Brief Characterization of Monk

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Geoffrey Chaucer's, The Canterbury Tales was written in the late fourteenth century. It is a compilation of short stories, set in the Medieval Period England, told by travelers who are going on a pilgrimage to the Cathedral at Canterbury. Among the traveling band, a Monk of likely Franciscan ties was a pilgrim of high rank and nobility.

The Monk in The Canterbury Tales, ranks among the highest compared to the other pilgrims. The Monk belonged to the ecclesiastical estate, which was one relating to a church. The church he belongs to is of Catholic origin and is hinted at by this line, "The Rule of good St.Benet or St.Maur…" He is likely a member of the order founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1209, an order that had concrete connections with the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church at that time assumed much influence and power in England.

Even though the Monk is rich, he does let his money corrupt his faith or character. The Monk was "fat and a personable priest" who did not carry himself as a snob of the higher class. He was basically respectful to the old and kind to the young. The Monk also was more open to ideas and did not follow his faith where he found wrong. For example, "he did not rate that text at a plucked hen Which says that hunters are not holy men". He was also considered brave and righteous by Chaucer's opinion, "And I agreed and said his views were sound…"

The Monk is a wealthy man as shown by his appearance, and greatly enjoys hunting, reading books and deeply appreciates the finer things in life. "Was he to study till his head went round…" describes his long-term commitment to learning. His "many dainty a horses", "fine grey fur" and "wrought gold cunningly fashioned pin" leads the reader to think that he enjoys living a comfortable life. "As old and strict he tended to ignore; He let go by the things of yesterday And took the modern world's more spacious way…" describes how he does not allow the...
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