Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is considered as one of the major beginning marks in English Literature. The Canterbury Tales, written in 14th century is a collection of short stories mainly in verse form. The stories in The Canterbury Tales are told by a group of 24 pilgrims on pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.
A Prologue to The Canterbury Tales introduces the major characters of the book. It also includes the 24 individual tales that vary in topics such as courtly love, treachery and avarice etc. There is no specific literary genre to include these tales as they vary from romance, Breton lai, sermon, beast fable and fabliaux. The tales cite the events in Middle English period with specific indications to John of Gaunt, Harry Bailly of the Tabard Inn and the political thoughts.
The Canterbury Tales is praised for its role in popularising the literary use of vernacular language in English. This unique work also gives specific knowledge about 'the occult' and astrological lore prevalent during the middle English period. The Canterbury Tales serves as a historic critique against society during Chaucer's time. The characters in The Canterbury Tales had real representations in the respective fields of work.
The Canterbury Tales is also not free from controversies. This literary piece was attacked for showing antisemitism ( Prejudice against Jews) in it. However the popularity of this majestic work wins over centuries. Many literary works based their theme on The Canterbury Tales as a homage.
The science fiction writer Dan Simmons wrote his Hyperion,based on The Canterbury Tales. Evolutionist Richard Dawkins used the structure of The Canterbury Tales for his evolution-The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution. Henry Dudeney published The Canterbury Puzzles that contains a part supposedly lost from the original text.
The Canterbury... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 04). Canterbury Tales. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Canterbury-Tales-653368.html
"Canterbury Tales" StudyMode.com. 04 2011. 04 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Canterbury-Tales-653368.html>.
"Canterbury Tales." StudyMode.com. 04, 2011. Accessed 04, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Canterbury-Tales-653368.html.