One can often figure out what an author’s view is on a society through the voices of the characters he creates. In The Canterbury Tale, Chaucer uses many characters to voice his opinion about the church society. He uses many church subjects to voice his opinion about the church, such as, the Friar, the Pardoner, the Summoner, the Monk, and the Parson. All of these church subjects each have an aspect of either good or bad. Honestly I think that Chaucer’s opinion of the church is really sarcastic.
His attitude can be seen in how he described all of the bad church subjects with a sarcastic twist. He described them with like a wide-eyed wonder to it like he had never met any like them and he was just so fascinated and couldn’t see any wrong in them when he was really showing everything wrong. Like in lines (665-669) where he was talking about the Summoner:
He was a noble varlet and a kind one,
You’d meet none better if you went to find one.
Why, he’d allow—just for a quart of wine—
Any good lad to keep a concubine
A twelvemonth and dispense him altogether!
These lines help you figure out that for their stations in the church they did not act as they should have.
With the good church people he made it known that those men were true men of God. He described them with a certain grace that made these people sound amazing. Lines (508-510) help show you how Chaucer described these good church people.
And it was from the Gospel he had caught
Those words, and he would add this figure too,
That if gold rust, what then will iron do?
All of the people in this story have a way about them that Chaucer made different observations about the church. Like with the Parson, a true God fearing man, he made him into a true man of the Lord. In lines (490-492) shows how he described this man.
He also was a learned man, a clerk,
Who truly knew Christ’s gospel and would preach it
Devoutly to parishioners, and teach it....
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