Canterbury Tales: Skipper's Analysis

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The Skipper Analysis
Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, is known as the father of English literature. Throughout his prologue of The Canterbury Tales, he introduces many characters, and among these many characters is the Skipper. Although Chaucer doesn't give readers a long descriptive passage of the Skipper, one can conclude a lot about him from the passage. Through diction, syntax, and characterization, Chaucer is able to portray a certain personality to each character he is describing; in this case, he is able to show his character's aspects in a couplet, or 2 lines: “He'd drawn at Bordeaux, while the trader snored,/ The nicer rules of conscience he ignored.” (Lines 407-408) When characterizing the Skipper, Chaucer uses his likes and dislikes to describe him. Throughout the passage, the reader can conclude that the Skipper is a dishonest, unscrupulous man, and the couplet shows that he's not very loyal. In this couplet, (lines 407-408), Chaucer states that “he'd drawn at Bordeaux, while the trader snored,/ The nicer rules of conscience he ignored.” This shows his lack of loyalty and suggests that the Skipper might possibly be a pirate. Although the passage as a whole strongly suggests the Skipper being a pirate, one can conclude that from the couplet. In the couplet, the Skipper is stealing from someone while they sleep, and during this invasion, the Skipper is ignoring the better part of his conscience. This could mean that while the Skipper is not a decent person, he still has a conscience that tells him right from wrong, he just chooses to ignore that voice. The Skipper's personality and behavior can be concluded from just the couplet. The author uses diction and syntax to help the reader make their conclusions about the Skipper. Chaucer uses a mixture of complex syntax and simple syntax in his writing. He also tends to switch the subject and verb with the objects; for example, in the second line of the couplet: “The nicer rules of...
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