Write a Critical Analysis of the General Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Paying Special Attention to Character Drawing. Dwell O N Three Characters of Your Own Choice.

Topics: The Canterbury Tales, General Prologue, MONK Pages: 3 (1168 words) Published: May 28, 2013
Chaucer is undoubtedly a masterful writer, especially in character drawing. His heroes in “The General Prologue” are genuinely and full-dimensionally presented. The first time I read the text, it was like watching a “black and white” picture, probably due to the many unfamiliar words in the text, although the copy was in Modern English. After looking up the words, the picture became like of a “high definition” screen, but after mastering the glossary and re-reading the text several times, it turned into 3D visualization plus Dolby surround sound. The images came into life! I could see the meek noble Knight in his “clothes…a bit drab…cotton tunic stained with mud and gore” and also his young handsome son, the Squire, in “his clothes all embroidered like a bed planted full of fresh flowers white and red”. The bridles of the monk’s horses were “jingling on the wind as clear and quite as loudly as did the chapel bell” and the resounding Pardoner’s voice was flowing so smoothly during the offertory. Necessarily, few words must be said about the set behind the characters’ portrayal. As the spring has unfolded, twenty nine people from almost every kind of walk in England, wend to pilgrimage to Canterbury. Pilgrimage might serve as a special set for displaying characters. According to Peter Brown, pilgrimage might serve both as “therapy of the distance” and as searching of your own self[1]. The same author says that “the saint” had been accommodated in that part of the soul of the ancients, where the layer of their “ego”[2] and the immediate supernatural layer overlapped in the Classical pre-Christian period.[3] Consequently, going to a pilgrimage may serve as a way of self-discovery and consequently a display of characters. Did Chaucer choose the pilgrimage as a plot for his poem with this though in mind? We cannot be sure. The heroes, chosen for discussion are: the Monk, the Pardoner and the Parson.

Chaucer draws the air of his characters in a very clever...
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