The Canterbury Tales


Chaucer's Retraction

At the end of the poem, Chaucer issues a retraction of most of his best work. He suggests that anything pleasing should be credited to Christ, and that anything that is displeasing is not because he wanted it to be that way, but because he lacked the ability to write better. He asks for a general prayer, and for Christ’s mercy and forgiveness. There is no explanation for why Chaucer felt the need to write the retraction, and many of the works he mentions are very spiritual in nature, negating the idea that he was retracting books that could be seen as blasphemous or heretical.

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Essays About The Canterbury Tales