Canterbury Tales

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The Canterbury Tales
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Thesis:
Chaucer uses ironic descriptions of the characters in the "Prologue to the Canterbury Tales" to voice his opinion on social problems that are on the rise in the mid 1300's. Implications include greed, the loss of chivalry and the lack of loyalty to the church. These implications are easily illustrated by Chaucer using what you would expect from these certain characters and twisting those expectations to form a completely opposite person.

Greed:
One of the most emphasized issues in society as brought up in "The Prologue" is the greediness of some of the most trustworthy characters. Being as it was tough to make good money back then, sometimes the greed inside can take over and cause people do things that differ from their normal selves. Chaucer uses the description of the Miller and the Franklin to really show how honesty is becoming scarce in the 1300's.

The Miller - The job of a miller has become obsolete in this day in age but back in the 14th century, a miller was one of the most important occupations of a town. The miller would have his own mill where his job was to grind down any corn and wheat brought to him by the villagers and price it by weighing it on a scale. Now being as needed as he was, a miller would have also been a very honest and hardworking character; a very trustworthy man. But to differ from what is expected, the description of the Miller is ironic in the fact that his greediness has made him an untrustworthy man and no longer has honesty in what he does. The Miller would rip off his customers by doing subtle and unnoticeable actions such as stealing some of the corn or wheat and keeping it for his own family: "he could steal corn and charge it for three times... for a miller, as they say, has a golden thumb(76, 540-541)." This line states that not only did the Miller steal some of the corn, he also would push down on the scale with his thumb when weighing the grain to make it cost three

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