Canterbury Tales

Topics: The Knight's Tale, The Canterbury Tales, Romance Pages: 3 (931 words) Published: January 26, 2008
Choose one of the storytellers and his/her tale. What was the underlying motive for the storyteller telling his/her tale?

Chaucer's masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, is the most famous and critically acclaimed work of Geoffrey Chaucer, a late-fourteenth-century English poet. Little is known about Chaucer's personal life, and even less about his education, but a number of existing records document his professional life. Chaucer was born in London in the early 1340s, the only son in his family. The Canterbury Tales is written in Middle English, which bears a close visual resemblance to the English written and spoken today. It can be read only in modern translation or by students of Old English. The Canterbury tales was written around 1836 and is a collection of tales told by the characters on their way to and back from Canterbury, their pilgrimage destination. In his prologue, Chaucer introduces all of the characters who are involved in this fictional journey and who will tell the tales. One of the most interesting of the characters introduced is the Knight. Chaucer refers to the Knight as "a most distinguished man" and, indeed, his sketch of the Knight is highly complimentary. All of the tales in reflect on the characters who tell them and they each have a different motive. The Knights motive behind his tale is courtly love because classical concepts of romance appear throughout the tale and it is portrayed in the love triangle between Palamon, Arcite and Emily. The knight includes several medieval concepts of romance throughout his story. Some are: love at first sight, saving dames in distress, risking one's life in pursuit of one's lady love, and ultimately fighting to death over love. All of these concepts form on glorious plot of courtly love. The story starts off with Palamon and Arcite who have been living in a tower for several years after being captured by Theseus. One morning Palamon awakes and sees Emily out of the window picking flowers and...
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