Church Corruption

Topics: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Summoner's Tale, The Canterbury Tales Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: May 13, 2015
Haley Huntwork and Praire Schmidt
Mrs. Salisbury
AP English – Period 8
1 October 2014
Church Corruption in The Canterbury Tales
Many of the religious characters in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer have traits that are different than what is traditionally expected of them. This is due to the Catholic Church, which ruled most of Europe during the Fourteenth Century, being extremely wealthy. While the people suffered from proverty and disease, extravagant cathedrals were built in every big city. As a result of this contrast between the wealth of the church and misery of the people, church corruption in a recurring theme throughout The Canterbury Tales.

In order to create this repeating theme of church corruption, Chaucer gives description of the characteristics of each member of the church which hints at their dishonesty. He does this with the Prioress, Monk, Summoner, and Pardoner. The nun is first described as well mannererd and pleasure to be arround but in acruality she is self couscious and pretending to be someone she is not. The Monk, who is suppose to take vows of poverty, uses his money to buy the finest hunting equipment. The Summoner and Pardoner are two peas in a pod, each using their position to take money from people for their own personal gain. Each of these four pilgrims give life to the overall idea of church corruption.

The Prioress is first described as friendly, well mannered, entertaining, and pleasant. After the school of Stratfored-atte-Bowe; French in the Paros style she did not know (Chaucer, 129-130). These lines show display how she is too concerened with her appearance and therefore pretends to be from class when she does not. The Prioress's appearance is too elaborate and showy. According to Chaucer, a nun should having clothing that is simple and humble, where as the Prioress dresses to further implicate on the fact that she is pretending to be from wealth.

Next is the Monk, the Monk is a member of the church...
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