The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer: Prologue on the Characters

Pages: 4 (1463 words) Published: November 18, 2009

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400)

Introduction on the Author: Geoffrey Chaucer was an English Author, Poet, Philosopher, Beaurocrat and Courtier. Though he has authored many books he is best remembered for his frame narrative of The Canterbury Tales.

Introduction on the Canterburry Tales and a short Summary:

The Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th century is a collection of short stories. The frame tales are set in Spring in England (April), when piligrims from all corners of England and all walks of life come to visit the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket who was martyred in the Canterbury cathedral in the year 1170.

The Canterburry Tales begins with a detailed description of the 29 piligrims who start the journey to the Canterbury Cathedeal. The pilgrims are a mixture of virtuous and villainous characters from Medieval England and include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight's Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a sergent of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher and his troop, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. They each bring a slice of England to the trip with their stories of glory, chivalry, Christianity, villainy, disloyalty, cuckoldry, and honor. Some pilgrims are faithful to Christ and his teachings, while others openly disobey the church and its law of faithfulness, honor, and modesty.

Body of the Essay:

The author begins a journey to Canterbury in April from the Tabard Inn at southwerk. 29 people make the pilgrimage towards Canterbury and the narrator describes them in turn. All the pilgrims are listed and narrated in the order of their status, the first one being the Knight.

The knight was an ideal man, too ideal to be true. He was very well mannered, gentle in speech and behavior. He believes in the...
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