Canterbury Tales - Free Essays - 123HelpMe

The Canterbury Tales is considered one of the greatest works produced in Middle English. The Canterbury Tales essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

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By modern standards, it hardly seems the “merry tale” the Parson promises his audience, and after the liveliness of much of the rest of the Tales, it appears to close the work not with a bang, but a whimper.


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No-one knows for certain when Chaucer began to write the Tales – the pilgrimage is usually dated 1387, but that date is subject to much scholarly argument – but it is certain that Chaucer wrote some parts of the Tales at different times, and went back and added Tales to the melting pot. ’s Tale, for example, was almost certainly written earlier than the Canterbury project as a separate work, and then adapted into the voice of the Knight; and the Second Nun’s Tale, as well as probably the Monk’s, probably have a similar compositional history.


Discuss Chaucer’s The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales …

Chaucer’s work is an extremely important text in terms of the evolution of the English language; The Canterbury Tales set itself apart from other literary works at the time by being one of the first pieces of...

Fifty Orwell Essays - Project Gutenberg Australia

Chaucer’s book “The Canterbury Tales” presents a frame story written at the end of the 14th century that is set through a group of pilgrims participation in a story-telling contest that they make up to entertain each other while they travel to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.

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In "Chaucer's Retraction," which appears at the end of The Canterbury Tales (Norton 311), Chaucer not only apologizes for several of his secular works, he also goes so far as to revoke them, and ask for forgiveness for such work...

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Emelye is also the first of a series of interesting portrayals of females in the Tales. Emelye is, almost, a stereotype of a female character: though, significantly, her will is laid out as entirely separate to her actions. She does not wish to marry either of the knights, preferring a life of chastity to marriage. However, she acknowledges her role as a pawn in the situation, and accepts the destiny proscribed to her by the goddess Diana and the mortal king Theseus (even at the end, married off by Theseus, she receives the husband she explicitly does not desire).

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One interpretation of the tale might therefore see Chaucer as almost parodying – showing the ridiculousness of – such masculine, chivalric codes. Or is Chaucer rather parodying the genre – romance – in which such actions are endorsed? Immediately, in this first tale, the looming question of tone hangs over the tale. Where does the Knight’s voice stop and Chaucer’s begin? If there is parody involved in this tale, is it supposed to sit in Chaucer’s mouth, or in the Knight’s? The dramatic nature of the tales themselves make it extremely difficult to pin them down to a single, univocal interpretation.