Chaucer's Society in Canterbury Tales Essay

Chaucer's Society in Canterbury Tales Essay

Length: 824 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Chaucer's society represents every social class. In doing so, it shows what it takes to actually make a society function. The different people carry different stories to share. These stories carry lessons learned in hopes of sharing them with others so that they may not end up in the same predicaments. After all, that is the main point of sharing stories, isn't it?
In the Nun and Priest's tale, a story of never trusting a flatterer is told. The Pardoner tries to sell indulgences to the pilgrims after he told them he cheats them. Love Conquers all is a main staple of the Prioress. He archetypes this as a quest on which the pilgrims set out upon a quest to their holy site to gain spiritual benefits. Another part of the archetype would be him beginning with the awakening of spring and ending with the images of death and despair.
Throughout the 24 tales, Romance is overdone and the range of attitudes towards life and literature is expressed. The main point of the tales are to share morals. You will now read a few summaries of some of the tales presented in Chaucer's works.
The judge in the Physician's tale lusts after Virginius' daughter. When he finds that she will not give into temptation, he sends someone in to give a fake claim against Virginius that he is only claiming she is his daughter and orders her to be taken away from him immediately. In order to save his daughter from being violated and killed, he explains to her that it would be morally correct for him to kill her while she is still pure so that she can at least save her dignity. In the end, Virginius took the head from his daughter to the judge who upon seeing this, attempted to flee to hang himself. Yet he could not escape the crowd of people who had learned...


... middle of paper ...


...ething which is supposed to make them rich and full of life, and end up dead from events that have to do with the gold. This tale ends in a short sermon, asking God to forgive the mistakes of good men, and warning them about the sin of greed, before inviting the congregation to offer their wool in return for pardons.
The Canterbury Tales is a great contemplation of stories, that display humorous and ironic examples of medieval life, which imitate moral and ethical problems in history and even those presented today. Chaucer owed a great deal to the authors who produced these works before his time. Chaucer tweaked their materials, gave them new meanings and revealed unscathed truths, thus providing fresh ideas to his readers. Chaucer's main goal for these tales was to create settings in which people can relate, to portray lessons and the irony of human existence.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Fourteenth Century Society in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales Essays

- Nothing gives us a better idea of medieval life than Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Written in the late fourteenth century in the vernacular, it gives us an idea of the vast spectrum of people that made up the different classes within society. The poem describes the knightly class, the clergy, and those who worked for a living, thus describing the different classes as well. Chaucer gives us a cross-section of fourteenth century society by giving us the small details of people’s clothing, demeanor and professions; therefore giving us information on the lower and middle classes, not discussed in literature before....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]

Better Essays
1763 words (5 pages)

Essay on Character Rank In Society in The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

- The Canterbury Tales can be understood as a Chaucerian satire according many readers. Chaucer sets out to deliberately upset the social order present at that time and to mock the faults present in the characters. Although he baffles about the complexity of the characters, Chaucer also praises and condemns characters for their unique qualities. Chaucer further gives us feedback of what actions the characters are taking in their lives. Many of the pilgrims are headed off to Canterbury, to worship the relics of Saint Thomas Becket....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

The Canterbury Tales: Applying Chaucer's Criticism to Modern Society Essays

- The Canterbury Tales: Applying Chaucer's Criticism to Modern Society It is not hard to apply Chaucer's description of the greedy doctor to today's medical system, nor is it difficult to find modern-day people with equivalent personalities to those of many of Chaucer's other characters. However, it is the institutions of his time as well as their flaws and hypocrisies that Chaucer is most critical of; he uses the personalities of his characters primarily to highlight those flaws. The two institutions that he is most critical of have lost much, if not all, of their influence; in many instances, the Church has only slight hold on the lives and attitudes of the people as a whole, and the str...   [tags: Sociology]

Free Essays
820 words (2.3 pages)

Learning About Medieval Life and Society from Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

- Learning About Medieval Life and Society from Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales I have been studying Geoffrey Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, of which I looked specifically at six portraits, these being: the Knight, his son, a young squire, the prioress, the wife of Bath, the Miller and the Pardoner. From these portraits I was able to observe the ways of life and society in medieval times. I found out about social status, fashion, wealth, romantic love, the importance of manners and the church during this era - and these are just the topics I took particular interest in; there were many other areas of medieval life and society...   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1227 words (3.5 pages)

The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Geoffrey Chaucer is, to this day, one of the most famous Middle-English writers. His view of corrupt societies and how things "may not always be as they seem" was incredibly accurate and has even carried over its accuracy into the modern era. His writings are highly controversial and bring out the faults in the most conservative aspects of society—especially when it comes to sexism and the church. In The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, he speaks about 31 people going on a pilgrimage. The entire selection is heavily weighted and based on one key thing, which is how it is structured....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- In The Canterbury Tales, created by fourteenth century author Geoffrey Chaucer, society is described through literary elements such as tone, metaphors, and imagery. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories that are told through different pilgrims who are on their way to Canterbury to pay homage to St. Thomas a Beckett. At the beginning of Chaucer 's collection of stories, he describes each of the pilgrims. One of the pilgrims that Chaucer describes is the Wife of Bath, and through his description of her the reader is able to find out about her appearance, background, and personality....   [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales]

Better Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)

Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales Essay examples

- Over the course of the semester, this British Literature course has adequately exposed myself to a variety of works of differing styles coming from a millennium of English authors and poets. With this literary immersion, some works have proved more memorable than others. Out of these select few, I hope to choose the literary work which demonstrates the greatest combination of entertainment and morals for future readers to take away from the text. After some deliberation, I found the solution obvious, as I had to write about Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- As we go through life each of us have been hurt by the sarcastic comments of others. The words a person speaks to us become very important and the true massage they contain is what we being to analyze. Similar to sarcasm being used in speech, satire has been used by authors for centuries to carry an underlying message in the works they produce. Satire is defined as “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” and is often used to disguise a real message....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]

Better Essays
946 words (2.7 pages)

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales Essay

- Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer comments on moral corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. He criticizes many high-ranking members of the Church and describes a lack of morality in medieval society; yet in the “Retraction,” Chaucer recants much of his work and pledges to be true to Christianity. Seemingly opposite views exist within the “Retraction” and The Canterbury Tales. However, this contradiction does not weaken Chaucer’s social commentary. Rather, the “Retraction” emphasizes Chaucer’s criticism of the Church and society in The Canterbury Tales by reinforcing the risk inherent in doing so....   [tags: Chaucer Canterbury Tales Essays]

Better Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

Powerful Satire in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay

- Powerful Satire in The Canterbury Tales If one theme can be considered overriding or defining throughout Medieval European society, it would most likely be the concept of social class structure. During this early historical period in Europe, most of society was divided into three classes or 'estates:' the workers, the nobles, and the clerics. By Chaucer's time, however, the powerful estate structure had begun to wear down. Weaknesses in the system became apparent, as many people, such as Chaucer himself, seemed to no longer belong to any one of the three estates....   [tags: Canterbury Tales Essays]

Better Essays
3469 words (9.9 pages)