Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer 1340-1400 (?). Father of English language Middle class, well-educated (father was wine merchant) Served at court Diplomatic missions to France, Spain, Italy Catholic who perceived abuses within Church and exposed them. Church in England.
"The General Prologue" presents a vivid cross-section of the people who composed the various social classes of 14th Century England. Organize the characters depicted in the "Prologue" based on social position first then on their morality. What seems to be Chaucer's opinion of the Clergy? Of the other classes? Which characters does Chaucer seem to esteem or criticize? What attributes do these characters have that Chaucer appears to value or not?
Knight The Miller
Squire The Manciple
Prioress The Reeve
Monk The Summoner
Friar The Pardoner
Merchant The Host
Clerk Chaucer the Pilgrin
The Wife of Bath
Is the Prioress’s Tale anti-semitic? Does Chaucer approve or condemn it? Chaucer? What type of religiousity is expressed in the tale? Does the description of her seem to match her tale? What is the relation between teller and tale?
How does the Pardoner characterize himself in the Prologue to his tale? What text does he always preach on? Do you see irony in this? What is the relation between teller and tale?
Why does she open her “Prologue by claiming that experience is a better guide to truth than authority? Do you think this helps in her argument on marriage and in her general defense? Are her arguments problematic? Does the Wife completely reject antifeminist attitudes toward women, or does she provide proof that these “old books” are correct in what they assume about women? Do you believe that she is an object of satire in her “Prologue” or an instrument of satire---or somehow both at the same time?
What is the relationship between teller and tale? Is it an appropriate tale for her to tell?
Chaucer is retracting what works? Is he sincere?