Yet his greatest work, The Canterbury Tales, containing many worldly elements, is a literary version of a major Christian endeavor, the pilgrimage to a holy place. Three of the tales are plainly religious: In a number of respects, the medieval Christian perspective permeates other tales.
Structurally regarded, the Canterbury Tales is a kind of Human Comedy. In other words, we ought not merely to consider the general appropriateness of each tale to the character of the teller: But despite these inescapable instances, the general principle is too often blinked or ignored.
We may begin with the story of Griselda. This is a plain and straightforward piece of edification, and nobody has ever questioned its appropriateness to the Clerk, who, as he says himself, has traveled in Italy and has heard it from the lips of the laureate Petrarch.
But this feeling is no ground of objection to the appropriateness of the tale to the Clerk. The Middle Ages delighted as children still delight in stories that exemplify a single human quality, like valor, or tyranny, or fortitude. In such cases, the settled rule for which neither Chaucer nor the Clerk was responsible was to show to what lengths that quality may conceivably go.
Hence, in tales of this kind, there can be no question of conflict between duties, no problem as to the point at which excess of goodness becomes evil. It is, then, absurd to censure a fourteenth-century Clerk for telling or Chaucer for making him tell a story which exemplifies in this hyperbolical way the virtue of fortitude under affliction.
We are to look at her trials as inevitable, and to pity her accordingly, and wonder at her endurance. If we refuse to accept the tale in this spirit, we are ourselves the losers. We miss the pathos because we are aridly intent on discussing an ethical question that has no status in this particular court, however pertinent it may be in the general forum of morals.
It is told in order that every man or woman, in whatever condition of life, may learn fortitude in adversity.
For, since a woman once exhibited such endurance under trials inflicted on her by a mortal man, a fortiori ought we to accept patiently whatever tribulation God may send us. He does not wantonly experiment with us, out of inhuman scientific curiosity. God tests us, as it is reasonable that our Maker should test his handiwork, but he does not tempt us.
He allows us to be beaten with sharp scourges of adversity, not, like the Marquis Walter, to see if we can stand it, for he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust: Let us live, therefore, in manly endurance of the visitations of Providence.
For it is precisely at this point that Professor Skeat notes a difficulty. Now the supposed difficulty vanishes as soon as we study vvs. It is not connected with anything that precedes. Let us trace the action from this point down to the moment when the clerk turns upon the Wife with his satirical compliments.
The Wife has expounded her views at great length and with all imaginable zest. Virginity, which the Church glorifies, is not required of us.
Our bodies are given us to use. Let saints be continent if they will. She has no wish to emulate them. Nor does she accept the doctrine that a widow or a widower must not marry again. Where is bigamy forbidden in the Bible, or octogamy either? She has warmed both hands before the fire of life, and she exults in her recollection of her fleshly delights.Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales have long been respected as the embodiment of popular sentiment toward love and marriage in the Middle Ages.
In these tales, Chaucer repeatedly addresses two main issues concerning marriage: male vs. female sovereignty in marriage and the place of sex in marriage. The Wife of Bath's Tale and The Clerk's Tale express diametrically opposite views concerning marriage and the function or duties of the wife and barnweddingvt.comlly and simply put, the Wife of Bath feels that the woman should hold complete sovereignty over her husband; only then can a marriage be happy.
The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales. The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
In The Canterbury Tales, the narrator sets out on a pilgrimage to Canterbury along with twenty-nine other people.
They agree to a storytelling contest in order to pass the time. The characters. literary analysis: characterization Characterization refers to the techniques a writer uses to develop characters.
In “The Prologue,” the introduction to The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer offers a vivid portrait of English society during the Middle Ages. Among his 30 characters are clergy, aristocrats, and commoners.
An Analysis of Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale. In reading Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," I found. that of the Wife of Bath, including her prologue, to be the most. good deal of the prologue espousing her views regarding marriage. and virginity, using her knowledge of the scriptures to add.