Authority And The Canterbury Tales

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Authority and The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer, widely known for his influence in medieval literature, expresses a fourteenth century literacy concept of authority and gentility in The Canterbury Tales. There are two forms of authority and gentility that will be covered in this discussion: authority and gentility in Chaucer’s personal life and the one in his two tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, and “The Clerk’s Tale”. Chaucer himself loses a sense of authority over his writing after his death, when his scribe, Adam Pinkhurst takes over as his authorial supporter. A wide speculation follows Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales because it is believed that Chaucer himself did not complete his tales in its entirety, since his death came before the publication of the book as well as the arrangement of the tales not being in order. In Simon Horobin’s article “Compiling The Canterbury Tales in Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts”, N. F. Blake raises the possibility that “some of the earliest manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales may have been written under Chaucer’s supervision, and that differences in content and tale order would therefore represent separate stages of authorial revision” (Horobin, 372). Aside from the completion of the tales, more important the authenticity of his work is greater questioned because his idea for the pilgrims are perhaps borrowed from predecessors, for example Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron that holds a similar theme. Chaucer deals with a form of
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