Chaucer 's Candide And Shakespeare 's Macbeth

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Many famous literary works were written as a way to give commentary on the society in which the author lived such as Voltaire’s’ Candide and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Geoffrey Chaucer, famous for his The Canterbury Tales, and considered instrumental in the creation of English literature, is not as well known for social commentary in his writing. However, The Canterbury Tales do indeed possess insight and analysis of society, namely the role of the authority figures in the Church. Chaucer was critical of the abuses and misuses he saw in the authority within the Church. He demonstrated his awareness of and concern over the problematic behaviors of those in authority in the Church through his writings seen in The Canterbury Tales. Through…show more content…
If one considers that Chaucer was also able to survive two regime changes, one would realize the immense diplomatic skill that Chaucer must have possessed. Typically, regime changes lead to massive upheaval in all positions of administration. Yet, Chaucer maintained his position as a royal diplomat regardless of the ruler. (Ackroyd 68). This alone gives testament to his indispensable worth to the British kingdom, which was, at that time in history, an institution second only to the Catholic Church. Thus, because of the power held by the Catholic Church, Chaucer would have likely had many encounters with the Church in its people and leaders. “An apt symbol for the Catholic culture of fourteenth-century London might be found in the fact that there were ninety-nine churches, and ninety-five inns, within the walls” (Ackroyd 8). Common street talk included such passing phrases like, “God save you,” “God give you grace,” and “God 's speed” (Ackroyd 7). The Church’s reach stretched into the day-to-day life of all around Europe, regardless of class. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Chaucer’s poetry would focus so much on religion and the practices of religion. And, because Chaucer participated devoutly in the religious practices, it makes sense that he would have felt an urgent desire to effect change in the faulty and corrupt practices of Church officials. Thus, Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales serve as a first-hand analysis of the

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