Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

906 WordsSep 25, 20154 Pages
In the general prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer reveals his dissatisfaction of the distribution of power and how that power was maintained in the Medieval England estate system, through the use of his physical description of each of the pilgrims and by the personality of specific members of each caste. To portray these characters and the flaws that they represent in actual medieval society, Chaucer heavily relies on the use of irony to describe many of the travelers in ways that are complete opposites of how they should ideally be in society. The majority of the travelers in The Canterbury Tales are nameless and are introduced by their position in society and what their role is. The first pilgrim we are introduced to, is the Knight, who is described as being a man of “Truth, honour, generousness and courtesy” (4). The narrator then describes his appearance as “not gaily dressed” and the Knights reasoning for attending the pilgrimage as simply a way to “render thanks” (5). While the Knight is portrayed as a virtuous pilgrim, we are introduced to his son, the Squire. The Squire is a knight in training who is described as being “A lover and cadet...With locks as curly a if they had been pressed” (5). The narrator then states that the only reason why the Squire has chosen to pursue the knighthood, is not because of honor or pride like his father, but only “in hope to win his lady’s grace” (5). From what we know about Medieval Society and the Code
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