Church Corruption & Canterbury Tales

1168 Words Apr 3rd, 2011 5 Pages
Corruption of the Church in The Canterbury Tales Around 1300AD, the Italian Renaissance was introduced, spreading through continental Europe as a “rebirth” of intellect, culture, and especially in the church. Despite the societal advancement, this religious renewal didn’t reach England until over a century later, which was partly because of corruption. During this period when England was behind the times, world connoisseurs such as Geoffrey Chaucer gradually brought the development into the country. Such is evident in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, where Renaissance-like characters on a holy pilgrimage take part in a story telling competition. Many of the pilgrims are part of the clergy and mimic the essence of the modern times by …show more content…
The Monk in The Canterbury Tales is very contradictory to this common view. The man refutes his quiet reserved code to explore the modern world for answers. As opposed to taking care of normal duties he hunts and rides horses, which is against the code. The Monk ignores these rules. Chaucer asserts, "He did not rate that text at a plucked hen"(Chaucer 106). Chaucer is emphasizing in the prior line how the sacred texts the monk swore to live by are meaningless to him. Reasoning behind the Monk’s repulsion of the rules is because the rules are against what he is passionate about. Acosta agrees the clergyman may desire his title however does not favor the life of a monk, and in order to be a genuine monk he must quit hunting and begin the tasks of ordinary monks. Clerics like the Nun and the Monk initiate the questionable sanctity of Catholicism. Malfeasance further disgraces the face of the Church in the personalities of the Friar and the infamous Pardoner. A red light flashes when questioning the authenticity of the Friar. He is distinguished as a festive, merry man who drinks excessively and carouses with several women. He is very money conscious, an excellent beggar, and despises associating himself with the poor or unfortunate. The Friar’s integrity is questioned also by Gower, who writes, “Many are friars in name but few by rights. As some say, Falseness is their prophet. Their cloak's appearance is poor, but their money box
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