Comedic Devices In The Prologue To The Monk's Tale

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Chaucer and his use of Comedic Devices in the Prologue to the Monk’s Tale In The Canterbury Tales, humor is a vital component for the readers to understand in order to appreciate the folly of man in terms of education, religion, and society. Geoffrey Chaucer creates humor not only through devising comical plotlines, but by also using poetic devices to deliver his wit to his readers and create entertainment at many different literary levels. In “The Prologue to the Monk’s Tale,” Chaucer reflects the humor of attitudes held towards class and religious stereotypes by having the host insult the monk’s overly masculine appearance and his dedication to the church, using techniques such as euphemism and hyperbole. One way in which Chaucer expresses his humor to his audience is using euphemisms, either through the observations of Chaucer the pilgrim (or Chaucer himself), or through the conversations of other characters. Harry Bailey, the host, expresses the latter as he openly mocks the monk, saying that if the monk were not part of the cloth, he would have his choice of women and possibly take all the married men’s wives, possibly giving them all strong children due to his healthy complexion and well-fed body . Chaucer’s insults, through the presence of the host, insults the monk’s supposed inadequacy to actually perform the masculine task of lovemaking are thinly veiled with such euphemisms such as, “thou woldest han been a tredefowel aright,” comparing the monk, if he were

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