Compressions In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
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Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales to communicate moral lessons of his time that still influence society today. The Canterbury Tales is a story of a pilgrimage of twenty-nine characters to the Canterbury Cathedral. On the way, each character had to tell two tales as well as two on the way home. These tales provided entertainment for the characters on their trip. The tales are told by the narrator, and his viewpoints on the characters reflect Chaucer’s opinions towards the characters. The tales that each character tells are each unique to each person, but through analyzing them further it is seen that the tales share many similarities. In both tales, the main character has a different outer impression which hides the Pardoner’s and the Wife of Bath’s true inner characteristics from society. Chaucer reveals their inner characteristics through the characters tales and how they present them. In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer conveys a theme that although individuals set first impressions based on appearance, the reality of their true character is often masked by how they appear.
The general and character prologue in The Canterbury Tales gives initial physical descriptions of the Wife of Bath and the Pardoner which helps reinforce the theme that appearance often masks reality. In the general prologue of the Wife of Bath, she is described at first as “somdel deef” which gives her a negative outer appearance which follows her throughout her description as an attractive and