Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

868 WordsOct 21, 20144 Pages
After the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, chaotic citizens of England looked to the ruling political entities of the British Monarch, Parliament and the Church, for interior political reform. Post-revolt Parliament rolls from November 1381 reaffirmed the King’s ambition to lead a positive kingdom that promotes the ultimate good and protection of rights for its people, in an effort to restore the goals and actions of an exemplary governing body. Geoffrey Chaucer illustrates a similar call to action for pre-reformation Church authority to lead by example, ideally abiding by the practices they teach in The Canterbury Tales. Through the use of bickering ironic characters such as the Friar and the Summoner, Chaucer juxtaposes these hypocritical examples with the loyal and archetypal Parson’s description in the General Prologue. The Parson is concerned with the same governing leadership practices and responsibilities for his parishioners as Richard II’s post-revolution kingdom. Figures of religious authority emphasize the necessity of protecting followers from all hindrances or harm. The propelling plot of The Canterbury Tales is a microcosm of the strict social stratification of Medieval England. Chaucer illustrates this by collecting organically placed characters for an impromptu pilgrimage to Canterbury. Chaucer plays with the socially constructed roles of nobility, religious representatives, lower class peasants and hard working merchants. This fictionalized survey of late
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