Irony in Canterbury Tales

890 WordsFeb 13, 20064 Pages
Irony is a form of speech in which the real meaning is concealed or contradicted by the words used. There are three tales that are fantastic demonstrations of irony. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, “The Pardoner’s Tale”, and “The Nun Priest’s Tale” are the three. While each one is different, each uses irony to teach its characters a lesson. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” does not have as much irony in it as the other two tales do. The most major ironical difference is that of the nature of the knight’s crime. He begins so violently as he rapes the young maid. However, he soon begins to show his meek side. Secondly, as the knight feels relief and assurance about a truth he states he will soon experience, irony is also brought into play.…show more content…
When the fox has Chauntecleer in his clutches he tells him that bad things come to those who speak when they should remain quiet. Likewise, the fox is not silent at all and this causes his own downfall. Chauntecleer was captured because the fox flattered him until he did something foolish that would give the fox the chance to move in. Later, Chauntecleer employs the same principles and is able to escape from the fox. Both animals lose in a sense and foolishly brought themselves to the conundrum they are currently in. Bragging and speaking when they needed to be silent brought them down. Finally, as the fox flattered Chauntecleer he mentioned qualities such as wisdom and reasonable defense, mocking each one. But, Chauntecleer never displayed such characters in dealing with the fox; in fact, qualities of just the opposite. Chaucer employs irony throughout the Canterbury Tales. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, “The Pardoner’s Tale”, and “The Nun Priest’s Tale” are just three examples of irony in the tales. The dramatic irony of each is in place to teach not only the characters a lesson and moral, but the reader as

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