In the “General Prologue”, the Nun exposes the hypocrisy and manipulation of the Church through her actions. Nuns are supposed to devote their lives to Christianity while portraying a positive Christian figure. Chaucer describes the Nun’s actions toward being well mannered.
By analyzing “The Canterbury Tales”, one can conclude that Chaucer did see the merits of the church, but by no means regarded it in a wholly positive light. Whereas some of the clergy are viewed as devout and God-fearing, others are viewed as con- men and charlatans. One can even venture to say that Chaucer was using this story as somewhat of a criticism of the church, showing the flaws of its leaders and the greed that permeated it at the time.
There is no question that contradictory values make up a major component of The Canterbury Tales. Fate vs. Fortuna, knowledge vs. experience and love vs. hate all embody Chaucer's famous work. These contrasting themes are an integral part of the complexity and sophistication of the book, as they provide for an ironic dichotomy to the creative plot development and undermine the superficial assumptions that might be made. The combination of completely contradictory motifs leads to the unusual stories and outcomes that come to play out in the tales. And these outcomes draw focus on the larger universal issues that in many cases transcend the boundaries of vernacular periods to all of
Three of Chaucer’s tales are written with a central Christian theme, the Prioress’s Tale, the Second Nun’s Tale, and the Parson’s Tale. The Prioress’s Tale is said to be about a miracle of the Virgin Mary, the Second Nun’s Tale is a biography of Saint Cecilia, and the Parson’s Tale is considered a sermon. Just as The Canterbury Tales shows a theme of Christianity, it also shows a theme of religious corruption. In the tales of the Friar, Prioress, Pardoner, and Monk, corruption of the church is shown and influences each character in a different way. In the Friar, the focus is on money, horses, and the responsibility of his monastery. But, the Friar also seduces women and provide them with a spouse to stay out of trouble. In the tale of Prioress, Chaucer describes her as too busy being a court lady to take care of her nunnery. In the Pardoner, he takes advantage of others by taking money for giving pardons for the sins of others, even going as far as selling relics. The Monk takes money for forgiveness, refuses to help the poor, and pays other beggars to leave so he can attain all of the money from that area. He does all of this while he is supposed to be pledging his life to poverty and those less fortunate. Chaucer shows a theme of Christianity just as he shows a theme of religious corruption. As
In terms of literary quality, Chaucer went great lengths to give all elements a bit of attention. The work is primarily about a knight who is pardoned from a rape on the condition that he acquires the answer to one of life’s
Chaucer has created many characters in the Canterbury tales that he likes and many he dislikes. He is a very critical and detailed writer about these characters. With these characters, Chaucer has created real life issues with religious figures. Chaucer’s has showed how good religious figures can be and how corrupt they can be as well.
Chaucer’s Wife of Bath gives the reader a glimpse into the world of medieval women and at the same time is a commentary on Chaucer’s view of deficiencies of his world. In the Knight’s Tale, the reader sees a resistance to the rights of women, typical of the medieval period and in the Wife’s Tale there is a peek at the beginning of the sovereignty of women of their own
Honestly, how corrupt is the Catholic Church? What are they trying to hide? These are just some of the questions Geoffrey Chaucer undoubtedly asked himself while writing the “Canterbury Tales”. Unphased by the option of the Catholic Church he set about to write a story in which voiced his unadulterated opinion. The Canterbury Tales begins as a pilgrimage decides to visit the relics of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales offers the reader an insight into our past, providing vivid glimpses into the 14th century's social structure, and into the personalities, lives, and ethics of twenty-eight members of that society drawn together to travel on a pilgrimage. The General Prologue to the Tales deals primarily with introducing these people to us, providing physical descriptions and character outlines of virtually each pilgrim; it is a tribute to Chaucer's skill that his descriptions (as filtered through the neurotically happy narrator) succeeds in creating such lively characters out of what are, essential, two-dimensional stereotypes from his era.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales was written during a time of societal change, away from the stability of feudalism and towards an individualistic, mercantile economy. Feudalism consisted of a static, rural economy where every member had a duty to serve those above them. They valued the greater good and were not focused on gaining economically for their own personal benefit. An era of change, however, began as events such as the Crusades opened up trading opportunities which would eventually cause a shift in England, as the economy went from being land-based to money-based. A mercantile class was on the rise as well as capitalism. People were no longer driven to work by a sense of personal duty for the common good, but rather for their own social and economic gain. Corruption of the Church during this time as well increased, as church members were affected negatively by this changing economy. Many were driven by greed as well and took on immoral approaches towards their church positions. Vows and church teachings were disregarded as indulgences and materialism became the main focus of many in the clergy. Through his satirical portrayal of his characters in Canterbury Tales, Chaucer explores issues such as the changing economy and corruption of the church in order to expose and criticize the wrongdoings and values of his shifting society caused by the end of feudalism during this time.
chaucer is showing satire by letting the nun represent all the things a nun is banned from doing
Chaucer lived in a time dictated by religion and religious ideas in which he uses The Canterbury Tales to show some of his views. Religion played a significant role in fourteenth-century England and also in Chaucer’s writing. His ideas of the Church are first seen in “The Prologue,” and he uses seven religious persons to show the influence of the religion in his writing. Although many of his characters appear to portray part of the corruption in the Church, he does give a small example in which one can conclude that he is speaking in praise.
Many pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales held a religious position. Some of these people’s personal ideas have caused debates and criticism over Chaucer’s opinion of the Catholic Church. Critics have discussed the ideas that were presented both subtly and openly. Two of the pilgrims and their tales will be discussed: the Prioress and the Pardoner. Both of these tales offer points of criticism in the Catholic Church.
In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the prioress’s behavior can be interpreted as being part of the change occurring within religious institutions, which were changing to allow for freedom of thought and individual choice, as the nun does when she takes the liberty of customizing her fine garb by wearing it with beads and a gold brooch. The nun is one of the first characters to be given a name and as such is identified as being an individual, and not just seen as being a nun. The nun’s deviation from expected behavior and norms can thus be seen as a positive trait which Chaucer praises as women became more independent and redefined their own roles in society. Excessive understatement, negative imagery, and refined diction, however
So we may dismiss him without ceremony, and imagine ourselves face to face with Chaucer; his is the all-pervading geniality and sly elvish humour of this sparkling tale” (Pearsall 39). Personally, I find this position to be almost as far-fetched as that of Broes. We have seen, quite consistently, throughout the various tales that Chaucer plays an intricate, even slightly devilish, game of hide and seek with the reader. No single character can be said to represent Chaucer, just as Chaucer never completely enters the psyche of his creations. In fact, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Of course, it is curious that we know so little about the Nun’s Priest. However, perhaps we might conjecture that this vagueness is a deliberate strategy. In other words, because we know so little about the Nun’s Priest, our ability to enter into the realm of the tale is unclouded by our preconceptions, or misconceptions, of this pilgrim. Too often, we have a tendency to judge the tale based on our liking or disliking of the particular pilgrim whose portrait remains indelibly printed on our impressionable minds. By withholding the portrait, Chaucer affords us a chance to really read the tale. Indeed, if we are to speculate at all, then we might be tempted to identify with this anonymous “Sir John” who is seemingly mocked, albeit gently, even by Chaucer: “And right anon his tale hath he attamed,/And thus he seyde unto us everichon,/This sweete preest, this goodly