Slavery In The Canterbury Tales, By Geoffrey Chaucer

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The Canterbury Tales is a collection of more than 20 stories, written in Middle English around the 1380s, during the Hundred Years' War, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Within a narrative about a pilgrimage,(from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral) Chaucer sets a series of stories. These collection of stories are built around a frame narrative, which was an already established and common genre of the 14th century. (The tales are in verse, except The Parson's Tale and Chaucer's own story of Melibee which are in prose.) Chaucer's collection of tales differs from other story compilations, since most story collections are focused on a theme, usually on a religious one. In Boccaccio's Decameron (which contains more parallels…show more content…
Also, Chaucer doesn't pay much attention to depict the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is a tool, used to gather the different classes of the English society of its period. Chaucer's attention is focused on the stories being told, not on the journey itself. Also, the tales continually mirror the clashes between social classes. These classes can be divided into three main groups: the commoners and peasantry, the nobility and the clergy. The Wife of Bath's Tale belongs to the second one, and deals with the subject of authority in married life. This story is unusual in the collection, since its prologue is longer than the actual tale. For the other tales, the prologue is a kind of introduction, but The Wife of Bath's Tale is more like a sequel to its prologue. The prologue is the autobiography of The Wife(Alyson), in which she tells us much about herself. She speaks directly from her experience of marrige, while her tale is an illustration of her theories. In the General Prologue we can learn about The Wife's physical appearance, her way of life, and her character, while Chaucer introduces hints, which he intends to extend later in the narrative.

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