William Chaucer and His Views on the Clergy Essay

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In today’s society, masses of people are moving away from Christianity, due to the dark past of the church. We cannot follow those who choose the path of corruption, for fear that we face a similar fate. Christianity is a pillar in our world that holds up many people, and should it fall, those who are supported by it will follow. History is filled with men such as John Wycliff who have fought to shed light on cleric corruption, through works such as A Treatise of John Wycliff Against the Order of the Friars, and later, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Wycliff’s speech in 1382 is the first exposition of the clergy’s wrongdoing, when he accuses the friars of “stealing men’s children” and “making our land lawless”. A short 5 years…show more content…
He also castrated himself for a prettier voice to bring forward more money. This shows that he was not singing for the church but for his own personal gain. The author repeats the word fake when he says (706-707) “his wallet lay before him on his lap brim full of pardons come from rome all hot” and (714-715) “for in his trunk he had a pillow- case which he asserted was our lady veil”. The veil was actually that of a woman. The description of the pardoner’s actions personify his fake personality. Chaucer later tells of a sinful church follower that the people call “The Wife of Bath”. She’s earned this name by showing up at the church door to marry a new man on several occasions, and having a promiscuous love life behind closed doors. Chaucer repeats the use of sarcasm by using the word worthy in “A worthy woman form beside bath city”(455) and “A worthy woman all her life.”(469); by doing this Chaucer is noting that shes not a “worthy” woman, and this is what one would suspect of the common person when the most holy and “pure” teachers such as the friar are wandering through dark and sinful times. The Wife of Bath is an epitome of what was thought of the common man in 14th century Europe. The shining light in the darkness was the parson, who was the only man who lived by moral standards, led by example, and sought no monetary gain from his teachings. Chaucer points out the parson’s humility by revealing “giving to
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