Most of what we know about the Canterbury Tales characters is provided in the Prologue, where the narrator describes most of the members of the group.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Beginning with the Troubadour poets of southern France in the eleventh century, poets throughout Europe promoted the notions that true love only exists outside of marriage; that true love may be idealized and spiritual, and may exist without ever being physically consummated; and that a man becomes the servant of the lady he loves.
Together with these basic premises, courtly love encompassed a number of minor motifs. One of these is the idea that love is a torment or a disease, and that when a man is in love he cannot sleep or eat, and therefore he undergoes physical changes, sometimes to the point of becoming unrecognizable.
They were particularly popular in the literature and culture that were part of royal and noble courts. Indeed, the Squire is practically a parody of the traditional courtly lover.
The description of the Squire establishes a pattern that runs throughout the General Prologue, and The Canterbury Tales: But, in a more abstract sense, company had an economic connotation. It was the term designated to connote a group of people engaged in a particular business, as it is used today.
The functioning and well-being of medieval communities, not to mention their overall happiness, depended upon groups of socially bonded workers in towns and guilds, known informally as companies.
If workers in a guild or on a feudal manor were not getting along well, they would not produce good work, and the economy would suffer. They would be unable to bargain, as a modern union does, for better working conditions and life benefits.
Eating together was a way for guild members to cement friendships, creating a support structure for their working community.
Guilds had their own special dining halls, where social groups got together to bond, be merry, and form supportive alliances.
When the peasants revolted against their feudal lords inthey were able to organize themselves well precisely because they had formed these strong social ties through their companies. The company of pilgrims on the way to Canterbury is not a typical example of a tightly networked company, although the five Guildsmen do represent this kind of fraternal union.
The pilgrims come from different parts of society—the court, the Church, villages, the feudal manor system. To prevent discord, the pilgrims create an informal company, united by their jobs as storytellers, and by the food and drink the host provides.
As far as class distinctions are concerned, they do form a company in the sense that none of them belongs to the nobility, and most have working professions, whether that work be sewing and marriage the Wife of Bathentertaining visitors with gourmet food the Franklinor tilling the earth the Plowman.
The Corruption of the Church By the late fourteenth century, the Catholic Church, which governed England, Ireland, and the entire continent of Europe, had become extremely wealthy.
Distaste for the excesses of the Church triggered stories and anecdotes about greedy, irreligious churchmen who accepted bribes, bribed others, and indulged themselves sensually and gastronomically, while ignoring the poor famished peasants begging at their doors.The Portrait of Medieval Social Classes as Presented in the General Prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s the Canterbury Tales Words | 19 Pages Introduction The General Prologue fulfils two functions: it tells the story of how the tales came to be told, and it introduces the tellers.
These lay characters can be further subdivided into landowners (the Franklin), professionals (the Clerk, the Man of Law, the Guildsmen, the Physician, and the Shipman), laborers (the Cook and the Plowman), stewards (the Miller, the Manciple, and the Reeve), and church officers (the .
Canterbury Tales-A personal perspective on the Medieval Christian Church In researching Geoffrey Chaucers collection of stories named The Canterbury Tales, an interesting illustration of the Medieval Church becomes evident. Chaucer's Presentation of the Church in the Canterbury Tales James Joseph Creighton Loyola University Chicago This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses and Dissertations at Loyola eCommons.
It has been accepted for inclusion in Master's Theses by an authorized administrator of Loyola eCommons. Here, in the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer is describing the Friar, who is sadly lacking in the charity and piety department.
Are we surprised? Thematic Analysis. Apparently Beggars Can Be Choosers. So his character is one example of how Chaucer loves to critique the rampant corruption of the medieval Church. You go, boy. Stylistic Analysis. The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales.
The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.