Literary genres of canterbury tales essay

Among and within each group, moreover, vertical hierarchies discriminated between those of high and low estate. Under these circumstances, they are encouraged to talk freely about their own experiences and they assume considerable license in their choice of stories and the manner in which they are told.

He spent most of his adult life as a civil servant, serving under three successive kings—Edward III, Richard II, and Henry IV—and much of what is known of his life is derived from various household records.

The essential spirit behind The Canterbury Tales is social and playful. His wife died by ; additionally, he was not returned to Parliament.

The Canterbury Tales Essay | Essay

By he was living in Kent, where he was appointed a justice of the peace. At the very least, the specific tales told by the pilgrims as they wend their way to Canterbury generally reflect their respective positions within medieval society as well as their personal characteristics.

The originality of his language and style, the vivacity of his humor, and the depth of his understanding are continually cited as reasons for the permanence of his works. Many critics therefore believe that Chaucer never realized his final plan for the work.

The tales are highly diverse in style, subject matter, and theme; they include courtly romance, allegory, sermon, fable, and sometimes a mixture of genres. Talbot Donaldson focuses on the stories of several female characters. It is in this context that the outward attire of the characters as depicted in the General Prologue takes on significance as an emblematic theme.

After a visit to Italy he returned to England and was appointed a customs official for the Port of London; he was given additional customs responsibilities in He died on October 25,and was buried in Westminster Abbey, an honor traditionally reserved for royalty.

As or more important, Chaucer employs the device of a narrative framework, the story of twenty-nine individuals committed to both a religious pilgrimage and to participation in a story-telling contest.

Although he became a member of Parliament inthat year marked the beginning of a difficult period for Chaucer. Both works are thought to comment on the efforts to arrange a suitable marriage for Richard II.

The clothes that each character wears are indicative of his conformity or non-conformity to the late medieval code that each person should dress according to his or her particular station in life.

Individuals were expected to adhere to established roles and standards as expressed in both external behavior and their attitudes and values. Chaucer then leased a house in the garden of Westminster Abbey where he lived for the rest of his life. Although some critics have argued that the resultant text should be approached as a collection of distinct pieces, most would agree that there are unifying components and that these include certain thematic strands.

Reinforced by exchanges between the contestants, shared motifs appear in their respective narrations.

The Canterbury Tales Essays and Criticism

Drawn from diverse vocations, each pilgrim has the opportunity to rub shoulders with those who are normally outside their particular sphere and rank. In the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, the poet establishes a shared motivation for the pilgrims as a natural urge for spiritual renewal.

Of these running themes, relations between men and women and, more specifically, the topic of marriage is the most prominent topic, but additional motifs, such as financial duplicity, unite groups of characters and run through several of their tales.

Within this overall framework are ten parts, which appear in different order in different manuscripts. The House of Fame celebrates the betrothal of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia in and examines the function of poets, the nature of poetry, and the unreliability of fame.

He either resigned or was removed from his post as a customs official. Carolyn Dinshaw argues that for Chaucer literary activity was always a gendered activity. The pilgrims generally interact with each other in a light-hearted way as befits a group of people on a holiday or vacation excursion.

The Parlement of Foules, believed to have been prompted by the unsuccessful attempt to betroth Richard to the daughter of Charles V of France, is an allegorical debate about the nature of love.

The Knight in his well-worn male, the Clerk of Oxford in his threadbare scholars robes, and the Parson in his simple vestments all display an adherence to regnant social mores. He remarks that in England as in all of European Christendomwhen the "sweet showers of April fall.

He turns out to be both a weak storyteller and an extremely poor judge of character, referring to the Shipman who is basically a pirate as "a good fellow" I, A, l. The work opens with a General Prologue, introducing the pilgrims with short, vivid sketches.The romance, a tale about knights and ladies incorporating courtly love themes, was a popular literary genre in fourteenth-century literature.

Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer, Geoffrey (Literary Criticism (1400-1800)) - Essay

The genre included tales of knights rescuing maidens, embarking on quests, and forming bonds with other knights and rulers (kings and queens). Within William Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, many familiar medieval literary genres may be found. A very common tale that Chaucer uses is the fabliau, which is best portrayed in "The Miller's Tale." Another comedic genre, the beast fable, creates a moral through the use of animals instead of humans.

The Canterbury Tales, a masterpiece of English Literature, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a collection, with frequent dramatic links, of 24 tales told to pass the time during a spring pilgrimage to the shrine of St.

Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. Literary Genres of Canterbury Tales Summary: This essay goes into depth about three very prevalent literary genres used in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Provides quotes and specific examples from each tale and its genre. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales contain his trademark challenges to and reimaginings of the popular literary genres of his time.

With each tale, Chaucer takes a common genre and follows its general conventions in order to tell a perfectly genre-appropriate tale -- until he makes an alteration that stands out against the otherwise. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales Essay - Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales While the majority of literary classics today do well at engaging the reader and allowing them a vicarious understanding of a fictitious character’s life, Chaucer found a way to engage more than just the reader and the character.

In his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer .

Literary genres of canterbury tales essay
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