There have been and continue to be many ways of approaching Chaucer. There is, for example, a great difference between the studies written about him by academic specialists, and the kind of approach needed when we have to teach Chaucer in the classroom. Professional Chaucer studies tend to follow contemporary fashions, the most influential of which have recently include discussions of narratorial ironic strategies, the exercise of power in society, and conflicts connected with gender or sexual identity.
Yet his greatest work, The Canterbury Tales, containing many worldly elements, is a literary version of a major Christian endeavor, the pilgrimage to a holy place. Three of the tales are plainly religious: In a number of respects, the medieval Christian perspective permeates other tales. Several are influenced by the De consolatione philosophiae ; The Consolation of Philosophy, late ninth century of Boethius, who lived in the early sixth century, wrote Christian theological tracts, and was honored at least in Italy as Saint Severinus.
The Boethian concept most attractive to Chaucer, gentilesse, is not precisely a Christian term but signifies virtuous nobility. In the late fourteenth century, a moral decline in the habits of the religious and the deterioration of religious exercises was causing great concern. It has even been suggested by some Chaucerians that Chaucer was motivated by the principles of the Lollards, a sect of religious reformers in England in his time.
The Pardoner candidly acknowledges his avarice. None of them shows any sign of the contrition for their sins that the Parson insists must precede confession, and none expresses a resolution of dealing with their transgressions as an aftermath to confession.
They do not turn their hearts to God, as the Parson insists is necessary. Confession, he tells them, must be to a priest in good standing with the church, and it must be discreet. By implication, the false confessions that some pilgrims have been making reflect vainglory, not any attempt to heal their souls.The frame narrative of the Tales itself is religious: everybody is on pilgrimage to Canterbury.
But these are not necessarily the most pious pilgrims in the world: for many of the travelers, that the pilgrimage is a tourist expedition rather than a devout religious quest. The Wife of Bath’ WiP. The Wife of Bath’ WiT. The Pardoner.
The religious figures in The Canterbury Tales highlight many of the problems corrupting the medieval Church. The Monk, who is supposed to worship in confinement, likes to hunt. Chaucer’s Friar is portrayed as a greedy hypocrite.
The Sailor, the Reeve, and the Miller tell racy bar-room stories, and the Wife of Bath speaks of her many husbands, and many years of marital experience, in a way that puts quite a different interpretation on religious and moral beliefs of her day.
He greets them with humble religious courtesy, 'lordes, god yow se' (), and in return the 'proudest' of the three insults him for being so old; the Wife of Bath's Tale's young man comes to mind.
The old man tells of his own patient eagerness for a death that will not come, then instructs them on the proper way to talk to their elders. The Canterbury Tales Themes from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes The General Prologue The Knight’s Tale The Miller’s Prologue The Miller’s Tale The Reeve’s Prologue The Reeve’s Tale The Wife of Bath’s Prologue The Wife of Bath’s Tale The Pardoner’s Prologue The Pardoner The frame narrative of the Tales itself is.
The Canterbury Tales Essay. The youthful wife in Miller’s tale is very similar to the Wife of Bath in many aspects even as much as they appear to be very different in the in the beginning.
The two women bring out the beliefs that are viewed as anti feminine in both tales in the time that Canterbury Tales were written by Chaucer although.