Aspects Of The Author In Canterbury Tales English Literature Essay

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The contents of this essay will tell you about how a story portrays the aspects of an author and/or society. This essay will show the aspects portrayed between Geoffrey Chaucer and his literary work the "Canterbury Tales." I will inform you of how the story portrays the way the author thinks, writes, and what he wanted to point out.

Chaucer wrote a story of stories. He wanted to simply tell his stories and that is how he came to write his famous work the "Canterbury Tales." Each character in his story has their own unique characteristics that make them different from one another. Some are actually based on real people, one being himself. Chaucer gave the characters distinct characteristics to help with the tales. In the text each character is defined by some characteristic that makes them stand out. This characteristic is also later portrayed in the story. Chaucer contradicted his characters individuality in his story. Although one character was seen as wise, honored, and brave; later in the story his character is contradicted by being seen as feminist. "Meek as a girl and gentle in his ways (1702)." This character seen as manly, is being contradicted by being called feminine, is the knight. Another character that is contradicted in this story is the pardoner. He is a religious man or preacher, who is suppose to follow all of the rules of the church, but turns out to be selling relics to people to earn a profit for himself. He sells the relics or pardons to people so they can be forgiven for their sins, but the relics are fake (1758). He is contradicted by being a religious man who is actually a liar and a hypocrite. The pardoner tricks people into buying the relics (1758). "For in his wallet he kept it safely stowed…lay before him in his lap…brimful of pardons from the very seat in Rome (1715)." "..With these holy relics…he would get more money in a single day…would come the parson's way (1715)." This author thinks about what characteristics he is going to give the characters. He tries to stereotype them in the tales. This contradiction of characters show he was thinking of things around him rather than just a tale of tales. In Chaucer's time people were often seen as one way but turned out to be another way.

Chaucer writes in his tales about each of the characters and them telling a story. Each character must tell two tales, it is part of the game the innkeeper makes with them. He writes the story as if they were real people on a journey and telling stories simply to pass the time. The game begins with them drawing straws. The first to tell a tale is the Knight (1718). Then the innkeeper says that the game has begun. Each character goes in turns trying to match the story or make it better. It is a game that seems to turn into a competition. He writes as if the miller and monk have a conflict when they go to tell their stories because the miller would not let the monk tell his story second as he was suppose to do. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales portray him in how he writes his tales. He is always contradicting his characters in some way. He is constantly stereotyping them. He shows the pardoner, a religious man, is a liar and a cheat. Each character is shown to have some stereotypical aspect. For example, the knight who is manly is really feministic, and the pardoner isn't very religious at all. The others are also stereotyped in this tale. This is believed to be from people who Chaucer saw in real life. The miller was a "drunk", but a drunk because he wife did cheat (1718-19). The miller is seen as a drunken person, but he only drinks to ease the pain of his wife cheating. Chaucer had a unique way of writing his stories and each characters tales, and the tales seemed to reflect some of the characters in some ways. He brought each point to view and tried to make it understandable. For example, the miller's story is of a man, his student, and a girl; however it gives a lesson to be learned. Each tale had a meaning and was trying to give some sort of lesson to people.

Chaucer values his stories very well, but he wanted to send a message to people who read it. Each story had a message to the readers and the characters. At the end when the pardoner is told to tell his tale, he tells the others a moral story. It tells them a lesson that they learn. The pardoners tell is saying that "greed is the root of all evil (1757)." The pardoner shows this by the story he tells about tricking people into putting their money up to make things better. They are tricked by the pardoner and do not realize it. People are gullible in the way they are told things. This is shown by how easily the people are tricked by the pardoner's story that they actually buy his fake relics to be forgiven and use his water to make their crops grow or their animals multiply (1757-8). The wife of baths story is told before the pardoners and at the end of her story is saying "and I pray Jesus to cut short the lives of those who won't be governed by their wives…God promptly bring them down with pestilence (1756)." Right before this was said the tale had said "and now to all us women may Christ send submissive husbands, full of youth in bed, and grace to outlive all the men we wed (1756)." The wife of baths story is telling that the women are getting tired of the men they married and are unhappy and are praying for either a better man, or for the man they married to die. The wife in the story had buried many husbands, but she was killing them. This story is giving the lesson that women can be murderous however they may not seem that way (1756). Women were seen as less than men, and Chaucer brought this out by using a tale about the women to help with his stereotyping. He was brilliant when he wrote these tales.

Although his story was contradictive and lesson learning, Chaucer was a brilliant author. He wrote good stories and made each character different and have some kind of key aspect to tell them apart from others. Some had conflicts, while others had problems; he ties them all together by stereotyping them, and using their tales to help show more stereotypical people. He also included lessons and messages in his stories. He was portrayed by his story in many ways. First, how he contradicted his characters, then how he wrote the tales and the tales told by the characters to reflect them, and finally by how he wanted to give his message. Not everyone is holy. That is the message from his Canterbury Tales.

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