Chaucer is by and large considered as the ‘father of English poesy ‘ ; looking specifically at ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ we can see that Chaucer attempted to portray a word picture of society as he knew it. It is besides apparent that he attempted to supply his ain commentary on his society. Chaucer distances himself from the remarks made in ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ as he tells his audience “ Blameth nat me ” ( Chaucer, 2006, line 73 ) if they are to take discourtesy from what the Miller says as it is non Chaucer, himself, stating it, he merely has excessively repeat what was said. This is a really cagey technique that Chaucer uses so that he ca n’t be faced with contention or come under onslaught from any one as he has merely repeated this narrative.
Chaucer would hold had to guarantee that his work did non pique those in the church, seeing as the church was the lone topographic point where literature was preserved. However Chaucer still attacks society, and the greed of the church amongst other societal issues, by non personally stating it, he skillfully distances himself from the issues he highlights in this narratives. Chaucer besides manages to tactfully cover with these issues, ensuing in extremely gratifying narrative, which offers a societal commentary on a society faced with corruptness and lip service.
‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ was written in a clip where an “ hearable, societal reading of literature ” ( Ford, 1976, p86 ) was preferred, this is perchance because of the influence that the church had on Medieval Literature. One of the chief grounds for this may be due to the church, as they supplied the lone signifier of instruction, everyone at church would hold been listened to sermonizers, and as “ prophesying itself had throughout the Middle Ages a great influence on other literature of all kinds ” ( Ford, 1976, p85 ) it is non unreasonable to presume that this is why unwritten signifiers of literature were preferred in the mediaeval period. ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ were written as idea hey were being spoken aloud, so they fit in good with this mediaeval tendency. The linguistic communication and enunciation used in both ‘The Millers Tale ‘ and ‘The Wife of Bath ‘ conforms to a “ field, low manner ” ( King, 2000, p47 ) . Chaucer ‘s “ dominant sentence construction is paratactic ” ( King, 2000, p47 ) ; with a rhyme strategy dwelling “ of pairs of iambic pentameters ” ( King, 2000, p47 ) . The intent of Chaucer ‘s usage of linguistic communication, allows both narratives to be easy read aloud for a group of people, instead than merely read entirely. Aware of his linguistic communication picks, Chaucer will hold besides been trying to do the background narrative to ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ seem reliable. The storyteller is stating these narratives on a pilgrim’s journey to Canterbury, so as we read the narratives to ourselves we can acquire a sense of the pilgrim’s journey, and the manner these narratives would hold been told.
Chaucer uses ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ as a societal commentary. Through the general prologue we can see “ how he feels about whole subdivisions of society by doing persons represent whole groups of mediaeval life ” ( Bunting, 2003, p6 ) . These representations easy begin to construct up an full position of Chaucer ‘s life in the mediaeval period. ‘The Canterbury Tales ‘ is celebrated for upsetting the societal hierarchy. Despite the conventions, after the Knights narrative is told at the really get downing the remainder of the narratives are non told in order of those with the higher societal standing, as would be conventionally expected. Certain characters interrupt, forcing their narratives over others, doing ‘The Canterbury Tale ‘ humourous as it does non follow the conventional order as “ som bettre adult male shal telle us foremost another ” ( Chaucer, 2006, Line 21 ) .
Chaucer besides satirises the mediaeval thought of love affair, through the narratives, he satirises courtly love, and how it is portrayed as being the ideal manner to make a love affair. The Miller ‘s Tale, in peculiar, satirises this construct as it is a “ lampoon love affair ” ( King, 2000, p73 ) . This medieval construct is frequently found ridiculed in these narratives. In the Wife of Bath she admits “ that I have wedded five! ” ( Chaucer, 1995, line 44 ) , if this had been a courtly love, certainly it would hold lasted and the Wife of Bath would non hold been able to get married once more, out of love for her old hubby. Absolon in the Miller ‘s Tale efforts to court Alison utilizing techniques expected of a courtly lover, nevertheless he fails to affect Alison and his attempts go unrecognized. Chaucer uses Absolon to show merely how pathetic the attempts of the courtly lover can be. Chaucer is “ viewed as heir of a great tradition every bit good as the discoverer of a new one ” ( Saunders, 2001, p5 ) he stuck to peculiar conventions of the mediaeval period, and is work is characteristically mediaeval, nevertheless as he does oppugn some of the mediaeval literary thoughts, and many issues in society he can be enjoyed by a modern-day audience who can read the nuances of his satirical prose narrative, without him estranging either his ain audience or a more modern-day one.
The chief societal issue that Chaucer is seen to satirize in both these narratives is the thought that adult females are repressed. Chaucer seemed
“ able to comprehend the mastermind and nuance of the female head in doing the best of their state of affairs in life, while still leting the work forces to believe they were in control ” ( Bunting, 2003, p5 ) .
This is possibly best envisioned in The Wife of Bath ‘s Prologue. She mentions her holding had “ wedded five! ” ( Chaucer, 1995, line 44 ) . However she is able to support this place that she is in as God says “ that to be wedded is no sinne ” ( Chaucer, 1995, line 51 ) , she besides asks when God “ commanded he virgintee? ” ( Chaucer, 1995, line 62 ) . She speaks out against the church and what they are stating in the mediaeval period, where adult females were given two stereotypes, either compared to the unreliable Eve, or had to populate up to the criterions of the Virgin Mary with her being both a virgin and a female parent this was an impossible function theoretical account for adult females to accomplish. The Wife of Bath is shamelessly a larger than life character designed to crush the restraints that medieval Christianity have placed upon adult females.