The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer

The dominant figure of spiritual characters with a sum of 9 spiritual characters being mentioned in the narrative shows the significance of this will be the importance of faith and possibly faith being the chief message and subjects that will inter-linked the assorted narratives and for it to be invariably scrutinized in order for Chaucer to direct out a message about Religion and Churches in the medieval Times. Through his General Prologue, Chaucer clearly condemns the corruptness within Churches and Religious circles ( Welford ) ; this is apparent from the exclusion of sarcasm and irony in the Parson ‘s Prologue. The Parson besides known as Lollard is an militant of the Lollardy, which is a political and spiritual motion, forcing chiefly for the reforms of Western Christianity. It is believed that Chaucer himself is linked or participates in this reform as he, by matrimony is related to the defender, John Gaunt, of John Wycliffe the leader for this motion. The other characters stand foring the subject of faith, Monk, Friar and Summoner were left to condemn themselves with their narratives and actions, therefore giving apposition and directing a message that a reform is sorely needed. Chaucer provide with the reader a grim, disorganized Christian society, all so competently in times of a Christian society in a province of decay filled with corruptnesss.

The Prioress is being portrayed as a secular adult female, who ironically is put in charge of a convent. Even ironical will be Chaucer ‘s congratulations, it merely serves to foreground her wrongness as the caput of a spiritual convent. Even inappropriate will be her seemingly manners sensitiveness, concerned in seting a societal forepart, her jewellery and the lettering on her broach, “ love conquers all ” . Chaucer obvious purpose in his word picture is to portray her as unworldly, shallow and un-Christian. Most important usage of sarcasm is her name, “ [ S ] he was cleped Madame Eglentyne, ” where sweetbrier, a flower is really symbolic of the Virgin Mary! The incarnation of love and clemency which clearly is missing in the Prioress.

The Monk

Using the about the same sarcasm and sarcasm, the monastic defies all outlooks of what a monastic should be. This non-conformist character serves as a tools for Chaucer to demo the increasing figure of non-conformists and single that does non populate up to the outlooks of the society. A displacement from being conservative to modern is go oning with the monastic runing for animate being, which most monastics do non. This besides shows the breaking away of the Churches and the People in the mediaeval age. This might be the ground for the reformatory move started by John Wycliff. Chaucer smartly evokes the disapproval and incites contention with his avowal of the Monk ‘s compulsion with finer things in life and hunting. The subjects within The Monk ‘s narrative are more important in assisting Chaucer directing out the message of the importance of faith and God. It serves to foreground the breakability of success and illustriousness and how useless it will go due to Man ‘s failing and over-indulgence in ungodliness. Stating the narratives of Balthasar, Alexander the Great, Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus Epiphanies, the monastic seems to be obsessed in the calamities of these “ Great Men ” , he seems to take pleasance in stating these calamities. Deducing from this, he could be triumphing over the failures as he, himself has a impression that he is meant for illustriousness but stuck in the universe of faith, his aspiration is frustrated and will ne’er hold the opportunity to make great highs. His weaknesss, works towards Chaucer ‘s favour as he seeks to expose the corruptness of the spiritual sector in his times.

The Friar

Described by Chaucer as “ wanton one and merry ” , the Friar one time once more, falls into the iniquitous and unconventional representatives of the corrupted spiritual sector ( Schoeck ) . The amazing fact that the Friar, who suppose to prophesy in a reverent mode, indulge in “ gaiety ” and “ pretty married womans ” dressed “ like a maestro or Catholic Pope he wore a double-worsted semi header ” Once once more, Chaucer introduce a “ spiritual ” character indulging in greed and money, profoundly in the class of decaying of the Church. Once once more, utilizing the chief tool in sarcasm, Chaucer agrees with the Friar ‘s traffics with agreement of the matrimony of immature adult females, with the chief motivation are distastefully lust and Chaucer ‘s blessing and understanding Acts of the Apostless as a jeer to one time once more, a character of decomposed values. Making usage of the Friar, Chaucer really vividly brings out the corruptnesss and ironically reduces these reverends to nil but a gag to the society, one that earnestly need a reform. One interesting form can be seen from the agreement as it seems to be kind of a There is a kind of arrested development in the indicant of corruptnesss and moral debasement from the inappropriate Prioress to the ugly Friar.

The Parson

The Parson stands out within the whole Canterbury narratives like how a poulet in a bunch of ducks will. It is non truly a narrative but alternatively acts as a juxtapose for the wickednesss and immoralities shown in all the narratives that were told. The prototype of what Chaucer thinks SHOULD be the “ theoretical account Christian ” ( Roy Liuzza ) his narrative can about be told off as a discourse as it breaches the subject of the seven lifelessly sins “ Pride, Ire, Envye, Accidie or Slewthe, Avarice or Coveitise, Glotonye, and Lecherye ” where coincidently, these wickednesss are good illustrated in the narratives told by the pilgrims, more glaring is the fact that these spiritual figures are guilty with at least one of the wickedness. The salvation for each and every wickedness viz. , “ humbleness, contentment, forbearance, fortitude, clemency, moderateness, and celibacy. ” The salvations possibly are the chief purpose of the reformatory motion of the Lollardy, therefore explicating Chaucer ‘s accent of it. The Parson ‘s narrative might be the chief piece of work that Chaucer wants all narratives to complement it, with it being the chief fulcrum or Southern Cross as it significantly is the last narrative being told and told in a manner so different from other narratives. Forgiveness or penitence is besides another important subject, with a spiritual undertone, apparently inquiring those non in line with Christianity to “ come back to God ” Like what Siegfried Wenzel said, it is “ a moral narrative in prose ” ( Wenzel ) . The major subject in The Parson ‘s narrative would be repentance, divided into 3 parts, “ attrition of the bosom ” , “ confession with the oral cavity ” and “ satisfaction ” . Chaucer intent with puting The Parson ‘s narrative at the very terminal is to set a serious tone to his work, a inexorable and grave message is to be sent out. The narratives by the pilgrims is kind of a “ confession with the oral cavity ” , therefore in melody with The Parson stating that “ penitence for one wickedness can be made by voluntary confession ” . Very interestingly, the pilgrims set out on a physical pilgrim’s journey did non least expect that, this delivering journey for Godhead forgiveness is really go oning within the journey itself! Rightly so, Chaucer stop his work with a abjuration,

“ And so I meekly beseech you, for God ‘s clemency, that you pray for me, that Christ may hold mercy upon me and forgive me my trespasses, in peculiar any interlingual renditions and my writing of plants of worldly amour propre, the which I revoke in this Retraction. ” ( Chaucer )


The degeneracy, debasement and the losing influence is one of the chief subject and message that Chaucer wants to convey across with The Canterbury Tales and therefore, the demand for an inspection and repair and reform. Using sarcasm and sarcasm, Chaucer smartly seem to “ hold ” and even “ congratulations ” some of the actions and behaviour of the characters bring into the reader a sense of jeer and disapproval that will decidedly be in favour of a reform. Rightfully so, the characters with the lowest moral are associated with the Church, it proves to demo that the Catholic Church, being the most powerful and influential establishment in the society so, corrupts the people within the organisation as power truly corrupts. The monastic, mendicant, forgiver, summoner and a abbess shows how indecent the Churchs have degraded into. This merely sums up the feeling and general consensus felt by Chaucer and the multitudes about the Catholic Church. The usage of the Parson, is most important and obvious, he will be the theoretical account illustration that Chaucer present that people from spiritual institute should act ( Roy Liuzza ) . In other words, he instills disgust and hatred by the evildoers and inspiration by the curate. Another interesting point is the debasement of the characters which may be purposefully arranged by Chaucer. Trying to weigh and estimate the degree of atrociousness by the characters, it forms a downward descendant, slightly gyrating downwards explicating the descending of morality and losing of the Christian religion. Last but non least, the agreement of the Parson at the terminal seems to imitate the pilgrim’s journey journey, where people are seen to travel from the secular metropolis to the metropolis of God, which is represented by the Parson ‘s discourse.