Whan that aprill with his shoures soote 2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, 3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour 4:
It tells the story of a group of pilgrims fancy word for travelers on their way to Canterbury, who engage in a tale-telling contest to pass the time.
Besides watching the interactions between the characters, we get to read 24 of the tales the pilgrims tell. Geoffrey Chaucer likely wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late s and early s, after his retirement from life as a civil servant.
In this professional life, Chaucer was able to travel from his home in England to France and Italy.
There, he not only had the chance to read Italian and French literature, but possibly, even to meet Boccaccio, whose Decameron—a collection of tales told by Italian nobility holed up in a country house to escape the plague ravaging their city—may have inspired the frame story of The Canterbury Tales.
But the risk paid off: The Canterbury Tales were still going strong when the first printers made their way to England, and William Caxton published the first printed version of The Canterbury Tales in One of the things that makes The Canterbury Tales so fun to read is the great and often, uh, grotesque detail with which the narrator describes each of the pilgrims.
We learn, for example, that the cook has a pustule on his leg that very much resembles one of the desserts he cooks For many of his portraits, Chaucer is relying on a medieval tradition of "estates satire," a collection of stereotypes about people based on what occupation they had or what social class they belonged to.
Another medieval idea his portraits draw upon is "anticlericalism," a tradition that got its start in reaction to a lot of abuses by clergy in the medieval church, but which basically became a collection of stereotypes about friars, monks, nuns, priests, and the like.
What does that say about the strength of the conclusions we draw about people based upon first impressions, or appearances? Since The Canterbury Tales is a story about a storytelling competition, many of the questions it asks are about stories: What makes for a good story?
Why do we tell stories? Why should we tell stories? As the pilgrims tell their stories, though, they turn out to be talking not just about fairytale people in far-off lands, but also about themselves and their society. This leads to a lot of conflict in a group of pilgrims formed by members of that same society, who often take offense at the versions of themselves they see portrayed in the tales.
Dare we say, a Canterbury tale? What is The Canterbury Tales: You know those movies where a new kid moves to town and has to go to a new high school, like Mean Girls? On his first day of school, the new kid meets a friendly nerd who takes him to the cafeteria and introduces him to all the cliques that make up his new social existence: Of course, the same thing always happens in the course of those movies: Everybody is hiding something interesting.
Nobody is exactly what they first appeared to be. Well, in The Canterbury Tales, the same thing is true: The Canterbury Tales are written in a society that, to some extent, believed you could judge a book by its cover — that the physical characteristics, or the mere category of a person, might reveal something about what was on the inside.
But, as the Tales progress, these people have the chance to speak for themselves. As so often happens when you really get to know someone, what you find out in The Canterbury Tales is that people, even the ones we think we have figured out, are never one-dimensional and always worth getting to know better.Read expert analysis on The Canterbury Tales The General Prologue - The General Prologue at Owl Eyes.
The Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury Tales.
The Canterbury Tales is the world's weirdest road trip. It tells the story of a group of pilgrims (fancy word for travelers) on their way to Canterbury, who engage in a tale-telling contest to pass the time. Besides watching the interactions between the characters, we get to read 24 of the tales the pilgrims tell. Summary One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. That even. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
The General Prologue The General Prologue - The General Prologue The Canterbury Tales is written almost entirely in . We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. 1. The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Lines Geoffrey Chaucer.
English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray. The Harvard Classics. General Prologue: Introduction Fragment 1, lines 1–42 Summary: General Prologue Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote (See Important Quotations Explained) The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of spring.
The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to .
background In “The Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales, a group gathers at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, a town just south of London, to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. At the suggestion of the innkeeper, the group decides to .