Important Reference & Explanation The Canterbury Tales


Geoffrey Chaucer

Table of Contents

The Canterbury Tales Important Reference & Explanation is describe in detail below.

The Canterbury Tales Important Reference No.1

The Canterbury Tales Important Reference No.1

 Explanation with Reference to the Context

These lines have been taken from the character of “The Friar”, written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Though he had been authorized to hear and handle the others’ daily matters and affairs of the time yet he had special authority to hear confessions. He himself asserts that he has great authority to hear confessions. He always showed a great interest in listening to the confessions and tried his best to grant a pleasant solution. In the given lines under reference, Chaucer points out by highlighting Friar’s indulgence in worldly pursuits after ignoring his real assigned duties. In spite of granting the fair and pleasant absolution to the confessions of the common people and low class sinners, he was much interested in having relations with big landowners of the time. Moreover, he was more busy and interested in having illegitimate and unfair relations with the rich and aristocratic women of the city rather than dealing or handling the matters of the sinners. In this way, he used to get huge money from the big landowners and rich ladies after hearing their confessions. In short, the picture, drawn by Chaucer in the selective lines shows that the friar of “The Canterbury Tales”  was absolutely greedy and lusty, who misused his authority to hear the confessions of the common people and common sinners.

Reference No 2.

The Canterbury Tales Important Reference No 2.

Explanation with Reference to the Context: 

These lines have been extracted from the character of “Parson” in “The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales” written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Among all the other religious characters, Parson was Chaucer’s idealized portrait. He was not like other ecclesiastical characters who let their followers sink into the depths of the sin. He even did not try to make money by working as a priest to some of the guilds. He always lived in his own parish and looked after his followers well so that they might not fall prey to the enemies of the church. In other words, it can be said that he was not a parson of getting money from others only. It was also a trend in the Middle Ages that the clergymen often hired out their office as parson to others for money and they often left their own parishes for a long time. Rich people found chapels and engaged priests there to say masses for their near and dear ones. Chaucer’s Parson is rightly called an idealized portrait because through his character, Chaucer offers an indirect comment on the wide-spread corruption in the church of his times. The ideal parson is to serve as a foil to the corrupt ones because he has not betrayed Christianity’ for worldly profit. 

Reference No 3.

The Canterbury Tales Important Reference No 3

Explanation with reference to the context: 

These lines have been taken from the character of “Wife of Bath” in “The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales”, written by Geoffrey Chaucer. A deep analysis of these lines shows as Chaucer says that she is a cloth maker of excellence. Her productions surpass even those of Ghent and Ypres, famous towns for cloth in the whole Europe. Chaucer further tells us that there had been no woman in the parish who should take precedence over her in giving money to the collection box in church. If, by any chance, any woman did precede the wife of bath on such an occasion then she could become angry enough to lose all pity and charity. Being a woman of fimm mind; she would not hold any other woman preceding her at making offerings in the church. If any woman did so, she became so angry that other people went up to the altar to make the offering in the order of social rank Actually, she took precedence over others in her parish because of her riches.


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