Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer was born in the early 1340s to a fairly rich, well-to-do, though not aristocratic family. His father, John Chaucer, was a vintner and deputy to the kings butler. Chaucer was fluent in several languages, including French, Italian, and Latin. Chaucer did not attend one of the schools on Thames Street near his boyhood home, then he was at least well-educated at home. Certainly his work showcases a passion for reading a huge range of literature, classical and modern. Chaucer first appears in public records in 1357 as a member of the house of Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster. Chaucers first published work was The Book of the Duchess, a poem of over 1,300 lines in 1370. By 1366 Chaucer had married Philippa Pan, who had been in service with the F Countess of Ulster. he had two sons and two daughters. A • Thomas Chaucer died in 1400; he was a large landowner and political M officeholder, and his daughter, Alice, became Duchess of Suffolk. I • Little is known about Lewis Chaucer, Geoffrey Chaucers youngest son. • Of Chaucers two daughters, Elizabeth became a nun, while Agnes was a L lady-in-waiting for the coronation of Henry IV in 1399. Y Public records indicate that Chaucer had no descendants living after the fifteenth century.
General Prologue The General Prologue is the key to The Canterbury tales that narrates about the gathering of a group of people in an inn that intend to go on a pilgrimage to Canterbury (England) next morning. In the General Prologue, the narrator of The Canterbury Tales, who is one of the intended pilgrims, provides more or less accurate depictions of the members of the group and describes why and how The Canterbury Tales is told. If we trust the General Prologue, Chaucer determined that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back. The host of the inn offers to be and is appointed as judge of the tales as they are told and is supposed to determine the best hence winning tale. As mentioned before, The Canterbury Tales was never finished. The Knight’s Tale about two young knights that strive for Emily, who is the sister of queen Hippolyta who is married to duke Theseus, lord and governour of Athens discussions on love, courtly manners, brotherhood and loyalty death is the end of every worldly sore
The Miller’s PrologueThe Miller’s Tale The Miller offers to tell the next tale and is convinced that he will beat the Knight about a carpenter The Reeve, who is a carpenter by trade, urges the Miller not to make jokes about carpenters the language is rude The Reeve’s Prologue about an old carpenter who has a young wife and is The Reeve’s Tale duped by the suitor of his wife, the suitor is eventually all people find Miller’s story amusing except the duped by another suitor grumbling Reeve, who takes the story personally as he is a carpenter by trade about a haughty miller who deceives two students but is deceived in return: the deceiver is deceived The Cook’s Prologue The Cook’s Tale the Cook reflects on the Reeves tale about an apprentice Perkin Reveller who was a thief, a drunk and a rioter this tale is never finished
The Man of Law’s Introduction The Man of Law’s Prologue The Man of Law’s Tale The Man of Law’s Epilogue about Constance, the daughter of the emperor of Rome she is shipped to Syria to marry the sultan who is willing to convert to Christianity to overcome legal difficulties the sultans mother is not amused by her sons conversion and pushes Constance back into the sea Constance remains faithful and even converts the hosts that give her shelter at the end, her Christian faith is her protection and her reward
FRAGMENT IIIThe Wife of Bathpresents herself as theauthority on marriageand marital life. She About a greedy friarcomments on the social who has no shameand legal position of About the trade and cajoling churchlywomen in marriage and earnings of a donations out of hisdaily life. She claims nameless summoner people and friends.she has her knowledge who attempts to The Summonerfrom experience, not blackmail and old obviously seeksfrom scriptural widow by serving a some revenge for theauthority. false summons. Friars tale. Eventually the summoner is cursed to hell by the old woman.
FRAGMENT IVAbout a marquis called Walter. Lord Walter is a bachelor who is asked by hissubjects to marry in order to provide a heir. Lord Walter assents and marries a poorgirl called Griselda. After some time, Walter starts testing Griseldas patience.Ultimately, the clerks tale is about unconditional female submissiveness.About a sixty-year old knight who decides he should marry a wife. The meaning oflove, marriage, truth and faithfulness are being discussed.
FRAGMENT VI1. The Physicians TaleA knight called Virginius has a wife and a beautiful virtuousfourteen-year-old daughter called Virginia. One day, a false judgenamed Appius sees Virginia and decides he will have herregardless the cost. However, Virginius rather kills his daughterinstead of handing her over to the judge2. The Pardoners Taleabout three frequently drinking young men who becomeacquainted with the killings of Death. They decide to find,stop and kill Death.
FRAGMENT VIIabout a merchant, his wife and a frequently visiting monk called Dan John, whopretends to be the merchants cousin. The interchangeability and exchangeabilityof sex and money are emphatically elaborated in the Shipmans Tale.The Prioress Tale is a hymn to Mary and Jesus, Christianity, motherhood and anti-Semitism.about a knight called Sir Thopas who wishes to love a fairy queen. He rides tofairyland on horseback, but finds the entrance blocked by a three-headed giantcalled Sir Oliphant who challenges Sir Thopas to fight.
a young man named Melibee whose wife and daughter was wounded by his threeold enemies who broke into his house when he took a walk to the field. Melibeewas going to be a madman, thus his wife advised him to take counsul. At the endof the story, Melibee forgive those enemies.about a merchant, his wife and a frequently visiting monk called Dan John, whopretends to be the merchants cousin. The interchangeability and exchangeabilityof sex and money are emphatically elaborated in the Shipmans Tale.about a rooster called Chauntecleer that lives with seven chickens and severalother animals in the yard of a poor old widow.
The Second Nun’s PrologueThe Second Nun’s Tale about the life of Saint Cecilia who The Canon’s Yeoman’s gods refuses to worship Roman Prologue she is arrested, interrogated, executed The Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale and martyred for her Christian beliefs in virgin about Canon and his servant, Yeoman the two catch up with the pilgrims and ask the Host to permit them to join the company, the Host asks the Yeoman about the narrating qualities of his master. the Yeoman says his master is a skillful alchemist who knows how to turn base metal into precious metal, the Canon is not amused by the revelation of his Yeoman, gives his horse the spurs and leaves the company leaving his Yeoman too The Yeoman decides to tell a tale about the trickery of canons
The Manciple’s Prologue The Manciple’s Tale about Phoebus, who possesses a white crow Phoebus has a wife who is (symbolically) kept in a golden cage despite his efforts to keep his wife clean, she commits adultery
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