-(; c. 1343 – 25 October 1400), known as the Father of English literature, is widely
considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to
have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.
-The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey
Chaucer at the end of the 14th century, during the time of the Hundred Years War
-The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose).
-It is Chaucer Magnum Opus, He uses the tales and the descriptions of its
characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and
particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron,
which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.
The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of
spring. He describes the April rains, the burgeoning flowers and leaves, and
the chirping birds. Around this time of year, the narrator says, people begin
to feel the desire to go on a pilgrimage. Many devout English pilgrims set
off to visit shrines in distant holy lands, but even more choose to travel to
Canterbury to visit the relics of SaintThomas Becket in Canterbury
Cathedral, where they thank the martyr for having helped them when they
were in need.The narrator tells us that as he prepared to go on such a
pilgrimage, staying at a tavern in Southwark called theTabard Inn, a great
company of twenty-nine travelers entered.The travelers were a diverse
group who, like the narrator, were on their way to Canterbury.They happily
agreed to let him join them.That night, the group slept at theTabard, and
woke up early the next morning to set off on their journey. Before
continuing the tale, the narrator declares his intent to list and describe each
of the members of the group.
Cousins Arcite and Palamon are captured and imprisoned by Theseus, duke ofAthens following his invention against
Creon. Their cell is in the tower of Theseus's castle which overlooks his palace garden. In prison Palamon wakes early
one morning in May, to see Emily (Emelye) in the courtyard; his moan is heard by Arcite, who then too wakes to see
Emily, and falls in love with her as well.
The competition brought about by this love causes them to hate each other. After some years,Arcite is released from
prison through the good offices of Theseus's friend Pirithoos, and then returns to Athens in disguise and enters service in
Emily's household. Palamon eventually escapes by drugging the jailer and while hiding in a grove overhears Arcite
singing about love and fortune.
They begin to duel with each other over who should get Emily, but are thwarted by the arrival of Theseus, who sentences
them to gather 100 men apiece and fight a mass judicial tournament, the winner of which is to marry Emily. The forces
assemble; Palamon prays to Venus to make Emily his wife; Emily prays to Diana to stay unmarried and that if that should
prove impossible that she marry the one who really loves her; andArcite prays to Mars for victory. Theseus lays down
rules for the tournament so that if any man becomes seriously injured, he must be dragged out of the battle and is no
longer in combat. Because of this, the story seems to claim at the end that there were almost no deaths on either side.
Although both Palamon and Arcite fight valiantly, Palamon is wounded by a sword thrust from one of Arcite's men, and is
unhorsed. Theseus declares the fight to be over. Arcite wins the battle, but following an intervention by Saturn, is
wounded by his horse throwing him off and then falling on him before he can claim Emily as his prize. As he dies, he tells
Emily that she should marry Palamon, because he would make a good husband for her, and so Palamon marries Emily.
Therefore all prayers were fulfilled by the gods for those who asked for their assistance.
CAMBYUSKAN-The king ofTartary
Arviragus –The knight
Aurelius-Third Party ?xD
When Arviragus travels on a military expedition, Dorigen laments his absence
and fears that, when he returns, his ship will be wrecked upon the rocks off the
shore. A young man, Aurelius, falls in love with her, but she refuses to return his
favors. She agrees to have an affair with Aurelius only on the condition that he
find a way to remove the rocks from the shore, a task she believes impossible.
Aurelius pays a scholar who creates the illusion that the rocks have
disappeared, while Arviragus returns. Dorigen admits to her husband the
promise that she has made, and Arviragus tells her that she must fulfill that
promise. He sends her to have an affair with Aurelius, but he realizes the pain
that it would cause Dorigen and does not make her fulfill the promise.The
student in turn absolvesAurelius of his debt.The tale ends with the question:
which of these men behaved most generously and nobly?
He explains that once he had good clothes and a comfortable living, that he and the
Canon are alchemists, and that he is so in debt because their attempts at alchemy
always fail. He then tries to explain their occupation, their failed attempts at alchemy, and
their elusive search for the Philosopher's Stone.
A canon who practices alchemy borrows a mark from a priest. In three days time, the
canon returns the mark and offers to reveal a couple of his discoveries. He sends for
some quick silver and, by tricks, makes the priest believe that he turned the quick silver
into real silver. Unaware of the trick, the priest is very pleased. Three times the canon
tricks the priest, each time "turning" a less valuable object (quick silver, chalk, and then a
twig) into silver. The beguiled priest buys the secret from the canon for 40 pounds, and
the canon promptly disappears. The Yeoman ends his tale with a broadside attack on the
subject of alchemy and a conglomeration of all the ridiculous terms used by alchemists.
the story of a young Christian child who lived in a town in Asia that was
dominated by a vicious Jewish population.One child learned the “Alma
redemptoris”, a song praising theVirgin Mary, and traveled home from
school singing it.The Jews, angry at his behavior, took the child and slit his
throat, leaving him in a cesspit to die.The boy's mother searched
frantically for her son.When she found him, he was not yet dead, for the
Virgin Mary had placed a grain on his tongue that would allow him to speak
until it was removed. When this was removed, the boy passed on to
heaven.The story ends with a lament for the young boy and a curse for the
Jews who perpetrated the heinous crime.
The Monk's tale to the other pilgrims is a collection of seventeen short
stories, exempla, on the theme of tragedy.The tragic endings of the
following historical figures are
recounted: Lucifer, Adam, Samson, Hercules, Nebuchadnezzar,
Belshazzar,Zenobia, Pedro of Castile, Peter I of Cyprus, Bernabò
Visconti, Ugolino of Pisa, Nero, Holofernes,Antiochus,Alexander the
Great, Julius Caesar and Croesus.
On the way to extort money from a widow, the Summoner encounters a yeoman who is apparently
down on his luck. The two men swear brotherhood to each other and exchange the secrets of their
respective trades, the Summoner recounting his various sins in a boastful manner. The yeoman
reveals that he is actually a demon, to which the Summoner expresses minimal surprise—he
enquires as to various aspects of hell and the forms that demons take. During their travels, they
come upon a carter whose horses have become temporarily stuck. Frustrated, he says that the
devil may take them. Hearing this, the Summoner asks the demon why he isn't holding him to his
word and seizing the horses; he replies that the man does not truly mean what he says—that it is
not his "entente" (intent)—and therefore he cannot take them. They proceed to the house of the
widow. The Summoner fabricates a court summons in order that the widow will have to bribe him to
dismiss the case. He also demands she give him her new pan in payment for an old debt, falsely
claiming he paid a fine to get her off a charge of adultery. Incensed, the old woman damns the
summoner to unless he repents of his false charges; when the devil confirms her "entente", and that
the Summoner does not have any inclination to repent, he takes his body and soul—as well as the
frying pan—to hell.
Tells a tale of an unfaithful wife.The Merchant'sTale tells a story of January, an
elderly blind knight who decides to marry a young woman, despite the
objections of his brother, Placebo. January marries the young and
beautiful May, who soon becomes dissatisfied with his sexual attentions to her
and decides to have an affair with his squire, Damian, who has secretly wooed
her by signs and tokens.When January and May are in their garden, May
sneaks away to have sex with Damian.The gods Pluto and Proserpina come
upon Damian and May and Pluto restores January's sight so that he may see
what his wife is doing.When January sees what is occurring, May tells him not
to believe his eyes – they are recovering from the blindness - and he believes
her: leading to an on-the-surface happy ending.
The Clerk's tale is about a marquis of Saluzzo in Piedmont in Italy named Walter, a bachelor
who is asked by his subjects to marry to provide an heir. He assents and decides he will marry
a peasant, named Griselda. Griselda is a poor girl, used to a life of pain and labour, who
promises to honour Walter's wishes in all things.
Griselda's child is kidnapped
After Griselda has borne him a daughter, Walter decides to test her loyalty. He sends an
officer to take the baby, pretending it will be killed, but actually conveying it in secret
to Bologna. Griselda, because of her promise, makes no protest at this but only asks that the
child be buried properly.When she bears a son several years later, Walter again has him taken
from her under identical circumstances.
Finally, Walter determines one last test. He has a Papal bull of annulmentforged which
enables him to leave Griselda, and informs her that he intends to remarry. As part of his
deception, he employs Griselda to prepare the wedding for his new bride. Meanwhile, he has
brought the children from Bologna, and he presents his daughter as his intended wife.
Eventually he informs Griselda of the deceit, who is overcome by joy at seeing her children
alive, and they live happily ever after.
THEREARE SO MANY DIFFERENCES BETWEENTHESETHREE,YOU
NEEDAVERY LONGTIMETO KNOW EACH OFTHEM.THERE ARE SOME
EXAMPLEOF SPELLING DIFFERENCES.
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
When in April the sweet showers fall
tragedy is next. Hercules' strength was unparalleled, but he was finally
defeated when Deianera sent Hercules a poisoned shirt made by Nessus.
was the king of Babylon who had twice defeated Israel.The proud king
constructed a large gold statue that he demanded his subjects pray to or else
be cast into a pit of flames.Yet when Daniel disobeyed the king,
Nebuchadnezzar lost all dignity, acting like a great beast until God relieved him
of his insanity.
The next tragedy is about Balthasar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, who also
worshipped false idols. He had a feast for a thousand lords in which they drank
wine out of sacred vessels, but during his feast he saw an armless hand writing
on a wall. Daniel warned Balthasar of his father's fate. Daniel warned him that
his kingdom would be divided by Medes and the Persians. Balthasar, according
to the Monk, exemplifies the way that Fortune makes friends with people
before making enemies with them.
who was beautiful and victorious in war, is the next tragic hero of the tale.The
queen of Palmyra refused the duties of women and refused to marry, until she
was forced to wed Odenathus. She permitted him to have sex with her only so
that she could get pregnant, but no more.Yet the proud woman, once
Odenathus was dead, was defeated by the Romans and paraded through
Rome bound in chains.
King Pedro of Spain, subject of the next story, was cast from his kingdom by his
brother.When attempting to regain his throne, Pedro was murdered by this
Peter, King of Cyprus, is the next subject; he brought ruin on his kingdom and
was thus murdered.
BernaboVisconti, who wrongly imprisoned his nephew. Ugolino of Pisa, a
count, was imprisoned in a tower in Pisa with his three young children after
Ruggieri, the bishop of Pisa, had led a rebellion against him. His youngest
son died of starvation, and out of his misery Ugolini gnawed on his own
arms.The two children that remained thought that Ugolini was chewing
himself out of hunger, and offered themselves as meals for him.They all
eventually starved. Nero did nothing but satisfy his own lusts and even cut
open his own mother to see the womb from which he came. He had
Seneca murdered for stating that an emperor should be virtuous.When it
appeared that Nero would be assassinated for his cruelty, he killed
himself. Holofernesordered his subjects to renounce every law and
worship Nebuchadnezzar. For this sin Judith cut off Holofernes' head as he
The Monk next tells of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was punished by God for
attacks on the Jews. God made Antiochus infested with loathsome
maggots.The Monk then admits that most have heard ofAlexander the
Great, poisoned by his very own offspring. He follows with the tale of Julius
Caesar, who had Pompey murdered but was himself assassinated by
Brutus.The final story is of Croesus, King of Lydia, the proud and wealthy
king who was hanged.