Group Tale Requirements

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Group Tale Requirements

  1. 1. The Canterbury Tales Group Tale Presentations What needs to be included? “ Listen my children and you shall hear About how to do it, so have not fear.”
  2. 2. Material To Be Included <ul><li>Summary of the tale prologue and the tale. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary on the tale including discussion of genre, literary devices, and theme. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary on the characterization of the teller based on the tale told. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary on the relation of the tale to the work as a whole. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Summary of the Tale and Prologue <ul><li>You should cover the content of the prologue. Often this ties the tale together with the work and is important to understanding themes. </li></ul><ul><li>If there is an epilogue this should be covered as well. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Summary of the Tale and Prologue <ul><li>The plot of the tale should be presented in a creative way. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples from past years include puppet shows, felt board story time, feature films, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Summary of the Tale and Prologue <ul><li>A written summary should be included on your hand-out as well. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>You should discuss the stylistic and thematic elements of the tale including the following elements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literary Devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>Genre </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the genres Chaucer is mixing in this tale. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is his purpose in mixing the genres? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the effect on the audience? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Literary Devices <ul><li>What literary techniques dominate this tale? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Figurative Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paradox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allusions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is Chaucer using these techniques? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Structure <ul><li>How is the tale structured? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it follow a traditional story map? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where does it veer off course? Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it begin and end? Why? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Themes <ul><li>How has Chaucer answered the following questions in your tale: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes a good marriage relationship? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What determines how the world works, fate or chance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do gender roles differ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When facing a choice, should you look to authority or experience? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Characterization <ul><li>How does the tale contribute to the characterization of the teller? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we learn about the teller from the tale told? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does this fit with our picture of him from the General Prologue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does this contribute to the work as a whole? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Relate the Tale to the Whole <ul><li>How does the style and structure of this tale compare to other tales? </li></ul><ul><li>How do the themes of this tale compare to other tales? </li></ul><ul><li>Which tales is this tale most like? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Example: The Knight’s Tale <ul><li>So, here’s an example of how to put this together. </li></ul><ul><li>First, start off with a humdinger of a summary of the tale. </li></ul><ul><li>Knight's Tale Video </li></ul><ul><li>Knight's Tale 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Knight's Tale 3 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Commentary on the Tale <ul><ul><li>It’s a Courtly Romance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It has all the elements of a Courtly Romance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court Setting </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The main characters are all royalty and they pursue chivalric pursuits. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There was a duke whose name was Theseus: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of Athens he was lord and governor, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And in his time was such a conqueror </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That greater was there not beneath the sun. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very many rich countries had he won; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What with his wisdom and his chivalry </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Theseus is not only royalty – making this a fit character to star in a Courtly Romance – but he’s also the pinnacle of success when it comes to the Knightly virtues. He’s conquered many lands, but he’s also wise and still observes the rules of chivalry. He’s not a tyrant.
  15. 15. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>It’s a Courtly Romance </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It has all the elements of a Courtly Romance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two men fighting over the love of a woman. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Arcita, oh you traitor wicked, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now are you caught, that crave my lady so, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For whom I suffer all this pain and woe, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And are my blood, and know my secrets' store, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As I have often told you heretofore, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And have befooled the great Duke Thesues, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And falsely changed your name and station thus: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Either I shall be dead or you shall die. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You shall not love my lady Emily, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But I will love her, and none other, no; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For I am Palamon, your mortal foe. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>The description of the fight is very “courtly.” They announce their intentions at great length before they actually begin fighting. They’re observing the “rules of engagement.” It’s a very honorable fight.
  16. 16. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>It’s a Courtly Romance </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It has all the elements of a Courtly Romance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women engaged in womanly pursuits </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So Emily remembered to go thence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In honour of the May, and so she rose. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clothed, she was sweeter than any flower that blows; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Her yellow hair was braided in one tress </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Behind her back, a full yard long, I guess. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And in the garden, as the sun up-rose, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>She sauntered back and forth and through each close, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering many a flower, white and red, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To weave a delicate garland for her head; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And like a heavenly angel's was her song. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Emily is all physical description of her beauty – hair, dress, the way she walks. She also is doing “womanly” things - walking in the garden, picking flowers, making a garland for her hair.
  17. 17. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>But it also has the qualities of a Sermon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral Tract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Theseus interrupts the action of the story to deliver a sermon on the importance of recognizing the supremacy of Fate. He encourages the listener to “make a virtue of necessity” by living a life accepting of our circumstances, and making the best of things. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>The Effect of Mixing Genres </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Knight’s Tale is the ideal, a courtly romance which encourages us through the actions of its main characters to behave in a chivalrous and upright manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding the Sermon component adds a measure of purpose to the tale, it elevates it above pure entertainment because it also teaches something as well. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Commentary on the Tale <ul><li>The Effect of Mixing Genres </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a result, we can see that the tale matches perfectly with the character of the Knight who is described as being both very chivalrous and a true servant of Christ. His tale honors the virtues of chivalry while also honoring the virtues of Christianity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As the listener, we better understand the Knight’s character, while at the same time we’ve been entertained and uplifted. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Literary Devices <ul><li>Visual Imagery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Knight’s tale is rich with detailed and vivid visual descriptions. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Literary Devices <ul><li>Visual Imagery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These details add a feeling of spectacle to the tale, helping us to see the sense of pageantry associated with tournaments and the chivalric ideal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a time with little visual medium, the Knight provides us verbally with all we need to “see” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We also now understand what the Knight sees as entertainment – spectacle! </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Literary Devices <ul><li>Visual Imagery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And to the palace rode full many a rout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of lords, bestriding steeds and on palfreys. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There could you see adjusting of harness, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So curious and so rich, and wrought so well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of goldsmiths' work, embroidery, and of steel; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The shields, the helmets bright, the gay trappings, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The gold-hewn casques, the coats-of-arms, the rings, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The lords in vestments rich, on their coursers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knights with their retinues and also squires; </li></ul></ul>The Knight includes sumptuous and lavish detail. We can see the majesty of the procession in the description of riches worn by the company.
  23. 23. Literary Devices <ul><li>Irony </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The situational irony involved with the outcome of the tournament emphasizes the Knight’s theme that we shouldn’t try to interfere with our destiny. Instead, we should make the best of our circumstances. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Literary Devices <ul><li>Verse Form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a long narrative poem. It’s written in verse, but the poem tells a story. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This was very appropriate for Chaucer’s time. Being able to tell a story in verse format using rhythm, rhyme and meter made a story easier to remember and therefore easier to tell in a society that was still primarily oral. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Literary Devices <ul><li>Chaucer uses the “heroic couplet” verse form in writing the poem. The poem is written in iambic pentameter and every second line rhymes. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whilom, as olde stories tellen us, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ther was a duc that highte Theseus; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of Atthenes he was lord and governour, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And in his tyme swich a conquerour, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><ul><ul><li>The “Heroic Couplet” is similar to the verse form used in the epic poems of classical poets such as Homer and Virgil. However, Chaucer formalizes some different aspects of the form and is credited with the first modern use of the form. Although, he is the first modern writer to use this form, it doesn’t become known as the “heroic couplet” until 300 years after Chaucer’s death. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of this classical form emphasizes the setting of the tale. </li></ul></ul></ul>Literary Devices
  27. 27. Literary Devices <ul><li>Narrative Voice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Knight as the narrator is very present in the tale. He is often interrupting the narrative to include bits and pieces of advice or disclaimers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminds us that the Knight is telling the story. This fits perfectly with the Knight’s character as someone used to being in charge. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Literary Devices <ul><li>Narrative Voice </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I think that men would deem it negligence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If I forgot to tell of the expense </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of Theseus…” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ You lovers, now I ask you this question: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who has the worse, Arcita or Palamon?” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ And truly, were it not too long to hear, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I would have told you fully how, that year, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Was gained the realm of Femininity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By Theseus and by his chivalry;” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Here, the Knight clarifies why he is about to go off on a tangent describing the stadium erected by Theseus. It’s as if he doesn’t want to be accused of being a bad story-teller Here, the Knight seems to be giving a higher purpose to his tale, he’s asking the reader to philosophically reflect on the situation In this excerpt, it’s the opposite, he’s justifying why he doesn’t go into the detail. This seems to suggest that he is enchanted with these kinds of stories and has lots at his disposal.
  29. 29. Structure <ul><li>Beginning & Ending </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The tale begins with the description of Theseus’ triumphant return to Athens (stopping along the way to help the widows and orphans). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The tale ends with the lecture on Fate, followed by a brief description of Emily and Palamon living happily ever after. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Structure <ul><li>Beginning & Endings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The tale beginning with a description of authority and then ending with Theseus dispensing advice suggests the very ordered universe the Knight sees the world to be. It is a world where goodness is the ideal, authority is respected, and in the end (if you do things right) you live happily ever after. This is a very safe, predictable world. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Themes <ul><li>What makes a good marriage relationship? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the Knight’s Tale, a good marriage relationship is idyllic. No jealousy, no harsh words, the partners love and serve one another always. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Now Palamon’s in joy , amid a wealth | of bliss and splendor, happiness and health | He’s tenderly beloved of Emily | And serves her with a gentle constancy, | And never a jealous word between them spoken | or other sorrow in a love unbroken.” (102). </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Themes <ul><li>What makes a good marriage relationship? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a reader, this view of marriage seems hopelessly optimistic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Palamon and Emily don’t know one another. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emily didn’t want to get married in the first place. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When Arcite wins the tournament, Emily seems to be “in love” with him, yet when he dies, she seems equally in love with the new husband, Palamon. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does the fact that the Knight spends all his time away on crusades make him a reliable “expert” on marriage? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>What determines how the world works, fate or chance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Knight firmly believes that the world is governed by a higher power and that man can only accept his destiny. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The outcome of the tournament is determined by the gods. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Who orders [when we die] but Jupiter the King, | The Prince and Cause of all and everything…and against this no creature here alive | Whatever his degree may hope to strive ” (100). </li></ul></ul></ul>Themes
  34. 34. Themes <ul><li>How do Gender roles differ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women and men have marked roles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women are to be agreeable to whatever is suggested. They are seen as trophies to be won. Their wants are not considered in determining an outcome. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emily prays to Diana (the virgin goddess) to remain “a maid” yet her plea is denied: “For thee the Gods on high have set their term,| And by eternal word and writ confirm that thou shalt be espoused to one of those [men]. (82) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Men are in charge and determine how things will be done. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The gods listen to Palamon and Arcite and each are granted their requests. Palamon – love; Arcite – victory. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Themes <ul><li>When facing a choice should you look to authority or experience? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theseus is the ultimate authority figure and all characters in the tale look to him to make decisions. The Knight may be suggesting that true authority comes from experience, (since Theseus has much experience), but no other characters in the tale ever make good decisions on their own. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Palamon and Arcite are consistently bungling their efforts: fighting in Thebes, falling in love, scheming to be with Emily, fighting, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Themes <ul><li>What is funny/entertaining? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly the Knight sees that spectacle and chivalry are the most entertaining basis for a story. There is very little “trickery” or base elements in his tale. It’s a very high minded tale full of rich imagery and moral lessons. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Characterization <ul><li>What more do we know about the Knight? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He is a perfect, gentle knight. He fits very well with our historical concepts of what chivalry was all about. He believes in an ordered universe where good triumphs and people live happily ever after. The wicked are punished (see Creon) and everyone else gets what they deserve. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Characterization <ul><li>But there are tensions… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Knight doesn’t reflect reality in his tale at all. People don’t act in a human way. His couples don’t have real relationships. His hero has no flaws. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps, this reflects the life experience of the Knight. He has had little interaction with regular people because he has spent his life in the artificial world of the battlefield. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Characterization <ul><li>Overall, we are left with the impression of a good, if naïve, man who sees the world as an ordered, safe, and predicable place. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Relate the Tale to the Whole <ul><li>The Knight’s Tale is the first tale told in the framing narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>It becomes the tale which all other tales are measured against. </li></ul><ul><li>The Miller’s Tale is told in direct response to the tale and is almost the diametrical opposite of the Knight’s Tale in style, themes, and characters. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Relate the Tale to the Whole <ul><li>The Knight’s Tale has very little dramatic irony, unlike most of the other tales included in the Canterbury Tales. It is a very straight forward (if a bit superficial) depiction of a perfect world. There are situational ironies present in the tale, but they are elements of the plot, intended to draw the reader’s attention to a specific theme. </li></ul>
  42. 42. THE END

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