The Canterbury Tales Author: Geoffrey Chaucer. Geoffrey Chaucer  Father of the English language  Middle class, well-educated (father was wine merchant)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury TalesAuthor: Geoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey ChaucerFather of the English languageMiddle class, well-educated (father was wine merchant)Served at courtRoyal clerkDiplomatic missions to France, Spain, Italy

Geoffrey ChaucerWrote The Canterbury Tales later in lifeIn his lifetime, he was recognized as the greatest English poet. Buried in Westminster AbbeyCanterbury TalesThe Canterbury Tales is actually a story about storiesEach pilgrim is telling a storyDifferent genres: romance, comedy, rhyme, prose, crude humor, religious mysteriesWritten in Middle EnglishMany translations are availableOur version is translated by Neville Coghill Journey through medieval societyShows deep insight into human characterSpans medieval middle class society3 ideal figures of society portrayed: knight, parson, plowman

The Pilgrimage29 pilgrims + 1 hostTraveling together on a pilgrimage to CanterburyPilgrimagelong journey to a shrine or holy site, undertaken by people who wish to express their devotionCanterburyreligious center of EnglandCanterbury Cathedral was the focus of devotion because Saint Thomas Becket was murdered there in 1170The PilgrimageEach person was supposed to tell 2 stories on the way to Canterbury & 2 on the way back. That would make 120 stories total. Chaucer only completed the General Prologue and 24 tales.

Archbishop Thomas Becket struggled for churchs independence with King Henry II. He was exiled to France for 6 years. He returned and angered the King. King : Not one will deliver me from this low-born priest? 4 knights murdered him December 29, 1170, in Cathedral. Canonized 3 years later. Shrine completed in 1220. Canterbury Cathedral

Pilgrims Route

General PrologueLines 1-18 are the most famousIntroduces setting, characters, journeyIntroduction of pilgrimsCatholics (150 years before Henry VIII broke from Rome)Common to travel together; provided protectionApril in Southwark at Tabard Inn, owner Harry BaileyBailey suggests they pass time by taking turns telling stories. The best will win a prize. Brief portraits of pilgrims

The Four HumorsThe four humors is a psychological theory that was popular during Chaucers time period. It suggests that there are four fundamental personality types.Sanguine (blood): optimistic, leader-like, cheerfulCholeric (yellow bile): bad-tempered, irritablePhlegmatic (phlegm): relaxed and peacefulMelancholic (black bile): analytical and quietSeven Deadly Sins1. Gluttonytoo much food or drink, overindulgence 2. Lustintense sexual desire or appetite 3. Slothlaziness 4. Avaricegreed 5. Prideconceited 6. Wrathanger 7. Envyjealousy (often leads to hate)


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