`General Prologue’ and show how their descriptions add to our understanding of his society. `The Canterbury Tales’ is a group of tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer in about 1387. Chaucer was supposed to write 24 tales but died before he could complete them and so the Canterbury Tales consist of 22 tales and two long prose tales. The General Prologue gives a brief but vivid description of each pilgrim that is journeying to Canterbury before the pilgrims actually begin telling their tales. Most literature written in the medieval period was written in either French or Latin especially poems or Holy Scriptures and so when Chaucer wrote `The Canterbury Tales’ in Middle English he was making a statement.Order now
Chaucer wanted to promote the vernacular language of England and so wrote `The Canterbury Tales’ in `Chaucerian’ English. Three of the best examples of the pilgrims in the `Tales’ are the Knight, the Wifeof Bath and the Monk who all tell us a great deal about Chaucer’s society.The Kn ght is a “verray, parfit gentil knyght” who earns his living by fighting for his faith and defending his king. The Knight has a very high status in the feudal system in Chaucer’s society and is “Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre”. The Knight is as “meeke as a mayde”, he is “verray, parfit and gentil”.
He is also worthy and humble. The evidence that he is humble is where in the poem about him reads; “His hors were goode, but he was nat gay Of fustian he wered a gypon Al bismotered with his habergeon” This extract proves the Knight is humble and not materialistic because he does not care about what people think about him; he uses his horse for its function, he does not decorate it elaborately but just uses it for travelling and fighting. The Wife of Bath lives “biside Bathe” and she likes to weave, she has been married five times and she gives advice to people in love. She is a vain and materialistic unlike the knight. She had “And thries hadde she been at Jerusalem”, which suggests that she is a holy woman who has been on a lot of pilgrimages.
Evidence to show she is a materialistic is where in the poem about her the text says;”Hir coverchiefs ful fine weren of ground Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moyste and newe” This shows that in contrast to the Knight the Wife of Bath is materialistic and wants everyone to see her riches. The fact that she has new shoes for a pilgrimage just adds to the fact that she is vain and materialistic. The Monk is bald, plump, has bright eyes, wears cuffs made out of squirrel fur, and has a luxurious gold brooch. The Monk should spend his time praying and “This is to seyn, a monk out of his own cloystre”.
The Monk should be humble, not materialistic and help people. However the Monk enjoys hunting and eating roasted swan; which implies that he is indulgent which a monk should not be.When the Monk goes hunting his bridle bells are “eeke as loude as dooth the chapel belle”, it is ironic that he is compared to a chapel bell because that is where he should be in a chapel praying in a cloistered environment; however this simile is used to describe how loud he is as he riding out to hunt. The Monk thinks that the rules a monk should live by are old fashioned whereas he is modern; he doesn’t give a “pulled hen” for want of a better phrase.
The Monk is the total opposite to what a real monk should be he is gregarious whereas a monk should be humble and retired, he is outgoing whereas a monk should live a cloistered, conserved life away from the public. The Monk is totally different to the Knight; the Knight is humble and wears tattered clothes covered in rust whereas the Monk wears expensive clothes, is materialistic and is flamboyant.