Written in the late 14th century, during a period in history when England was experiencing a political and social turmoil, the Canterbury Tales are Geoffrey Chaucer's most celebrated literary work. At that time, a schism was beginning to develop with the Christian church. The significance of the work resides in its religious and social themes. Probably influenced by Boccaccio's Decameron, the Tales provide a sarcastic image of the English society of the time. According to commentators like Ackroyd, the tales exemplify the state of the Church, the Court and the Country, with such arte and cunning (157). This paper will look at the Tales' historical context by looking at the text itself and the historical accounts and evidence provided by the main studies on the book.
Religion plays a very significant role in the Canterbury Tales. The text provides an ironic examination of the religious aspects of the society of the time. The Canterbury Tales includes a number of religious and secular themes and elements that are combined throughout the argument. The main theme of the book, is a religious one: the pilgrimage to Canterbury is one of the main sacred elements contained in the book, depicting their journey towards the tomb of a martyr of the church. Pilgrimage unites all the characters of the book and reflects their search for divine spirituality, their search for heaven. This reflects how prominent was taking part in pilgrimages during medieval times. Canterbury was one of the main pilgrimage destinations in the Britain of the time.
[...] Paper about the major themes of the book "The Canterbury Tales" Historical Context of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales TOPIC OUTLINE 1. Introduction 2. The Canterbury Tales and their Historical Context • Religion in the late 14th century. • Social aspects of the 14th century. - Social class conflict and class inequalities. - Military conflicts and the code of chivalry. 3. Conclusion Written in the late 14th century, during a period in history when England was experiencing a political and social turmoil, the Canterbury Tales are Geoffrey Chaucer's most celebrated literary work. [...]
[...] For example, the knight, the first of the pilgrims described in the prologue. The character is an idealisation of the experienced in battle Christian soldier and, therefore, the ideal man of the society of the time, exhibiting courage and bravery throughout the book. His behaviour is a direct expression of the code of Chivalry. A code based in courtesy, integrity and a special kind of spiritual connection of loyalty to the king. In the view of experts like Francine Renee Hall pointed out in 1980, this code was regarded as the most appropriate moral behaviour social code of the time. [...]
[...] Coghill (1952). The Canterbury Tales. Baltimore: Penguin Books . Condren, Edward (1999) Chaucer and the Energy of Creation: The Design and Organization of the Canterbury Tales. Florida: University Press of Florida. Grudin, M. P. (1996) Chaucer and the Politics of Discourse. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1996. Hall, F. R. (1980) Chaucer and Chivalry Knight Templar Magazine, pages 16- 17, August 2001. Howard, D. R. (1971) The Canterbury Tales: Memory and Form ELH Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 319-328. [...]
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