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Subject The General Prologue
Posted by Andrea
Posted on Wed May 8 18:44:15 2002
From IP  

In the ˇ§General Prologueˇ¨, Chaucer portrays the pilgrims who are forwarding to Canterbury. Those pilgrims come from varies kind of professions, and also come from all kinds of social status, such as the nobles, the clergy, merchant, and plowman. By this arrangement, Chaucer let the readers see the characteristics of every character from all levels in the society and portrays a vivid image of the society at that time. It is interesting to read ˇ§The General Prologue,ˇ¨ because it is actually a microcosm of the whole society. Through the portraits of the characters, social deficiencies and human weakness are presented in this micro- society.
Chaucer seems to strongly attack on the clergy purposely, since most the priests or the prioresses are not that faithful to their religious belief under his description. Like the prioress who is beautifully dressed and wear expensive jewels. Her behavior is not like a prioress; instead, she is more like a noble lady. So does the monk, who loves fat roast swan and seems to more favor in the outdoor life. Or the pardoner, who cheats people in order to collect their money and property in the name of the donation to God, but actually the property come directly to his pocket. Those clergy are sort of ˇ§deformedˇ¨ and ˇ§twistedˇ¨ because how they behave themselves do not conform to their image. They are described in an ironic and sarcastic way, which also tells that Chaucer may not only mean to tease the corrupted religious world, but also laugh at the confused society.


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