When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Into the Ram one half his course has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage - Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in sundry lands. Befell that, in that season, on a day In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay Ready to start upon my pilgrimage To Canterbury, full of devout homage, There came at nightfall to that hostelry Some nine and twenty in a company Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all That toward Canterbury town would ride.
Recording in reconstructed Middle English pronunciation Problems playing this file? Chaucer wrote in late Middle English, which has clear differences from Modern English. From philological research, we know certain facts about the pronunciation of English during the time of Chaucer.
In some cases, vowel letters in Middle English were pronounced very differently from Modern English, because the Great Vowel Shift had not yet happened.
It is obvious, however, that Chaucer borrowed portions, sometimes very large portions, of his stories from earlier stories, and that his work was influenced by the general state of the literary world in which he lived.
Storytelling was the main entertainment in England at the time, and storytelling contests had been around for hundreds of years. In 14th-century England the English Pui was a group with an appointed leader who would judge the songs of the group.
The winner received a crown and, as with the winner of The Canterbury Tales, a free dinner. It was common for pilgrims on a pilgrimage to have a chosen "master of ceremonies" to guide them and organise the journey.
Like the Tales, it features a number of narrators who tell stories along a journey they have undertaken to flee from the Black Death. It ends with an apology by Boccaccio, much like Chaucer's Retraction to the Tales.
A quarter of the tales in The Canterbury Tales parallel a tale in the Decameron, although most of them have closer parallels in other stories. Some scholars thus find it unlikely that Chaucer had a copy of the work on hand, surmising instead that he must have merely read the Decameron at some point,  while a new study claims he had a copy of the Decameron and used it extensively as he began work on his own collection.
They include poetry by Ovidthe Bible in one of the many vulgate versions in which it was available at the time the exact one is difficult to determineand the works of Petrarch and Dante.
Chaucer was the first author to use the work of these last two, both Italians. Boethius ' Consolation of Philosophy appears in several tales, as the works of John Gower do. Gower was a known friend to Chaucer. A full list is impossible to outline in little space, but Chaucer also, lastly, seems to have borrowed from numerous religious encyclopaedias and liturgical writings, such as John Bromyard 's Summa praedicantiuma preacher's handbook, and Jerome 's Adversus Jovinianum.
Chaucer's Tales differs from most other story "collections" in this genre chiefly in its intense variation. Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Even in the Decameron, storytellers are encouraged to stick to the theme decided on for the day.
The idea of a pilgrimage to get such a diverse collection of people together for literary purposes was also unprecedented, though "the association of pilgrims and storytelling was a familiar one". In the General Prologue, Chaucer describes not the tales to be told, but the people who will tell them, making it clear that structure will depend on the characters rather than a general theme or moral.
This idea is reinforced when the Miller interrupts to tell his tale after the Knight has finished his. Having the Knight go first gives one the idea that all will tell their stories by class, with the Monk following the Knight.
However, the Miller's interruption makes it clear that this structure will be abandoned in favour of a free and open exchange of stories among all classes present.
General themes and points of view arise as the characters tell their tales, which are responded to by other characters in their own tales, sometimes after a long lapse in which the theme has not been addressed.
His writing of the story seems focused primarily on the stories being told, and not on the pilgrimage itself.
Medieval schools of rhetoric at the time encouraged such diversity, dividing literature as Virgil suggests into high, middle, and low styles as measured by the density of rhetorical forms and vocabulary.
Another popular method of division came from St. Augustinewho focused more on audience response and less on subject matter a Virgilian concern.
Augustine divided literature into "majestic persuades", "temperate pleases", and "subdued teaches". Writers were encouraged to write in a way that kept in mind the speaker, subject, audience, purpose, manner, and occasion. Chaucer moves freely between all of these styles, showing favouritism to none.
Thus Chaucer's work far surpasses the ability of any single medieval theory to uncover. However, even the lowest characters, such as the Miller, show surprising rhetorical ability, although their subject matter is more lowbrow. Vocabulary also plays an important part, as those of the higher classes refer to a woman as a "lady", while the lower classes use the word "wenche", with no exceptions.
At times the same word will mean entirely different things between classes. The word "pitee", for example, is a noble concept to the upper classes, while in the Merchant's Tale it refers to sexual intercourse.
Again, however, tales such as the Nun's Priest's Tale show surprising skill with words among the lower classes of the group, while the Knight's Tale is at times extremely simple. It is a decasyllable line, probably borrowed from French and Italian forms, with riding rhyme and, occasionally, a caesura in the middle of a line.
His meter would later develop into the heroic meter of the 15th and 16th centuries and is an ancestor of iambic pentameter.
He avoids allowing couplets to become too prominent in the poem, and four of the tales the Man of Law's, Clerk's, Prioress', and Second Nun's use rhyme royal.
The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, although it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, it was the subject of heavy controversy.The Age of Chaucer The Prologue from The Canterbury Tales Poem by Geoffrey Chaucer Translated by Nevill Coghill In “The Prologue,” the introduction to The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer offers a vivid portrait of English society during the Geoffrey Chaucer The prologue .
The Knight - The first pilgrim Chaucer describes in the General Prologue, and the teller of the first tale. The Knight represents the ideal of a medieval Christian man-at-arms. The Knight represents the ideal of a medieval Christian man-at-arms. Presents the text of Chaucer's General Prologue, from the Riverside text with support on the portraits of individual pilgrims.
This edition has notes on the text and an Approaches section offering commentary and activities on key themes, such as Chaucer's portrayal of medieval society and his ironical tone/5.
A summary of General Prologue: Introduction in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Canterbury Tales and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales at plombier-nemours.com Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Interesting Finds Updated Daily There is a prologue and notes.
As far as Canterbury Tales itself, it is an epic poem. I read it in small pieces along with study aids. I would not be truthful. The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17, lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer/5.