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Chaucer Character Analysis

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English Project

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of Chaucer Character Analysis

The Wife Of Bath
Chaucer Character Analysis
Description : The prioress is a very elegant woman with glass gray eyes. Her mouth was small and red ( lustful) . Also she had a forehead with a large spread ( represents good-breeding). She spoke french but not in the Parisian way ( counterfeit ) .
Satire: " She had little dogs she would be feeding with roasted flesh or milk or fine white bread" ( Chaucer 150-151) . during that time period food was scarce and eating meat in a meal was rare. So to feed meat to the dogs instead of her fellow starving kinsmen was frowned upon.

" Hung a golden brooch of the brightest sheen hung a crowned A and a lower Amor vincit omnia ( Chaucer 165) ." As a head nun who is sworn to devote her life to god and the bible. she shouldn't wear something that says love conquers . Because nuns should believe that " god conquers all".
The Monk
This character is known for being
selfish and greedy because he is supposed to help those in need , but he does not care about the poor. In fact, he will spend the money donated
from the people on gifts for women, for fancy
objects and clothes for himself, and to ease his
greed. Also, he is a dishonest man who will lie about his profession and will get money even from the poorest family.
Chaucer makes fun of this character by narrating the immorality of his acts such as being " qualified to hear confessions[...] with more than priestly scope[...]" ( Chaucer 222-223). The Friar uses this excuse to make more money for himself instead of helping the poor or preach about God. Indeed, he will get money even from those who could barely eat for one day, "For though a widow mightn't have a shoe,[...] he got his farthing from her just the same before he left, and so his income came to more than he laid out" ( Chaucer 259-263).
Medieval women
Description:Chaucer describes the Wife of Bath as a deaf, gap-toothed woman. She has a bold face and wears ten pounds of "kerchiefs" and a hat on her head . She wears a skirt with red stockings and tight-laced supple shoes. She is also a great weaver and has been on many pilgrimage. she was worthy woman who had five husbands. She knows all the remedies of love and is an expert at and preaches and practices the art of love.

Women had two choices in the middle ages to chose choose religious or married life. Some women were appealed to the ordered life of prayer and work , allowing educational opportunities that were rare in that time period. While other used it " as a last resort for women unmarriagable whether it be that the couldn't afford a dowry or otherwise unattractive" ( Hallisy 2). Although Madame Eglentnye was described as beautiful leading us to believe her to be living in the convent as a convenience to her family.

Clothing: "Traditionally nuns wore black and white garments called habits" ( Eastwood 14) . Underneath there habits they wore pieces of cloth that covered there heads and throats called wimples.

Interesting fact: "Nuns prayed in the convent's church eight times a day"( Eastwood 14).

Social class: Nuns were part of the working class society . There job was to serve god and take a vow of Chasity , Poverty, and Obedience.
Works Cited
Kay, Eastwood.
Women and Girls in the Middle Ages.
Crabtree Publishing Company ,2003. Print
Margaret, Hallissy.
A Companion to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Greenwood, 1995. Print
Description: The monk is gluttonous the prologue described him as fat. He is bald and has a very greasy face.

Satire: " He let go by the things of yesterday...he did not rate the text at a plucked hen , which says hunters are not holy men" ( Chaucer 179-181) . The monk ignores the rules of the bible and lives by his own rules.

" I saw his sleeves garnished at the hand with fine gray , the finest in the land" ( Chaucer 197-199). monks are suppose to be poor and for the monk to possess a coat of such nature. Suggests the monk broke his vow of poverty.
Geoffery, Chaucer.
The Cantebury Tales
. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , 2014. Print
Facts: Monks came from all walks of life and had to go through a lengthy process to become a monk. " A person who was actively seeking to enter a monastic order was called a “postulant.” This period usually lasted for one month and then the postulant would enter the novitiate phase for one year, after which time the monk would take his first vows. Four years into the process, monks would take the solemn monastic vows and then remain a monk for the rest of their lives"( Gabriel 1) .
Prayer times: Monks prayed eight times a day . beginning in the morning at 5 A.M. " The monks used The Book of Hours to guide their prayers , also the book of hours was used to guide the prayers at each hour time "

Social Class: A woman social class status was based on her husband or father.
"She had five husbands,all at the church door"(Chaucer 470). blabber-mouthed,greedy gold-digger.
" A worthy woman from bath city...somewhat deaf,which was pity"(Chaucer 456).Her fifth husband hits her so hard that she becomes deaf in one ear.He asks her forgiveness she ask him sovereignty.In this way the Wife of Bath is able to gain sovereignty over her fifth husband
"God bade us to increase and multiply--That noble text I well appreciate(The wife of bath tale prologue 29-30).She does not see anything wrong with the fact that she has had five husbands, because she says that even God wants man to increase and multiply
"I don't begrudge them their virginity;They're bread from finest wheat, so be it said,And let us wives be known as barley bread"(The wife of bath tale prologue142-143). The Wife of Bath is extremely proud of her sexuality and has no regrets; she is perfectly happy being barley bread.
Interesting fact " she had gap-teeth st widely,truth to tell"(Chaucer478).this symbolize sensuality and lust.
The Friar (Hubert)
"They did not follow an ancient monastic rule and were not bound for life to one abbey " ( McAleavy 54 ). The life of a friar was not as restricted as the one of a monk. Friars were supposed to live and support themselves from the donations of people, and they will travel to different places.

McAleavy, Tony.
Life in a Medieval Abbey
. New York, NY: Enchanted Lion, 2003. Print.

"And she was skied in wandering by the way"(Chaucer 485).
Interesting Fact:

"The four great orders of friars are the Dominicans,the Franciscans,the Carmelites and the Augustinians" (
). These are religious groups in which friars are divided into.
Social Class:
Friars belong to the Nobility because they were believed to have a special connection with God.
Acosta, Lourdes. "Charchter Anyalsis - the Monk." 1 Jan. 1998. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Cleary, Gregory. "Friar." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company,
Ecker, Ronald, and Eugene Crook. "The Wife of Bath's Tale." The Canterbury Tales
( A Complete Translation into Modern English ). Hodge & Braddock, 1 Oct. 1993. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <http://english.fsu.edu/canterbury/wifepro.html>.
1909. 16 Nov. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06280b.htm>.
Gabriel, Brian. "Facts About Monks in the Middle Ages." Synoynm. Demand Media. Web.
" [Friars] were committed to spreading the Christian message through preaching in the world to ordinary people " ( McAleavy 54 ). The main task for Friars is to connect with people and make the choose the right path. They will encourage and persuade others to let God in their hearts and have compassion for the poor.
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