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Canterbury Tales Prologue

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penny mcknight

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of Canterbury Tales Prologue

The Canterbury Tales
Innkeeper: Harry Bailly
The Challenge:
30 pilgrims to tell 4 tales each
(2 on the way there;
2 on the way back)
Winner gets a free meal at the Inn
Young
Appearance
Canterbury Cathedral
Normal height
Curly hair
Strong
Embroidered clothes with red and white flowers, like a "meadow"
Chaucer's Squire
Son of the Knight
Flowers
Red: symbolizes passion
White: symbolizes innocence
Currently practicing "courtly love"
For his love
For his youth
Battle in Picardy, Flanders, and Artois
In France
Patron Saint of Travelers
Saint Christopher
Physical Description
Brown face
Nut-shaped head
Carrying sword, dagger, bow, shield, hunting horn
Wearing "medal of St. Christopher"
Green coat with hood
"Peacock-feathered arrows"
Brace on his arm
In hopes to win his Lady's love
Chaucer's Perspective
Vague
But slightly negative . . . ?
Contrasting his father
A favorite
pilgrimage during Middle Ages

The pilgrimage begins!
St.Thomas Becket
Shrine of
murdered by knights of Henry II
Archbishop of Canterbury
By Geoffrey Chaucer
The Knight
Appearance:
Activities
Fighting around the world:,
sea battles
Crusades (Turks)
plain armor
rusty tunic
good horse
Heroic and Romantic Qualities:
Chivalry
Truth
Openhandedness
Courtesy
Wise
Meek
Gentle spoken
Appearance
20 yrs old
Activities
Hundred Years War
Sang, danced, drew
Played flute all day
Character
Lover who would be a knight
Helped "whoever he was able"
Concerned with appearances
SQUIRE
Lance
Prioress
Madame
Eglantine
The Nun's
Priest
The Fair Friar
Hubert
Merchant
Clerk
Lawyer
Guildsmen
Worthy Woman of Bath
Parson
Plowman
Miller
Manciple
Reeve
Southwark Tabard
The Monk
"I noot how men hym calle."
Traditional Pilgrims
Have a specific job or role in society
Have specific social expectations
Fit within the feudal hierarchy
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote...
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;

Nevertheless, while I have space and time,
Before I go further in this tale of mine,
I feel the most natural thing to do,
Is to picture each of this group for you,
To tell you how they all appeared to me -
What sort they were and what rank they might be,
And what they wore, the clothes they were dressed in;
And first then with a knight I shall begin.

Non-Traditional Pilgrims
Social and Economic Opportunists
Aspiring middle class
Non-traditional roles without
clearly delineated expectations
Still expected to hold traditional
social and moral values
Flashcards: http://quizlet.com/53742/the-canterbury-tales-characters-flash-cards/
Appearance:
Expensive beaver hat
Stylish forked beard
Boots
Sat handsomely in saddle
Activities
Medieval stock broker/financial advisor
Knows exchange rates
Shrewd business tips
Other
Self assured
Material values and concerns
Situational irony: appearance of
wealth and monetary knowledge, but
in reality = He was in debt
(student)
Appearance:
Thin
Serious
Threadbare coat
Rode a skinny horse
Activities
Study! Study! Study!
Prayer
"Gladly would he learn and
gladly teach"
Other:
Intellectual & Moral Values
Appearance vs. Reality:
Not thin to appear studious;
He was thin because he was studious!
Books more important than Food
(red & black Aristotle)
Well spoken
Lawyer
Appearance:
Plain, silk, belted coat
(not showy, but of good quality)
Activities
Interpreting & applying the law
Arguing cases in court
Studying - knew all cases and laws
Land speculation
Title law
Appeared busier than he was
Other
Works hard
Materialistic values
Claims Law of Precedent
"No one could pick a loophole or a flaw
in any lease or contract he might draw"
(b/c they were that good, or
b/c he was that shrewd?)
"And in his house it snowed of meat and drink"
Santa Clause: pure white beard
ruddy face
probably fat
Carries: a silk purse
a white dagger
Activities:
Eating and drinking!!!!
Local politician: Justice of Peace
House of Commons rep.
Sheriff & county auditor
Other:
Epicurean:
"held the opinion that the only measure
of perfect happiness was simply pleasure"
Generous:
St. Julian to the countryside
Stresses the Franklin's temporal earthly values
"there was on earth no such proprietor"
Appearance:
Def: a wealthy landowner
aspiring upper class
Members of a Trade Guild
5 dif. professions -
Appearance:
General appearance of gear:
new, very clean,
silver mountings
work pouches-well made & neat
Activities:
Weaver
Dyer
Carpenter
Tapestry-maker
Haberdasher
Other:
Appear successful & hard working
Showy - fancy gear
High aspirations:
"Each one was likely timber
to make an alderman"
Wives to be titled "madame" &
march in parades
Traveled with the
Guildsman
Appearance:
Had an ulcer on his leg
Activities:
Cooking! Good seasonings!
Other:
"the ulcer had great harm in it!"
The Physician
Appearance:
Healthy
Not overweight
Clothes of blood red taffeta &
Persian blue silk
Activities
Great student of medicine
(ancient doctors & modern treatments)
Combines medicine and astrology
Knows the humors
Other:
Opportunistic: made money off
other's misfortunes (plague)
In cahoots with pharmacist
Gave no heed to Scripture
Irony:
gold = medicinal value
physician's greed
"had a special love for gold"
The Skipper
Appearance
Sunbrowned
Course smock
Dagger on a string from his neck
Joggles as he rides
(pirate!)
Activities:
Captain of Madeleine - famous pirate ship
Very knowledgeable in navigation
Fought well
Smuggled
Other:
Dishonest
"too fine a point of honor he never kept"
Drunken sailor
No value for life
"drowned prisoners floated home to every land"
Appearance:
broad hips clothed in a skirt
bright red stockings
soft new shoes with spurs
well wimpled
large hat as wide as a shield
gap toothed (sensual & assertive)
red faced
wore old-fashioned handerkerchiefs
"She was a good fellow"
Activities:
skilled in weaving
took many pilgrimages
Married 5 times
Other:
somewhat deaf
loud, mouthy, full of advice
knew all about love
fiercely independent and domineering
Loved to be the center of show:
-first to give her offering
-wore "10 pounds of linen on her head"
Chaucer:
Calls her a
worthy woman
Appearance:
Poor
Carried a staff
Activities:
Faithfully preached gospel
Loved to teach his people
Whole concern:
turn sinners to heaven
Other:
Not hypocritical - "of true consecration
"rich in holy thought and word"
"learned he was - in the truest sense a clerk"
kind & industrious
patient in adversity
forgiving
generous (shared his little with others)
Content; not greedy
-no desire to go to London & get rich praying
for folks at St. Paul
-"a shepherd, not a mercenary"
Walked far and near to help his people
Lived what he taught:
"a model his flock could understand"
No respecter of persons - confronted sin in both
rich and poor
"If the gold rusts,
what will the iron do?
"If a priest is foul in whom we trust,
No wonder a layman shows a little rust>"
The Parson's brother
Appearance:
wore a course, rough coat
rode a mare
Activities:
Traveled with the pastor
Hard worker - threshing, digging,
ditching up manure
Other:
A true Christian brother
Glad to help others (freely)
Loved God with whole heart
Loved neighbor as himself
Did all "for the sake of Christ"
Lived in peace and charity
Paid tithes
"He was honest enough as millers come"
Appearance:
"a thick,squat-shouldered lump of sins" -
big beefy arms and thighs
Strong
Carried a shield and sword
Broad red beard
Large wide black nostrils
Big red wart with black hairs on his nose
Big mouth ("Like a great furnace")
Wore a white coat with a blue hood
Activities:
Milled grain
Told ribald/uncouth ballads & jokes
Buffoon
Prize-winning wrestler
"many rams for a prize"
Stole corn; overcharged his clients
Blew bagpipes - Led the pilgrims!
Other:
Ironic use of "golden thumb"
Appearance matches his uncouth
disposition
A country cheat!
Appearance:
Not a clue!
Activities:
Buys and sells for a college of 30 lawyers
Other:
City Cheat
- and very good at it!
Irony:
"Now isn't it an instance of God's grace"
Appearance:
Slender with long, lean legs
Close-shaven (no beard)
Short hair; tonsure like a priest
Rode a dappled-gray stallion - Scot
Wore a long blue coat,
hitched up and tied
Carried a RUSTY sword
Activities:
Responsible oversight of his lord's land,
stock, funds, and laborers
Sole steward since the lord was 20
Carpenter by trade
Shrewd in aquisitions
(for self - even more than his lord!)
Feared by the laborers
Kept the books well (honestly?)
Other:
Fiery temper - feared him as
they feared the death!
Manor Cheat!
"Could play the game with
auditors and win!"
Comes LAST in pilgrimage
Appearance:
Scary!!!!
Fiery red face, pocked & pimpled with
nobs and nubbins on his cheeks
Narrow eyes with thin brows
Scabby black beard
"His was a face that little children feared"
Bad breath
Huge garland on his head
Paid to summon sinners for trial
in the church court
Activities:
Loved to drink
Spoke Latin when drunk
Job: summon violators of canon
law to ecclesiastical court
Other:
Accepted bribes
Seems to blackmail youths
Creepy!
With A sail,
A veil,
Some stones
And bones -
His conscience was plastic,
this noble ecclesiastic!
Highest Religious Priorities?
Appearance
A Romantic Heroine:
-gentle smile
-well-formed nose
-soft, small, red mouth
-wide brow

"She was not undergrown as all could see"

Carried: Rosary - coral with golden broach
"All things are subject unto love"
Religious Activities
Sang the Mass - Gregorian Chants - nasally

NOTE: Nuns were forbidden to go on Pilgrimages
Other Interesting Tidbits:
Gentle speech: would not swear
Ate primly "from her lips no morsel ever fell"
More concerned with being a "lady" than with being a nun
Tenderhearted (mice & puppies)
NOTE:
Nuns were forbidden from having pets
A Monk Described:
- Lived in seclusion (monastery)
- worked, prayed, fasted, studied
-pale, thin, quiet, humble
VOWS:
poverty
obedience
chastity
Appearance:
Fat as a lord - tanned - shining face - big bright eyes (rolled)
Bald head - Sleeves trimmed with gray fur - gold pin fastened cloak
"A prelate to dream of while you slept!"
Benedictine Monk
Loved to hunt
Didn't like to follow the rules of Benedict or Augustine
"I told him his opinion made me glad,
Why should he always study and go mad?"
Appearance:
Portly; plump
stiff, wool cloak, not threadbare or shiny
white neck (but strong)
lisped (mark of sensuality)
Activities
1. Sold Indulgences
- listened to confessions
- gave easy forgiveness for $S$
- accepted $ or gifts from those who felt no repentance
-"the champion beggar of his neighborhood

2.. Loved to eat!
known by barmaids & innkeepers

3. Lecherous: loved women in every way
"many a girl was married by his doing"


Cheerful, jolly
Gay tongued
Could talk a penniless woman out of her shoes

A Gallant Friar!!
"It mocks all decency, it sews not stitch
To deal with such riffraff but with the rich"
It was unbecoming
with the lepers to go slumming.
Full transcript