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Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

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Jennifer Doptis

on 10 April 2012

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Transcript of Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Who was Geoffrey Chaucer?
c. 1342-1400
Chaucer is often called the father of English poetry.
Understood how a variety of people acted and spoke.
His father was a prosperous wine merchant.
Chaucer became a page in a royal household when he was just a teenager.
He was exposed to a world of fine manners and high-born people.
n 1359, Chaucer went to France to fight the Hundred Years' War.
He was taken prisoner but his ransom was paid by King Edward himself.
In his twenties, Chaucer was made a court official. During his career, he traveled abroad on diplomatic missions to France, Italy and Spain.
The Canterbury Tales are considered Chaucer's masterpiece because...
This marks the beginning of the Middle English tradition, rather then French or Latin.
Assortment of people who are thrown together on a journey gives a life-like and engaging picture of the 1300s.
What are
The Canterbury Tales?
The Canterbury Tales are a collection of stories from 30 pilgrims who are on a spiritual journey to the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury.

Along the way, the host has them agree to tell tales to pass the time and to compete for a prize.

Elements of a good story
Characteristics of a good storyteller
How does a story give us insight to the storyteller?
Middle English:
A sample of the Prologue:

"Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;"
The Power
of Faith

How does faith
the actions
of others?
Characterization involves all the methods a writer uses to reveal the values and personalities of his or her characters.
Let's talk about storytelling!
The writer may make explicit statements about a character or may reveal a character indirectly through well-chosen words, thoughts, and actions.
Money is the
root of all
During Chaucer's time, people made trips to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket in Canterbury because St. Thomas's relics were buried there and were said to perform miracles.
Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his cathedral in A.D. 1170 after a disagreement with King Henry II.

He thus became a saint and, 200 years later (in the time of Chaucer), people were still making pilgrimages to his shrine.
Type of work: Framing Tale: a collection of tales "framed" within the unity of a journey
Date Written: Mid 1300s
Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
Setting of Tales:
Tabbard Inn on the outskirts of London.
Road to Canterbury.
What is it? Is it actually dead?
Try reading this...
Murder of Thomas a Becket
Where were they going? Why?
Big Ideas:
Don't think you can? Check this guy out...
Canterbury Tales:
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. Voltaire
Money poisons you when you've got it, and starves you when you haven't.
The age of chivalry has gone; the age of humanity has come.
Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
Full transcript