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Medieval England: The Canterbury Tales

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Fictional accounts of a period, even oneâ??s dripping with satire, help us to better
understand the culture of the time. Read â??The Knightâ??s Tale,â? â??The Millerâ??s
Tale,â? and â??The Tale of the Wife of Bath,â? in Chaucerâ??s Canterbury Tales.
Using Canterbury Tales (as your main source of knowledge) along with the textbook (western civilization by JUDITH G. COFFIN),
make an argument to answer the following question:
What role did the church play in the daily lives of the medieval public?
Where these characters truly concerned about religion above all else during
the spiritual pilgrimage described?
(Choose a very specific aspect of the role of religion and focus your argument around
that specifically.)
You will need to footnote all information
except that which comes from lecture or your own mind.

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Solution Summary

The solution is an in-depth 1,590-word narrative that looks at the work of Geoffrey Chaucer to investigate how life was like in Medieval England. His selected 'Canterbury Tales' have been investigated to answer questions about the role of the church, spirituality and pilgrimage as seen in the plight and perspectives of each of the characters. References are listed. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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Dear Student,
Hi. I am assuming that you have come to read Chaucer's work and that you have access to Coffin's book. The narrative below takes this assumption into account. If you haven't yet read them, It would be much better to view them quickly so as to make full use of the discussion herein. Good luck with your studies and thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Chaucer's Middle Ages England

Geoffrey Chaucer is considered to be the father of English literature and the greatest Medieval poet having lived from 1343 to 1400 AD. Born in Medieval London to a family of merchants and vintners, he lived and observed the Middle Ages from the position of one living well. His mother inherited properties and businesses around London and Geoffrey himself was a public official. His life therefore is well documented as he served the homes of nobles and encountered and socialized with those in power - nobles, merchants, courtiers, knights and those who aren't - servants, peasants, soldiers. He also served as a soldier under the 1st Duke of Clarence, the husband of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster. Chaucer was captured in the siege of Rheims and Edward the III paid a considerable ransom to get Chaucer back. He was a curious man in relation to the social situation and the social relations of his day, taking note of the way politics and power was practised and the perspectives of the very poor and ordinary and that of the very powerful. Aside from serving Edward's court as a diplomat and envoy, he was also a philosopher, alchemist and astronomer - his interest in science and science-related knowledge is well documented on his treatise on the astrolobe. Chaucer travelled and eventually married - his descendants occupied good positions within the proceeding generations of British monarchy. But it is his life experience and acute observations as well as sense of humour that helped him to create and write 'The Canterbury Tales' which, written in Middle English made the English vernacular a central literary language that soon eclipse Latin and French to be the dominant language in Medieval England. From his work, we can deduce the following:

Role of the Church and the Plight of Key Characters

While the Knight's Tale (2003, Project Gutenberg) is one of courtly love where ethical dilemmas where measured and squared away, challenge by challenge, situation by situation, The Miller presents a satirical and ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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