Chaucer Canterbury Tales Essay

Geoffrey Chaucer

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Canterbury Tales

  • The Active Image: Medieval Allegory and Chaucer - Elaine V. Verbicky [.pdf]
  • Innocence, Suffering, and Sensibility: The Narrative Function of the Pathetic in Chaucer's
         Tales of the Clerk, Prioress, and Physician M. Catherine Turman Wildermuth
  • The Clerk's Tale: Literal Monstrosities and Allegorical Problems - Christopher J. Brock [.pdf]
  • The Name of the Risus: Nominalism, The Carnivalesque, and the Pursuit of Truths
         in Chaucer's the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale and the Clerk's Tale - Joseph L. Grossi [.pdf]
  • Women in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales:
         Woman as a Narrator, Woman in the Narrative - Vladislava Vaněčková [.pdf]
  • The Wife of Bath's Coverchiefs and Conjugal Sovereignty
         in Four Chaucerian Marriage Tales - Ervin C. Dueck [.pdf]
  • The Aesthetics of Marriage in The Canterbury Tales - Ju-ping Kuo [.pdf]
  • Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales: Rhetoric and Gender in Marriage - Andrea Marcotte [.pdf]
  • Chaucer's Female Characters in the Canterbury Tales - Særún Gestsdóttir [.pdf]
  • What About Walter? Polity, Power, and Obedience in the Griselda Story - Peter Berek, et al.
  • The Clerk of Oxford - Margaret Hallissy
  • The Clerk of Oxenford - Muriel Bowden
  • A Clerk Ther Was of Oxenford Also - Bert Dillon
  • Chaucer's Discussion of Marriage - George Lyman Kittredge
  • The Women in Chaucer's Marriage Group - Elizabeth Scala
  • Chaucer and Moral Philosophy: The Virtuous Women of the Canterbury Tales - Denise Baker [.pdf]
  • Chaucer's Clerk's Tale and the Monstrous Critics - Denise N. Baker [.pdf]
  • Reading Like a Clerk in the Clerk's Tale - Laura Ashe
  • Subtle Clerks and Uncanny Women - Susan Crane
  • Reading Griselda's Smocks in the Clerk's Tale - Laura F. Hodges
  • Griselda's Pagan Virtue - Lynn Shutters
  • 'It it be your will': Sadomasochism in Chaucer's Clerk's Tale - Michelle Danner [.pdf]
  • "A Mooder He Hath, but Fader Hath He Noon:" Constructions of Genealogy
    in the Clerk's Tale and the Man of Law's Tale - Angela Florschuetz
  • Fragments I-II and III-V in The Canterbury Tales: A Re-examination
    of the Idea of the Marriage Group - Cai Zong-qi
  • Chaucer's Clerk's Tale and the Question of Ethical Monstrosity - J. Allan Mitchell
  • Petrach, Boccaccio, and Chaucer's Clerk's Tale - John Finlayson
  • The Clerk's Tale: A Chaucerian "Poetics of Conversion" - Richard Neuse
  • A Woman in the Mind's Eye (and not): Narrators and Gazes in Chaucer's Clerk's Tale - Robin Waugh
  • Array as Motif in the Clerk's Tale - Kristine G. Wallace
  • The Powers of Silence:  The Case of the Clerk's Griselda - Elaine Tuttle Hansen
  • Griselda's "Unnatural Restraint" as a Technology of the Self - M. L. Warren
  • Chaucer's Clerk of Oxenford and Other Rime Royal Interludes - F. Martin
  • What's Really Being Tested in "The Clerk's Tale"? - Susan K. Hagen
  • Wanderers and Revolutionaries in the Tales of the Franklin and the Clerk - Carmen María Fernández Rodríguez [.pdf]

  • Medicine, aging and sexuality in Chaucer's "Reeve's Prologue," "Merchant's Tale"
         and "Miller's Tale" - Carol Ann Everest [.pdf]
  • Class Attitudes Toward Women in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Judith A. Harris
  • The Wife of Bath's Coverchiefs and Conjugal Sovereignty
         in Four Chaucerian Marriage Tales - Ervin C. Dueck [.pdf]
  • Chaucer's Scatological Art in Three Fabliaux - William B. Rutledge [.pdf]
  • The Aesthetics of Marriage in The Canterbury Tales - Ju-ping Kuo [.pdf]
  • Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales: Rhetoric and Gender in Marriage - Andrea Marcotte [.pdf]
  • Moost of Synne and Harlotries: The Pattern of the Ideal in Canterbury Tales - K. E. C. Fuog [.pdf]
  • "Walkynge in the mede": Chaucerian Gardens and the Recasting of the Edenic Fall - Jacob S. Babb
  • Chaucer's Female Characters in the Canterbury Tales - Særún Gestsdóttir [.pdf]
  • Excursions into Faerie: Chaucer and Shakespeare - Kaspar Manz [.pdf]
  • Widow-to-Be: May in Chaucer's "The Merchant's Tale" - Margaret Hallissy [.pdf]
  • The Merchant - Margaret Hallissy
  • The Dignified Merchant - Muriel Bowden
  • A Marchant Was Ther With a Forked Berd - Nancy M. Reale
  • The Women in Chaucer's Marriage Group - Elizabeth Scala
  • May in the Marketplace: Commodification and Textuality in the "Merchant's Tale" - Christian Sheridan
  • Your Malady Is No "Sodeyn Hap": Ophthalmology, Benvenutus Grassus,
    and January's Blindness - James M. Palmer
  • 'Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee': Freedom and Control in Relation
    to the Women in Chaucer's Merchant's Tale and Franklin's Tale - Anna Smit [.pdf]
  • Contraception and the Pear Tree Episode of Chaucer's 'Merchant's Tale' - Carol Falvo Hefferman
  • Fragments I-II and III-V in The Canterbury Tales: A Re-examination
    of the Idea of the Marriage Group - Cai Zong-qi
  • The Merchant's Tale, or Another Poor Worm - Elaine Tuttle Hansen
  • The Merchant's Tale: Allegory in the Mirror of Marriage - Richard Neuse
  • A Love "Par Amour", Conventionalized and Satirized, in Chaucer - Toshinori Hira
  • Interpreting Female Agency and Responsibility in the Miller's Tale and the Merchant's Tale - J. D. Parry
  • The Mercantile (Mis)reader in the Canterbury Tales - Roger A. Ladd
  • Chaucer's Discussion of Marriage - George Lyman Kittredge
  • The Merchant and the Parody of Creation - R. A. Shoaf
  • The Implications of Narrative Omission in Troilus and Criseyde and The Merchant's Tale - Nell Cobb
    Parody and Satire in The Miller's and Merchant's Tale - Guinevere Shaw
    January's Misogynist Merchant : The Theme of Sight in "The Merchant's Tale" - Stephanie A. Tolliver

  • The Active Image: Medieval Allegory and Chaucer - Elaine V. Verbicky [.pdf]
  • The Artes Praedicandi and the Use of Illustrative Material
         by Chaucer's Canterbury Preachers - Anthony E. Luengo [.pdf]
  • Queer Performativity and Chaucer's Pardoner - Taryn L. Norman [.pdf]
  • The Satanic Self in Chaucer, Milton, and Beckett - Jacob Burnett [.pdf]
  • The Pardoners in the Middle Ages - J. J. Jusserand
  • The Pardoner - Margaret Hallissy
  • The Pardoner of Rouncivale - Muriel Bowden
  • With Hym Ther Rood a Gentil Pardoner - Elton E. Smith
  • Chaucer's Pardoner - George Lyman Kittredge
  • Seeking Pardon for Chaucer's Pardoner: A Critical Pilgrimage - Allan Blondé [.pdf]
  • Chaucer's Pardoner in Performance - Stephen Knight [.pdf]
  • Two Possible Sources for Chaucer's Description of the Pardoner - Norman Klassen
  • Bulles, Coillons, and Relics in The Pardoner's Tale - Rory B. Egan
  • The Pardoner's Relics (and why they matter the most) - Robyn Malo
  • "For to be Sworne Bretheren Til They Deye": Satirizing Queer Brotherhood
    in the Chaucerian Corpus - Tison Pugh
  • Chaucer's Pardoner, The Scriptural Eunuch, and The Pardoner's Tale - Robert P. Miller
  • Further evidence for Chaucer's representation of the Pardoner as a womanizer - Richard Firth Green
  • Preaching and Avarice in the Pardoner's Tale - Warren Ginsberg
  • The Pardoner's Hyprocrisy of his Subjectivity - Robert Boenig
  • The Pardoner's Homosexuality and How It Matters - Monica E. McAlpine
  • Chaucerian Confession: Penitential Literature and the Pardoner - Lee W. Patterson
  • Chaucer's Pardoner: His Sexuality and Modern critics - C. David Benson
  • The Sexual Normality of Chaucer's Pardoner - Richard Firth Green
  • Chaucer's Pardoner: The Death of a Salesman - Derek Pearsall
  • The Pardoner and the Word of Death - R. A. Shoaf
  • Queer Performativity and the Natural in the Physician's and Pardoner's Tales - Glenn Burger
  • Elements of Schismatic Heresy in the Performances of the Physician, Pardoner, and Shipman - F. Martin
  • Introduction to The Pardoner's Tale - Brother Anthony of Taize
  • The Pardoner's Performance, or How Do We Know What We Know About the Pardoner? - L. Lopez

Chaucer's Irony The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's Irony - The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's Irony

Irony is a vitally important part of The Canterbury Tales, and
Chaucer's ingenious use of this literary device does a lot to provide
this book with the classic status it enjoys even today. Chaucer has
mastered the techniques required to skilfully put his points across
and subtle irony and satire is particularly effective in making a
point. The Canterbury Tales are well-known as an attack on the Church
and its rôle in fourteenth century society. With the ambiguity
introduced by the naïve and ignorant "Chaucer the pilgrim", the writer
is able to make ironic attacks on characters and what they represent
from a whole new angle. The differences in opinion of Chaucer the
pilgrim and Chaucer the writer are much more than nuances - the two
personas are very often diametrically opposed so as to cause effectual

In the Friar's portrait, he is delineated and depicted by riddles of
contradictory qualities. Chaucer expertly uses ironic naiveté to
highlight the Friar's lack of moral guilt. When the reader is told
that the Friar, "knew the taverns wel in every toun" (l. 240), we can
take it to mean that he spends very much time drinking, flirting and
socialising in pubs. The Friar is superseded to be a holy man, but we
see that he knew the landlords and barmaids much better than the
people he has meant to be consoling, praying for and helping out of
the vicious circle of poverty. Chaucer the pilgrim explains how
impressive the Friar's generous charity is and has respect for the way
he marries off young girls with suitable husbands and pays for the
ceremony. However, he neglects to mention that the only reason the
Friar does this is because he has illegitimately gotten them pregnant
in clandestine, despite claiming to be celibate. When Chaucer the
pilgrim tells us "famulier was he...with worthy wommen of the toun"
(ll. 215, 7), we can be fairly certain that these women were far from
worthy - in fact, they were more than likely to be practising
prostitutes. The word "worthy" is used again in line 243 to describe
the Friar. For any reader of The Canterbury Tales, the veil concealing
the irony of the use of this word throughout the book is very thin
indeed. Similarly, the Friar is called "virtuous" (l. 251) when he is
clearly not. Chaucer hits the nail on the head by following that with
"he was the beste beggere in his hous" (l. 252) - this insinuates that
instead of helping beggars with munificence, the Friar is accustomed
to getting money out of people by unscrupulous methods. By saying
"plesaunt was his absolution" (l. 223) he implies that the Friar would
disregard sins and readily absolve people for very little penance,
should they be willing to make a substantial donation. Chaucer the
pilgrim praises the Friar for not wearing threadbare robes and,
instead, says he dresses elegantly; "dighted lyk a maister or a pope"
(l. 263). However, while Chaucer...

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