About this book: Geoffey Chaucer (c.1340-1400) was one of the finest storytellers in the English language, as well as being a great poet and an accomplished prose writer. The Canterbury Tales, although incomplete at the time of Chaucer's death, is generally regarded as his greatest work. The Canterbury Tales tells the story of 30 pilgrims who meet by chance at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, London and journey together to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury cathedral. To pass the time along the way, they tell stories to one another. The Tales themselves range from the exemplary saints' lives told by the nuns, to the bawdy, comic tales of the miller and the reeve, always shot through with Chaucer's cunning wit and dry humour. Chaucer leaves his readers with the impression that the whole of medieval society has passed before their eyes. This new transcription and edition is taken from British Library MS Harley 7334, a beautifully decorated, volume produced within ten years of Chaucer's death. The aim of the present edition, with its 'on-page' notes and glosses, is to enable readers with little or no previous experience of medieval English to read and enjoy this landmark in Eng
'Now as I've drunk a draught of corn-ripe ale, By God it stands to reason I can strike On some good story that you all will like' In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition within a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury tales offers us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England. Nevill Coghill's masterly and vivid modern English verse translation is rendered with consummate skill to retain all the vigour and poetry of Chaucer's fourteenth-century Middle English.
Category: Christian pilgrims and pilgrimages in literature
How is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales best read? Should we follow Kittredge in treating the work as drama, imagining the tales as theatrical scripts defining the characters to whom they are attributed? Or should we follow Muscatine in emphasizing their poetry, studying their intertextuality and admiring the stylistic innovations that Chaucer employs in adapting his sources? Or should the tales be read as independent narratives framed by a meta-textual Prologue and links? Some of the most renowned medievalists from Europe and America review these critical stances, bringing out their differences and their points of contact. Part One of the volume addresses these aesthetic questions in terms of the Canterbury Tales in general. The articles in Part Two explore some of the best known tales.
This daring new translation of 21 of the tales, most of them rendered in iambic tetrameter, conveys the content, tone, and narrative style of the original in a line as expressive as it is economical. An Introduction treats Chaucer's works, influences, life, learning, and the world of 14th-century London. Includes a glossary.
This new addition to the Longman Critical Readers Series provides an overview of the various ways in which modern critical theory has influenced Chaucer Studies over the last fifteen years. There is still a sense in the academic world, and in the wider literary community, that Medieval Studies are generally impervious to many of the questions that modern theory asks, and that it concerns itself only with traditional philological and historical issues. On the contrary, this book shows how Chaucer, specifically the Canterbury Tales, has been radically and excitingly 'opened up' by feminist, Lacanian, Bakhtinian, deconstructive, semiotic and anthropological theories to name but a few. The book provides an introduction to these new developments by anthologising some of the most important work in the field, including excerpts from book-length works, as well as articles from leading and innovative journals. The introduction to the volume examines in some detail the relation between the individual strengths of each of the above approaches and the ways in which a 'postmodernist' Chaucer is seen as reflecting them all. This convenient single volume collection of key critical analyses of Chaucer, which includes work from some journals and studies that are not always easily available, will be indispensable to students of Medieval Studies, Medieval Literature and Chaucer, as well as to general readers who seek to widen their understanding of the forces behind Chaucer's writing.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,7, University of Trier, course: Englische Sprachwissenschaft, 22 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Canterbury Tales are a collection of twenty-three tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century. A frame tale embraces the different tales which are told by a group of pilgrims on their way from Southwark to Canterbury where the group wants to visit the sacred shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. In order to make their pilgrimage more enjoyable, the pilgrims decide that each pilgrim tells two stories on their way to Canterbury and two on the return trip. The Host will then decide which was the best tale. However, The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. With all of the thirty pilgrims telling four stories, there should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan. But Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. In the Middle Ages, pilgrimage was a social as well as a religious event. Different social classes were mingled together. All the three strata of fourteenth century English society are represented in the tales – the nobility, the clergy and the commoners. The themes in The Canterbury Tales are as various as the pilgrims are. Some tales deal with the corruption of the Church and religious malpractice. Therefore, a number of churchmen and churchwomen are depicted and often treated ironically. Another important theme in the tales is the corruptness of human nature which can be linked to the theme of the decline of moral values. Chivalry is depicted in some tales, often closely connected to the concept of courtly love. The position of women in the Middle Ages as well as their position in marriage relationships are themes which appear in some way or the other in almost all of the tales. Four of the tales have even been called the “Marriage Group”. The following paper is going to deal with marriage in the “Marriage Group Tales” of The Canterbury Tales. The first part of this paper will examine the importance of marriage in the Middle Ages and the position of women in medieval society. Then, the development of the idea of courtly love will be presented. In a second part, this paper is going to give a short survey about all the tales dealing with marriage. The idea of a “Marriage Group” in The Canterbury Tales will then be presented. The last section of this paper will deal with two of the tales which constitute the beginning and the end of the “Marriage Group”, namely the Wife of Bath’s Tale and the Franklin’s Tale.