The canterbury tales portrait of real people to

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The Canterbury Tales – portrait of real people. To Chaucer's final period, in which he achieved his fullest artistic power, belongs his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales(written mostly after 1387) – a poetic collection of stories widely regarded as the beginning of English literature. This unfinished poem, about 17,000 lines, is one of the most brilliant works in all literature in which he draws us into a very down-to-earth world. The poem introduces a group of pilgrims journeying from London to the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. To help pass the time they decide to tell stories which are bawdy, comical and pious. Chaucer himself is among the pilgrims in the tales. Together, the pilgrims represent a wide cross section of 14th-century English life. By chance, 29 other pilgrims come trooping into the tavern, also headed for Canterbury. Chaucer chats with all of them, becomes part of their group, and decides to leave with them early the next morning. Chaucer then tells us all about the group he's joined: who they are, what their station in life is, even what they're wearing. 6
He proceeds to give us detailed descriptions of almost all of them, starting with the Knight, the highest-ranking member of the group.The Host has a plan – he proposes that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more on the way back. Whoever tells the best tale-the most morally instructive as well as the most amusing - gets treated to dinner by the rest of the gang on the return trip (at the Host's inn, of course). Chaucer's description of each character tells us something about the character's personality. We'll also learn something more about the character based on the story he or she tells. Chaucer tells us much about each pilgrim, not only by telling us what they do for a living, but also through description of their clothes, attitudes, even their bodies. Chaucer's list of attributes often parodies the standards set for a given rank, turning some descriptions into great comedy. Through Chaucer's superb powers ofcharacterization the pilgrims—such as the earthy wife of Bath, the gentle knight, the worldly prioress, the evil summoner—come intensely alive. This literary form--a collection of disconnected stories bound together in a fictitious framework--goes back almost to the beginning of literature itself; but Chaucer may well have been directly influenced by Boccaccio's famous book of prose tales, 'The Decameron'(Ten Days of Story-Telling). Between the two works, however, there is a striking contrast, which has often been pointed out. While the Italian author represents his gentlemen and ladies as selfishly fleeing from the misery of a frightful plague in Florence to a charming villa and a holiday of unreflecting pleasure, the gaiety of Chaucer's pilgrims rests on a basis of serious purpose, however conventional it may be.

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