English 12November 30, 2007
Introduction to Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales
Extra Credit: 25 points
Email me with at least 12 bene and mal words and today’s example.
Today’s example is coming up.
Bene and Mal
Get Up and Bar the Door
The story in this ballad exists in many versions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—perhaps illustrating the universal theme called the battle of the sexes. Goodman and goodwife are terms once applied to married men and women, something like Mr. and Mrs. today.
Who is the most foolish character in the story?
What happened to Randall?
Who is to blame?
What is going to happen to Randall?
Who is considered the father of English Poetry?
Geoffrey Chaucer page 113
Made the English language respectable
Wrote in the vernacular spoken in London
Government official and poet
Buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey
“The father of English Poetry lies in the family vault”
Author’s Buried There
Dr Samuel Johnson
John Gardner’s Quote page 114
“In a dark and troubled age, as it seems to us, he was a comfortable optimist, serene, full of faith. For all his delight in irony-and all his poetry has a touch of that-he affirmed this life, to say nothing of the next, from the bottom of his capacious heart.
Joy-satisfaction without a trace of sentimental simple-mindedness-is still the effect of Chaucer’s poetry and of Chaucer’s personality as it emerges from the poems. It is not the simple faith of a credulous man in credulous age: No poet has ever written better on the baffling complexity of things.”
Snapshot of an age
To include the complete range of medieval society in the same picture, Chaucer places his characters on a pilgrimage. These pilgrims, like a group of people on tour today, are from many stations and stages of life.
What pilgrimages to people take today?
They come from all walks of life
Represent “everyman” on the universal pilgrimage of life.
Do you think you could anything in common with a medieval pilgrim?
Frame Story: a story that serves to bind together several different narratives.
The poet-pilgrim narrator starts out at the Tabard Inn in South London.
There he meets 29 other pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.
They decide to pass the time on the 55 mile journey by telling stories.
Literary Focus: Characterization
To create portraits of his pilgrims, Chaucer uses the same methods of characterization that writer’s use today.
How the character looks and dresses
How the character speaks and feels
How others respond to the character