Satire in The Canterbury Tales - Essay Example

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This essay is based on the satirical representation of the Monk, the Friar and the Knight in The Canterbury Tales, the most critically acclaimed work of fiction by Geoffrey Chaucer. Written during the fourteenth-century, The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories in a frame…
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Satire in The Canterbury Tales
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Download file to see previous pages This is not the picture one gets with the description of the Monk who is presented as being rebellious and living a self-pleasing lifestyle not caring about what a true monk should practice. He is presented as someone whose pastime activities includes hunting hares and riding his horses instead of dedicating significant time of his life to studying, praying, and working for the society. The Monk’s character and actions stand in stark contrast to the rules of the monastery which forbids the monks from leaving the monastery, hunting and leading a reckless life. The monks chooses to disobey these rules as seen in Chaucer’s assertion that "He yaf nought of that text a pulled hen” (Greenblatt, Greenblatt, Abrams and Christ 85). Elsewhere, Chaucer also notes the Monk’s habit when it is noted "Of priking and of hunting for the hare was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare"(191-192) which implies the Monk breaks these rules because they stand in the way of the things he loves.
The way of Monks dressing is also satirized based on his break from traditional attire used by monks. Instead of wearing the plain habits with hoods which are the usual attire, the Monk chooses to put on one with gray fur on the sleeves of his cope and a gold pin with a love knot at the end of the hood. Chaucer describes the Monk as:
This shows the Monk’s break from tradition where instead of being concerned with the poor in society, he spends his resources on accessories and the best attire. The description of the Monk based also indicates someone who does not fit into a religious lifestyle where instead of having the gold pin, the Monk was supposed to have a rosary. While being “lord ful fat” indicates a contrast from the expectation that monks should be lean due to constant fasting which might also proves he did not participate in these religious ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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