His staff is the sign of an ale-house, and his shield is a cake of bread. These lay characters can be further subdivided into landowners the Franklin , professionals the Clerk, the Man of Law, the Guildsmen, the Physician, and the Shipman , laborers the Cook and the Plowman , stewards the Miller, the Manciple, and the Reeve , and church officers the Summoner and the Pardoner. Then, the Miller, Manciple a custodian , Reeve a caretaker , Summoner like a process server for the church , and Pardoner like a Bible salesman are mentioned briefly. Chaucer arguably points out the virtues and vices of each of the pilgrims as described within the work. Chaucer notices that even though the man of medicine is well read in his subject, from Greek to Anglican medicine but is not a student of the Biblical text and scripture. The clergy is represented by the Prioress and her nun and three priests , the Monk, the Friar, and the Parson. He can draw up a legal document, the narrator tells us, and no-one can find a flaw in his legal writings.
God loved he best with all his whole heart At all times, whether with delight or smart, Then his neighbour loved he as himself. He curls his hair, uses breath fresheners, and fancies Alisoun. She has visited places like Rome, Jerusalem, and Rome etc. When we took Alexandria was there; Often at table held the place of honour, Above all other nations too in Prussia; Campaigned in Lithuania and Russia, No Christian man of his rank more often. A pilgrimage is a religious journey undertaken for penance and grace.
. Now the owner of the Tabard Inn, the host arranges the supper for every pilgrim and that wins the heart of everyone. She had had five husbands through the church door, and had been at Jerusalem, Rome and Boulogne on pilgrimage. This will keep their morale and energies up for the journey. And I seyde his opinioun was good. The narrator satirizes the contemporary non-devout life of monks through his portrait of the jolly huntsman.
He was a loudmouth and to his disgrace Told stories most of sin and harlotry. The Pardoner has long, greasy, yellow hair and is beardless. She is so charitable and piteous, that she would weep if she saw a mouse caught in a trap, and she has two small dogs with her. In a loose tunic he rode on a mare. Spring in this sense is figured as a time of rebirth, growth, procreation, and abundance. He's a learned man, who truly preaches Christ's gospel, and devoutly teaches his parishioners. The Knight - The first pilgrim Chaucer describes in the General Prologue, and the teller of the first tale.
Nobility and clergy Merchants Next, come the merchants who maintain a high social standing because of their wealth. Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne, Entuned in hir nose ful semely, And frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly, After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, For Frenssh of Parys was to hire unknowe. This is no bookish monk, studying in a cloister, but a man who keeps greyhounds to hunt the hare. This group is more respected than the general laborers, but down a rung from the wealthy merchants. He had often been a Justice at assize, By letters patent and by full commission.
There's not a door that he couldn't lift off its hinges, or break it by running at it head-first. While the pilgrims are from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, medieval society is still very hierarchical, with the knight at the top. He knew the best hours for the sick, By the power of his natural magic. In courtesy she had delight and zest. The workers, farmers, and peasants bring up the rear.
Everywhere he went, the narrator tells us, he had a 'sovereyn prys' which could mean either an 'outstanding reputation', or a price on his head for the fighting he has done. The nobility, not represented in the General Prologue, traditionally derives its title and privileges from military duties and service, so it is considered part of the military estate. The season of rejuvenation brings with it a new form of sensual lusts together with a desire for spiritual attainment. Had been a worthy woman all her life; Husbands at the church-door she had five, Besides other company in her youth — No need to speak of that just now, in truth. Not as respected or powerful as nobles, these men make up the class of business people and administrators: the Merchant, Sergeant of Law lawyer , Clerk, and the Franklin landlord.
He had a pleasant dwelling on a heath, With green trees shadowed was the sward. The action begins at a tavern just outside of London, circa 1390, where a group of pilgrims have gathered in preparation for their journey to visit the shrine of St. He was hot and lecherous as a sparrow, With scabby black brows and scrubby beard; Of his visage children were a-feared. As the narrative voice has been under critical scrutiny for some time, so too has the identity of the narrator himself. He nevere yet no vileinye ne sayde In al his lyf, un-to no maner wight. Ful semely after hir mete she raughte. His house is always full of meat pie, fish and meat, so much so that it 'snewed in his hous of mete and drynke'.
He travels across his big parish to visit all of his parishioners, on his feet, carrying a staff in his hand. The Pardoner has a wallet stuffed full of pardons from Rome as well as many religious trinkets, such as veils, goblets, and decorated crucifixes. He speaks slowly, weighing the profit of expressing his opinions. He could exchange monies, buy and sell. This friar, whose name is Hubert, also has a lisp. He seems to be flirtatious and likes to write songs.
His clothes are blue and red. Another little nun with her had she, Who was her chaplain; and of priests she'd three. William Blake, Canterbury Pilgrims, 1808 Nobles and Clergy This 1808 etching by English artist William Blake depicts the procession leaving the Inn. Where do Chaucer's writerly and narratorial voices end, and his characters' voices begin? The first sentence of the General Prologue, is one of the most important 18 lines of poetry in English. He is clad in loose clothing and has a mare to ride on.