Essay on Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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As we go through life each of us have been hurt by the sarcastic comments of others. The words a person speaks to us become very important and the true massage they contain is what we being to analyze. Similar to sarcasm being used in speech, satire has been used by authors for centuries to carry an underlying message in the works they produce. Satire is defined as “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” and is often used to disguise a real message. One shining example of satire in literature is Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales the General Prologue, The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale, and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. Chaucer uses his satire to call attention …show more content…
He uses a satiric attitude towards each character he introduces, for example when he introduces the Friar he states, “In all Four Orders there was none so mellow so glib with gallant phrase and well-turned speech, He’d fixed up many a marriage, giving each of his young women what he could afford her. We was a noble pillar to his order.”(The General Prologue pg. 102 lines 214-218) Chaucer expresses how a man of the church is so corrupted yet he is still one of the better men in his trade. He does many things a man of his order should never do yet he is still respected above a great deal of others because of his station in the church. Chaucer’s knowledge of how to reach the audience he desires to can be confusing but it is very effective throughout the Canterbury Tales. It is in The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale that Chaucer’s satire begins its direct attack on the Roman Catholic church and its warnings to those who attend. Several writers and authors since Chaucer’s time have learned the value of satire, “I wear my pen as others do their sword. To each affronting sot I meet, the word is satisfaction: straight to thrusts I go, and pointed satire runs him through and through.”(Oldham) Like Oldham, Chaucer will use his pen as his weapon against the woes he sees in the church. His satire is expressed through the many characters on the pilgrimage who represent the

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