Church Corruption & Canterbury Tales Essay

1193 Words Apr 28th, 2011 5 Pages
Corruption of the Church in The Canterbury Tales Around 1300AD, the Italian Renaissance was introduced, spreading through continental Europe as a “rebirth” of intellect, culture, and especially in the church. Despite the societal advancement, this religious renewal didn’t reach England until over a century later, which was partly because of corruption. During this period when England was behind the times, world connoisseurs such as Geoffrey Chaucer gradually brought the development into the country. Such is evident in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, where Renaissance-like characters on a holy pilgrimage take part in a story telling competition. Many of the pilgrims are part of the clergy and mimic the essence of the modern times by …show more content…
They call upon God with their lips, yet they venerate gold in their hearts, and on every side they seek to learn the way to it. The Devil has placed everything under their foot, but their pretended sanctity does not teach them how to hold on to anything.”(Gower, ch.8)
Gower criticizes how many friars are inconsistent with their worship, especially the Canterbury Friar. He agrees that the Friar appears poor yet is greedy and interrogates the way in which the Friar covers up his villainous deeds by ‘sweet talking’. The Friar wishes to be closer to God, yet has a paradoxical way of doing so. The clergyman in actuality is a great sinner, however feigns the image of a poverty stricken priest. The divine duty of the Friar while traveling is to go help those in need whether they are poor, disfigured, unfortunate, etc. The Friar from The Canterbury Tales clearly is disgusted by the idea of helping or even being around lepers and the poor. Unfortunately the Friar's emotions are subjective toward the less fortunate. Therefore his subjectivity increasingly demoralizes Catholicism.
The final and exceedingly despicable Pardoner is the last character introduced. Dressed in elaborate apparel, the man wears a large cross around his neck (which is disrespectful because it is overly ostentatious), and appears to be homosexual. The man is so highly dressed and clean shaven that Chaucer notes, “I judge he was

Related Documents