Corruption Of Religion In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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In the Middle Ages, Christianity dominated the lives of the nobility and the peasants. The church became prosperous and very influential. King Alfred made a substantial contribution to Old English language and culture by overseeing the transcription of the only oral form of the epic poem Beowulf. In The Canterbury Tales, the author is Geoffrey Chaucer; he is considered the father of English literature. During the writing of Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales, there was religious instability. The author of Beowulf inserts the Christian God in the poem instead of having pagan gods; however, Chaucer uses satire in The Canterbury Tales to ridicule the corruption of Christian beliefs of their one God.
The religious theme is one thing that both
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Chaucer wrote about what he knew, therefore at that time the influence in Chaucer’s life would have been the Christian Church and the rise of the middle class. Chaucer uses satirical techniques to communicate his opinions. Chaucer’s shows an unrealistic portrayal of his characters, emphasizing dislike among the different classes regarding society as a whole with the maximum emphasis on the church officials. Chaucer’s satire description of corrupt officials of the church in The Canterbury Tales is brilliant. At the beginning of the poem, the Friar living like a king only dealing with the upper middle class, not having time for the needy or the sick. “Because, for such a worthy man as he It would not do, with his ability, with sick lepers to have an acquaintance” (234-245). Nevertheless, the Friar would find time to collect monetary possessions rather than attending to anyone but himself. In The Canterbury Tales, the people could not believe in the church or the clergy. “If gold should rust, then what will do? For if a priest is foul, in whom we trust, No wonder that a foolish man should rust: A shepherd to be shitty with clean sheep” (502-506). The clergymen of the church lived like wealthy aristocrats. With the Pardoner, he would sell pardons from the church and false relics; his most obvious transgression is greed and false hope. The Church would send the Summoner to bring people that committed spiritual crimes against the church. The Summoner was a nasty man that drank to excess and was unethical and dishonest. Consequently, the corruption of the Christen Church gave the middle-class motivation to

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