The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

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Geoffrey Chaucer was born 1342 into a middle-class family in London. As a child he attended school and soon after began his career as a page for Countess, which was considered quite a good position and furthered his education. At the age of 17 he was sent abroad to fight for the King of Britain in France where he was captured and held prisoner for one year until the King paid his ransom (Chaucer xi). By 1367, he worked for the King himself, and was held in high regard (xii). The King sent Chaucer abroad to negotiate trade relations on multiple occasions. These trips sent him to France and Italy and exposed him to their literature and culture (xiii). In 1386 after a few more postings in civil-service Chaucer was released from his duties, allowing him to begin work on The Canterbury Tales(xiv). His early education and exposure to people upper and lower class over his lifetime, as well as his travels, allowed him to write The Canterbury Tales. Only three of the characters in this piece are females, reflecting the limited power women held in the 14th century. Chaucer uses physical descriptions as well as characterizations of the pilgrims to convey his opinions on the character’s behavior and gender roles in society. Chaucer believes that women with power are limited to the roles of wife and clergy in his time while men hold the majority of power roles and that many clergy members are corrupt. The roles of men and women in the 14th century were vastly different than today,…

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