Essay on Literary Genres of Canterbury Tales

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Within William Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, many familiar medieval literary genres may be found. A very common tale that Chaucer uses is the fabliau, which is best portrayed in "The Miller's Tale." Another comedic genre, the beast fable, creates a moral through the use of animals instead of humans. In the Nun's Priest's Tale, Chaucer uses this fable to great effect. A third type of tale, the Breton lays, uses "The Franklin's Tale" to bring out the nobility of love. All three of these tales bring comedy and structure to a somewhat corrupt and violent clash of characters in William Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

"The Miller's Tale" is characterized as a fabliau because it follows certain requisites. Just like any other true
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Chaucer uses the fabliau to create a funny if farfetched tale by the Miller.

Another comedy called "The Nun's Priest's Tale" is very clearly defined as a beast fable for three general and definitive reasons. What make up a tale of any sort are the main characters. And unlike most other stories, the beast fable's primary characters are not humans, but animals. In "The Nun's Priest's Tale" these main animals are Chanticleer the cock and his "wife" Pertelote, who is a hen. These two characters replace humans in a complete way because they are able to act in an almost identical fashion. Their marriage is surprisingly strong for a cock and a hen. Pertelote, since she was very young, "held the heart of Chanticleer" and he loves her unconditionally still, though they often bicker like every other human husband and wife. This accuracy to human is almost beyond what is natural in a beast fable, and is further justified in Chantecleer's and the fox's vices. Both these characters suffer from vanity and trick each other by using this fault against one another. Therefore the moral, which is a necessity for any beast fable, tells the reader in a more sudle way not to be tricked by vanity. Therefore, "The Nun's Priest's Tale" is the perfect example of a beast fable, and just emphasizes the variety of different literary genres within The Canterbury Tales.

Chaucer's "The Franklin's Tale" is similar to "The Nun's Priest's Tale" in its devotion

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