Power and Corruption in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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The Canterbury Tales is a very popular and well known set of stories, written by Geoffrey Chaucer. This collection of stories is great entertainment and some even provide very good moral lessons; most of these stories show the contempt Chaucer had for the Church of England which had control at the time over most of England. Chaucer’s bias towards the corruption of the Church is best demonstrated in the Pardoner’s Prologue, in contradiction with the Parson’s Tale, and the level of power within the Church structure. These are two of the stories of the many that are in The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer uses the Pardoner as a high level leader who is corrupt and yet enables him to convert the sinners even if he does it for personal gain. While the …show more content…
Because Chaucer came from a semi-wealthy family in a feudal system, his father was able to get him into an aristocratic household as a page-boy. While he was a servant, he kept the tax books which were important considering the taxes were the main revenue for the crown. Growing up in the house of a well-known family gave him the opportunity to learn the ways of the upper class.
Over time he cultivated high standings with dukes and the court. He served as the Justice of the Peace and Knight of the Shire; both titles were given to him by Parliament (Greenblatt, 239). His association with the court implies that he helped bridge the gap between the middle and upper class; he helped alleviate the feudal system.
During his time in office he wrote many pieces of literature many, mostly about love and romance. His role as "a diplomat who, in his spare time, happened to write poetry"(Day 2), and the office he held well qualified him to “give weight to his examination of the Church”(Day 2) and have a unique perspective on the matter. Later in his life he started writing what he hoped would be his biggest work: a framed narrative consisting of a collection of stories, told from the point of view of group of individuals traveling together on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Sadly he died before it was completed.
The Canterbury Tales was supposed to be a work of one hundred and twenty stories; each pilgrim would tell two stories on the way to and from

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