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Shvoong Home>Books>Humour, Irony and Wit in The Canterbury Tales Review

Humour, Irony and Wit in The Canterbury Tales

Article Review   by:sunbound     Original Author: Chaucer
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In this free essay I discuss how Chaucer with a modern tolerant attitude to life created and presented his characters in the general Prologue. The chief elements of his perspective were humour, irony and wit: "In introducing the pilgrims of The Canterbury Tales in the General Prologue, Chaucer draws upon the traditional themes of “estates satire”. The “estates satires”, common through out the medieval Europe, aimed at giving an analysis of society in terms of hierarchy, social profession and morality. The Prologue differs from the standard patterns of “estates satire” in a number of significant ways, but the model remains none-the-less crucial. The most fundamental difference occurs in Chaucer’s presentation of a naïve and gullible narrator, Chaucer the pilgrim. This projection of a fictional narrator poses some problems of perspective regarding the presence of absolute moral judgement in the poem. But at the same time, it allows Chaucer to remain a member and an observer as well in the pilgrimage so that he can exploit the gaps for irony and humour without pronouncing absolute moral judgements. However, Chaucer is a secular writer whose attitude to life is based on the principle of a broad breasted acceptance. A large part of the narrator’s criteria for judging people then becomes their success in social relationship at a personal level; they are judged on pleasantness of appearance, charm of manner, social accomplishments. But this should not mean at all that Chaucer is callous of the vices and abuses of the times. He is conscious of all these and does pinpoint them in the poem, but in a manner which is subtle and varied..."
Published: November 08, 2007   
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  1. Answer   Question  :    Explain the irony satire and humour of Chaucer in his Prologue to the Canterburry tails. View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    bring out the blending of humour and irony in the general prolouge in the canterbury tales ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    i want answer for humour and irony in the general prologue Wednesday, June 08, 2011
  1. Answer   Question  :    i want more infromation about the humour,irony in the general prologue to the canterbury tales??? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    comment on the use of wit,irony and satire in chaucher's the prologue Saturday, March 05, 2011
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