Books and Movies Reviews

Cantuyrbury Tales

If one were to read The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, it is
inevitable that one would sense Chaucer's outright disrespect toward the
medieval church. Through various descriptions of Church figures, brilliant
characterization, and obvious comments Chaucer displays his evident
antipathy toward the Church. Through his descriptions of certain religious
figures he illustrates that they are the opposite of what they should be. Also,
through the tales these travelers tell he shows the blasphemous struggles of
power that the Church went through in the middle ages.
To begin his mockery of the Church Chaucer begins with the Friar. In
the Prologue, Chaucer writes"…For he was qualified to hear confessions, or
so he said, with more than priestly scope; He had special license from the
Pope." Obviously he is portraying the Friar as a liar, displaying his distrust
toward the Church. When the Friar tells his tale, it is about the wickedness
and corruption of Summoners which exhibits Chaucer's amusement with the
struggle for power by the Medieval Church. Chaucer again mocks the Friar's
character by portraying him as "better than lepers, beggars and that crew".
Friars by calling are supposed to be beggars who live on just enough to
survive, which is exactly that which he sees himself above.
Next on Chaucer's ridicule list is the Pardoner. Chaucer describes him
as a shameless and immoral man intensely self-loathing yet devoted to his
task of defrauding people of their money. The pardoner makes people believe
that they have sinned and need to buy pardons to save themselves from
eternal damnation. The Pardoner tells a tail about three rioters who encounter
death through their greediness. His motive for telling his tale is to get the
travelers to buy pardons from him. This once again voices Chaucer's distrust
toward the church. Furthermore Chaucer at…


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