See a Problem?
Preview — The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
The procession that crosses Chaucer's pages is as full of life and as richly textured as a medieval tapestry. The Knight, the Miller, the Friar, the Squire, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath, and others who make up the cast of characters -- including Chaucer himself -- are real people, with human emotions and weaknesses. When it is remembered that Chaucer wrote in English at...more
It was 1996 and my freshmen year at college. I had already declared English as my major and needed to choose between Chaucer and Shakespeare as the primary "classic" author to take a course on. I chose Shakespeare. My advisor told me that's the usual pick and most missed out. I laughed at her. She was 40 years older than me and told me all the dirty stuff was in Chaucer... "Are you sure?" she asked. At that point, I realized life was just beginning. I was so naive back the ...more
There are many translations, from Middle English, to Victorian verse, to modern day prose. So sample a few and read what you're comfortable with. Then dive in and enjoy the stories. They can be read independently of one another, but often play of ...more
I once spent a pleasant bus trip sitting next to a grad student who was do ...more
I perused it, expecting some blend of quaint bits of Merry England, cloaked under some veil of Medieval lore, yet I had been confronted with something quite different!
This comes out as an array of odd tales, dealing with peoples' shortcomings, cuckholding, cheating, ripping off and the likes! As a whole it stands out unprecedented, a fearsome match for almost any collection of modern or contemporary shorts stories I have read.
For starters, each character has its s ...more
Shall tell two tales en route to Canterbury,
And, coming homeward, another two,
Stories of things that happened long ago.
Whoever best acquits himself, and tells
The most amusing and instructive tale,
Shall have a dinner, paid by us all,
Here in this roof, and under this roof-tree,
When we come back again from Canterbury."
One of the most legendary books from the Middle Ages, the Canterbury Tales is a wonderful collection of short stories about life in me ...more
My favourite tale was The Pardoner's Tale. I always enjoy a story in which greedy, vicious people get what they deserve.
I had tried reading Chaucer at university but Middle English was an obstacle I was not able to overcome. So this time I played safely and opted for this one in modern English .. And I enjoyed it so much!
If you have a little French or German from school and can be flexible enough to understand that 'sonne' is 'sun', then give it a go. Once you're comfortable with it the language becomes a rich pleasure of it's own. The shift from modern to middle English might be daunting, but I feel i ...more
WHAN that Aprille with his schowres swoote
The drought of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathud every veyne in suich licour,
Of which vertue engendred is the flour:
What is The Canterbury Tales
It is the month of April, nature is fertile, the time when people fall in love, travel, and go on pilgrimages.
Chaucer decided to go on a pilgrimage and he encountered in Tabard Inn 29 other people that were also going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury to visit the shrine of St Thomas Becket who was murdere ...more
The story-tellers represent different classes in the English society of the time. Through them, Chaucer has painted ...more
Right so bitwixe a titlelees tirauntIf one ever took a look at ...more
And an outlaw or a theef erraunt,
The same I seye: ther is no difference.
To Alisaundre was toold this sentence,
That, for the tirant is of gretter myght
By force of meynee for to sleen dounright,
And brennen hous and hoom, and make al playn,
Lo, therfore is he cleped a capitayn;
And for the outlawe hath but smal meynee,
And may not doon so greet an harm as he,
Ne brynge a contree to so greet mescheef,
Men clepen hym an outlawe or a theef.
As husbands know, the ruin of their lives
Much as the theme of estrangement dominates a thread of traditional songs, (see Wayfaring Stranger, Motherless Child etc) much of early Modern literature appears concerned with faithless brides and the looming spectre of cuckoldry. It is possible that I am full of shit in tall weeds, but that said, I do think that there is a link between the themes (alienation and infidelity) and that both are understood in terms ...more
So why should we read Canterbury Tales? Well, I suppose the technical answer would be because each tale represents a style or type of writing. The collection is different forms that were popular in the day ...more
Chaucer only managed to finish 23 of a planned 120 stories, so that’s actually a pretty bad job; his big innovation wa ...more
If the challenges of translation aren't for you, pick up a translated copy. You can have all the fun without the work.
The Rory Gilmore Challenge
Ok imma gonna tackle this classic. I’m fairly certain I cheated on this test in high school.
My only regret is that the copy I read had no grand explanatory introduction or any footnotes to help understand the political intrigues Chaucer hid in his writing. My copy did not have a barcode, so I just picked one. I should have bought the one in the photo.
First of all, there shouldn't be translations of Chaucer. Much of Chaucer's meaning comes through the language he uses. Take away the language, and what's left is no longer Chaucer. I can see an argument for translating Chaucer into German, French, Italian, Tagalog, whatever. But into Modern English--that's insulting.
If you can't read Chaucer's Middle English, just skip The Canterbury Tale ...more
Chaucer is considered to be maybe the 2nd best English poet behind Shakespeare, and he did have some moments of brilliance in this collection. The Pr ...more
"Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour,
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every hol ...more
|Never too Late to...: 2020 Jan-March The Canterbury Tales||68||50||Jun 29, 2020 02:58PM|
|2020 book tally not being updated||1||1||May 16, 2020 05:44PM|
|Audiobooks: The Canterbury Tales||37||66||Apr 13, 2020 01:39PM|
|Audiobooks: Best audiobook of The Canterbury Tales?||7||26||Jan 10, 2020 06:04PM|
|Reading Classics,...: The Canterbury Tales (1343 - 1400 CE) - #24||17||15||Aug 03, 2019 07:34PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Please add book cover||2||13||Sep 02, 2018 09:27AM|