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The Canterbury Tales

By Geoffrey Chaucer (5)

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales has survived several centuries, being written near the tail end of the 14th century. There are several reasons why Chaucer’s tale has endured, but it mainly relates to how vividly he depicts his cast of characters. A group of people, from all realms of life, have gathered to embark on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and to pass the time with ease, a local innkeeper of Southwark has suggested each member of the group tell a tale. The tale that draws the most praise will receive a free meal upon their return, courtesy of the residing group. The Canterbury Tales features tales within an overarching narrative, and features a wide variety of stories, all of which compliment their character’s personality. There is the infamous Wife of Bath, whose Arthurian tale spins male dominance on its head, and the revered Knight, whose tale is based on courtly love, and told in a chivalric manner befitting its noble teller. Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is known for its high degree of verisimilitude, and as such, has cemented its place in history as a defining text of the Middle Ages.

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