September 29

General Prologue, Canterbury Tales,II


Chaucer's modification and interrogation of form

In Chaucer's version of estates satire, the placement of his characters within the Prologue suggests that his society isn't such an orderly hierarchical arrangement as contemporary social theorists might like it to be. (People won't stay in their places!)

The GP's subtle positioning of the pilgrims

Chaucer uses telling juxtapositions and contrasts to make subtle points. Note the poet's use of small, significant details and his command of numerous technical vocabularies, e.g., medicine, law.

The poet's literary persona (Latin: "mask")

Portrait of the Prioress

Geoffrey-the-pilgrim's apology