A Study of The Canterbury Tales
Table of Contents
The Journey Begins . . .
England in the Middle Ages
Focus question
Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
Travelers to Canterbury
Chaucer’s Middle Ages Population
Works Cited
The Journey Begins . . .
In October 1066, a daylong battle
near Hastings, England, changed the
course of history.
England in the Middle Ages
Feudalism replaced the Nordic social
system.
The primary duty of males above the serf class
was to serve in the military—Knighthood.
Women had no political rights.
Chivalry and courtly love served as the system
of social codes
England in the Middle Ages
Lower, middle, and upper-middle classes
developed in the cities.
England in the Middle Ages
The Crusades extended from 1095-1270.
They brought contact with Eastern
mathematics, astronomy, architecture, and
crafts.
England in the Middle Ages
The Magna-Carta defeated papal central
power.
England in the Middle Ages
The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) was
the first national war waged by England.
England in the Middle Ages
The Black Death (1348-1349) brought the
end of the Middle Ages.
Fleas on rats carried
the bubonic plague
which killed
thousands of people.
in Europe.
How do the writings of the
Middle Ages represent the
lives, loves, loyalties, and
humor of humanity?
Discover the answer by reading The
Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight.
Geoffrey Chaucer
c. 1343-1400
Considered the father of English poetry
Wrote in the vernacular
Served as a soldier, government servant, and member of
Parliament
Introduced iambic pentameter
First writer buried in Westminster Abbey
Learn more about Chaucer. Go to. . .
http://www.unc.edu/depts/chaucer/index.html
The Canterbury Tales:
Snapshot of an Age
It frames a story of characters on a religious
pilgrimage to Canterbury.
The characters are a concise portrait of an entire
nation.
The pilgrimage is a quest narrative that moves
from images of spring and awakening to penance,
death, and eternal life.
The characters tell stories that reflect “everyman”
in the universal pilgrimage of life.
The Travelers to Canterbury
Working Class
Plowman
Cook
Miller
Reeve
Host
Haberdasher
Dyer
Carpenter
Weaver
Carpetmaker
The Travelers to Canterbury
Professional Class
Military
Religious
Knight, Squire, Yeoman
Nun, 3 Priests, Friar, Parson,
Pardoner, Summoner
Secular
Cleric, Serjeant at Law, Merchant,
Skipper, Doctor
The Travelers to Canterbury
Upper Class
Wife of Bath
Franklin
Chaucer’s Snapshot of the Middle
Ages Population
Works Cited
Home
Brown, Ian. “The Green Knight.” 2002. May 16,
2003
<http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/gawmenu.htm>.
“Geoffrey Chaucer.” Elements of Literature Sixth
Course. Ed. Robert R. Hoyt. Austin, 1977. T99.
Pyle, Howard. “Sir Gawain the Son of Lot, King
of Orkney.” 1903. May 16, 2003
<http://wwwlib.rochester.edu/camelot/gawmenu.htm>.
“The Canterbury Tales: A Snapshot of an Age.”
Elements of Literature Sixth Course. Ed. Robert
R. Hoyt. Austin, 1977. T101-T104.