Canterbury Tales Essay, Research Paper
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was one of the great pieces of literary work studied in English Literature I. This medieval literary work was by far one of the favorites studied by all people. The Canterbury Tales was my favorite selection because each individual tale dealt with a ‘theme’ that was real not only in medieval times but also in the present day.
The first tale was the Pardoner’s who’s theme, avarice (greed) is the root of all evil, definitely shows in everyday life. It is shown in everyday life by people not only wanting money but also doing anything to get it. This need or desire for money causes people to steal and kill. Pardoner’s tale shows that some people will do anything to get what they want, including killing a friend. If it were not for people’s greed many of the people in jails and prisons today would not be there. Everyday people deal with other people’s greed, including in the ‘work place’. The one major profession that deals with this is the medical profession. Doctors and nurses cannot practice as they should because of the chance of a lawsuit. The people that end up suing are because they want to make money in any way that they can, and that is one of the only ways that they know how. The theme that greed is the root of all evil proves to be a very powerful theme from the Pardoner’s tale, which is shown in everyday life.
The Wife of Bath’s theme fits into everyday life because there should be equality between men and women in a marriage (and other relationships); the man should not control the woman. Women in the twentieth century want to be independent and have control of there own lives. Many women are now holding “the income” in there house and are not just staying and cooking for her husband, which is one way they become more independent. Also by having equality in marriage it makes a relationship healthier. It not only gives the women a chance to do what’s best for her but by giving her the ‘power’ she wants it brings happiness to a marriage. The idea of equality shows more today than in the medieval times, though there are still double standards for women there are less of them. For example, it was looked down upon women marrying more than once in the medieval times, whereas it was acceptable for men to marry more than once. Because women are closer to being equals to men, than in the medieval times, it has become an okay concept for women to marry more than once. Chaucer did a great job of picking themes that related to everyday life, as shown in the Wife of Bath’s tale.
The final tale was that of the Prioress, who’s tale dealt with the seriousness of prejudices. Prejudice is a serious issue that people deal with in everyday life, in many different forms. Firstly, the tale dealt with religious prejudice. This type of intolerance may not seem to be a part of everyday life but it is in a big way. High school students may seclude themselves from certain groups because someone is Jewish or Catholic or another religion that they are not. Everyone has a right to believe what he or she wants, and what he or she wants to believe should not influence other people to dislike him or her. Prejudice is also apparent in another form, racism. This is one of the more evident types of discrimination seen today. Racism is the cause of much hatred. It causes fight and murder, which it should; all people should be considered equal no matter what there skin color. Another type of prejudice is sexism, which is obvious in everyday life. For example, on average women are not paid as much as men and are not expected to be as smart as men. In round about ways those tie into sexism. It puts men above of the women though they maybe doing the same job and be of equal intelligence. In many ways prejudice is the cause of hate, which the Prioress’s tale demonstrated to an extreme.