Canterbury Tales Essay

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In Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s use of satire and irony contributed to shaping his portrayal of the Friar, Nun, and the Monk. The satirical devices shown through each of these characters’ descriptions prove how Chaucer’s view of the church is full of irony as well as misconception. In medieval life, people involved with the church were expected to always be helping others, worshiping God, and never doing wrong. However, there are many important roles held in the church that people tend to take advantage of simply by deceiving those around them. Chaucer used characters from Canterbury Tales to represent the fallacies hidden within the church that many people choose to ignore. As the Prioress is mentioned in the Prologue, Chaucer describes her as being second in command at a convent but is constantly imitating the rich. Her sins of gluttony, pride, and envy cause her to reveal that human nature lives inside everyone, making it almost impossible for anyone to fully live up to the high expectations of church roles. The irony hidden within the Nun’s character is revealed by her description of always focusing on wanting to be rich rather than wanting to glorify God through her actions. Chaucer states in her description that “She certainly was very entertaining, pleasant and friendly in her ways, and straining to counterfeit a courtly kind of grace,” (98) insinuating that the Nun is ironically one of the characters portrayed as an imitator and full of deceit by living a life full of falsehood. The Monk is also a satirical character who proves to have no regard for the rules of his monastery. Chaucer describes the Monk as a hunter who dismisses the strictures of sinful activities by stating, “He let go by the things of yesterday and took the modern world’s more spacious way, he did not rate that text at a plucked hen which says that hunters are not holy men” (99). The Monk

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