The Canterbury Tales (Franklin and Miller)

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Describe and compare the characters of Alison and Dorigen and explain how each character is used to express the narrator’s moral and message. Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury tales presents many different personalities and beliefs through his characters, his characters encompass much more than the regular, single attribute personage. Though they may seem stereotypical initially, upon closer examination the individuals do not adhere flawlessly to any single typeset but are tweaked in several aspects in order to better convey Chaucer's message. Alison, on a superficial level is portrayed as the deceived, young wife. A naive, innocent and faithful young woman, who is bound to her husband. A common depiction of the typical wife at that time. However when observing more profound characteristic, she contains some elements of a wild and lecherous woman. Opposing the traditional image of the subordinate wife who is dependent on the husband, Alison is self-standing, she makes her own decisions. Dorigen on the other hand is the traditional wife, who is loyal and honorable. Though the relationship between Arveragus and Dorigen differs from that between John and Alison, the circumstances are comparable. Dorigen is a common character of the time, a wife whose self-esteem and ranking in society have led to her being a respectable woman. Though she does not flirt or yield to wooing, even during the prolonged absence of her husband, she is still playful. Chaucer manipulates these two characters in a masterful modus by having the actions and manner of these characters coincide with those of many women of those days, encouraging introspection upon their part. Alison is a slim and fair young woman, but not of stunning beauty or significant importance as Chaucer deems her worthy as a “Yeoman's” wife but she would not make a nobleman's wife. “Fair was this yonge wif and

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