An analysis of chaucers view on the church as evident in the canterbury tales

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

An analysis of chaucers view on the church as evident in the canterbury tales

However, while people demanded more voice in the affairs of government, the church became corrupt -- this corruption also led to a more crooked society.

Nevertheless, there is no such thing as just church history; This is because the church can never be studied in isolation, simply because it has always related to the social, economic and political context of the day. In history then, there is a two way process where the church has an influence on the rest of society and of course, society influences the church.

This is naturally because it is the people from a society who make up the church The Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England was to take place in a relatively short period of time, but this was not because of the success of the Augustinian effort.

Indeed, the early years of this mission had an ambivalence which shows in the number of people who hedged their bets by practicing both Christian and Pagan rites at the same time, and in the number of people who promptly apostatized when a Christian king died.

There is certainly no evidence for a large-scale conversion of the common people to Christianity at this time. Augustine was not the most diplomatic of men, and managed to antagonize many people of power and influence in Britain, not least among them the native British churchmen, who had never been particularly eager to save the souls of the Anglo-Saxons who had brought such bitter times to their people.

In their isolation, the British Church had maintained older ways of celebrated the major festivals of Christianity, and Augustine's effort to compel them to conform to modern Roman usage only angered them.

When Augustine died some time between and ADthen, Christianity had only a precarious hold on Anglo-Saxon England, a hold which was limited largely to a few in the aristocracy. Christianity was to become firmly established only as a result of Irish efforts, who from centers in Scotland and Northumbria made the common people Christian, and established on a firm basis the English Church.

At all levels of society, belief in a god or gods was not a matter of choice, it was a matter of fact. Atheism was an alien concept and one dating from the eighteenth century. Living in the middle ages, one would come into contact with the Church in a number of ways.

First, there were the routine church services, held daily and attended at least once a week, and the special festivals of Christmas, Easter, baptisms, marriages, etc.

In that respect the medieval Church was no different to the modern one. Second, there were the tithes that the Church collected, usually once a year. Tithes were used to feed the parish priest, maintain the fabric of the church, and to help the poor.

Third, the Church fulfilled the functions of a 'civil service' and an education system. Schools did not exist and were unnecessary to a largely peasant societybut the Church and the government needed men who could read and write in English and Latin. The Church trained its own men, and these went to help in the government: The words 'cleric' and 'clerk' have the same origin, and every nobleman would have at least one priest to act as a secretary.

The power of the Church is often over-emphasized. Certainly, the later medieval Church was rich and powerful, and that power was often misused - especially in Europe. Bishops and archbishops were appointed without any training or clerical background, church offices changed hands for cash, and so on.

An analysis of chaucers view on the church as evident in the canterbury tales

The authority of the early medieval Church in England was no different to that of any other landowner. So, the question that haunted medieval man was that of his own salvation.

The existence of God was never questioned and the heart-cry of medieval society was a desire to know God and achieve intimacy with the divine. Leading a life pleasing to God was the uppermost concern, and the wide diversity of medieval piety is simply because people answered the question, 'How can I best lead a holy life?

The Canterbury Tales

Beginning with "The Pardoner's Tale", the theme of salvation is truly paramount. Chaucer, being one of the most important medieval authors, uses this prologue and tale to make a statement about buying salvation.

The character of the pardoner is one of the most despicable pilgrims, seemingly "along for the ride" to his next "gig" as the seller of relics. As a matter of fact, the pardoner is only in it for the money, as evident from this passage: I wol none of the Apostles countrefete: I wold have moneye, wolle, cheese, and whete, Al were it yiven of the pooreste page, Or of the pooreste widwe in a village -- Al sholde hir children sterve for famine.

Nay, I drinke licour of the vine And have a joly wenche in every town. In his tale, the Pardoner slips into his role as the holiest of holies and speaks of the dire consequences of gluttony, gambling, and lechery.

SparkNotes: The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue: Introduction

The personification of the deadly sins, along with his story of the three greedy men that eventually perish at the hands of their sin is a distinct medieval device.

The comic twist that Chaucer adds to the device, though, is that the Pardoner in himself is as the personification of sin, as is evident from the passages of his prologue. He then goes on to offer each pilgrim a place The Pardoner's place in Chaucer's idea of redemption becomes evident in the epilogue of the tale.

By this, the idea of the pardoner as the most important man on the pilgrimage is brought to fruition and Chaucer makes the main point of this tale: Salvation is not for sale. Another example of the medieval obsession with redemption.

However, some did not accept this and questioned the church -- It was what they wanted other than "a holy life with a Old-Testament God"; That style of thinking evenually lead to a "more gentle, mother-figure" as a goddess -- The Cult of the Virgin.The Canterbury Tales Questions and Answers.

The Question and Answer section for The Canterbury Tales is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. A summary of Themes in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Canterbury Tales and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. In discussing Chaucer's collection of stories called The Canterbury Tales, an interesting picture or illustration of the Medieval Christian Church is presented.

However, while people demanded more voice in the affairs of government, the church became corrupt -- this corruption also led . Chaucer's View on the Church in The Canterbury Tales By analyzing “The Canterbury Tales”, one can conclude that Chaucer did see the merits of the church, but by .

In the portraits that we will see in the rest of the General Prologue, the Knight and Squire represent the military estate.

An analysis of chaucers view on the church as evident in the canterbury tales

The clergy is represented by the Prioress (and her nun and three priests), the Monk, the Friar, and the Parson. The Canterbury Tales (Middle English: Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17, lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between and In , Chaucer became Controller of Customs and Justice of Peace and, in , Clerk of the King's work.

It was during these years that Chaucer began working on his most famous text, The Canterbury Tales.

The theme of Church Corruption in The Canterbury Tales from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes