Canterbury Tales

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer shows his various views on life. First, the role of women in The Canterbury Tales and life. Next, it will show similarities in tales. The last point to be made in this paper is the satirical mood of Chaucer.

Chaucer?s Canterbury Tales serve as lessons on how one should live honorably and soundly. Under the surface, however, lies a jaded look at women and how they are the cause of the downfall of men. ?The Knight?s Tale? is one of chivalry and upstanding moral behavior. (Wagenknecht 18) Beneath the surface, however, lies the theme of the evil nature of women. Emily plays the part of the beautiful woman who captivates the hearts of two unsuspecting men. Those two men are cousins Arcite and Palamon, both knights who duel for Emily?s hand in marriage. The two start out as the best of friends and then roommates in a jail cell that is to be shared for eternity.

With one look at Emily, the two start bickering instinctively and almost come to blows over something they will never be able to have, or so it seems. Chaucer?s knack for irony revels itself as Arcite is released from his life sentence but disallowed from ever coming back to Athens. He would be killed if ever caught within the city again by King Theseus. Because Arcite is doomed never again to see Emily, his broken heart causes him sickness as he?s weakened by love. Meanwhile, Palamon remains back in captivity, rendered helpless due to his lifelong punishment in prison. He knows that he will never be able to talk to Emily and certainly not marry her because of his plight. All he can do is watch her from a distance and admire her beauty. Emily has caused him such...