A Medieval Pilgrimages: "The Canterbury Tales"

Essay by pengun07High School, 12th gradeA+, February 2007

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A pilgrimage during the middle ages was an unforgettable event in anyone's life at that time. Even though many people went on a pilgrimage during that time, there have been only a few first hand accounts of the travels. Chaucer Geoffrey's "Canterbury Tales" is an extremely descriptive story on that time. "The Canterbury Tales" although as depicted in the Prologue represents a traditional medieval pilgrimage. Chaucer was born during the medieval times, so he was able to see people and things going on with his own eyes. Many of Chaucer's ideas go along with the hard facts of the history of that time. There are few and far between stories in history that talk specifically about medieval pilgrimages, but they would all have to agree with Chaucer Geoffrey.

A pilgrimage in the middle ages was something that just about everyone attempted to go on. Although it was much easier for people in the higher social classes, this did not stop the poor from going.

The poor or low class people had to save money their entire lives just to go on one pilgrimage. The middle to high class went on the bulk of pilgrimages. This is because the amount of money it took, and also many of the less fortunate were almost slaves to their bosses because of feudalism. It was not uncommon for the rich to go on many different pilgrimages during their lifetime. (Nardo 30)

Given that religion was so important during medieval times, almost all people associated with the church had to go on a pilgrimage. In The Canterbury Tales almost half of the people that are on the pilgrimage are in one shape or form associated with the church. The only people that were associated with the church, and forbidden from going on a...