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Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Book Report/Review Example

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Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

The different characters and their tales are introduced by the poet in a prologue which serves as an introduction to the overall theme of the work as well. In a profound analysis of the general prologue as well as the individual stories, it becomes lucid that the poet has been careful in introducing the major themes in the prologue and developing them through the various tales of the work. Therefore, a careful reader of the various tales in the book easily identifies the arrangement of different significant themes throughout the work. The most important themes of the various tales in the Canterbury Tales include topics like courtly love, treachery, and covetousness. In a profound analysis of the given passage from the 'Franklin's Tale' in the Canterbury Tales, one realizes that the major themes of this particular passage reflect the general themes of the overall work, such as the problem of governance, as well as relate to the problem of 'maistrie' in the 'Wife of Bath's Tale' and Prologue. Therefore, this paper undertakes a close reading of the given passage from the 'Franklin's Tale' in order to identify a group of related images or ideas in the passage and relate them to the larger themes of the 'Wife of Bath's Tale' and Canterbury Tales.
In a close understanding of 'The Franklin's Tale' one realizes that the poet provides some essential images and ideas which correspond to the larger themes of the 'Wife of Bath's Tale' and Canterbury Tales as a whole. The tale begins with the courtship of the Breton knight Arviragus and Dorigen, who are married contentedly. The marriage of Arviragus and Dorigen was one of equality and there was no feeling of a master-servant relationship among them. In this background, the narrator introduces the concept of 'maistrie", which corresponds to the desire of the Wife of Bath and the women in her tale and he suggests that when this desire is present in a marriage, love waves its wings and flies away. The passage from 'The Franklin's Tale' is especially significant as it deals, in detail, with the danger of conquering in love and how to conquer and a close reading of the text brings out the relationship of love, mastery and patience as described by the tale. These aspects of 'The Franklin's Tale' relate, most significantly, to the problem of 'maistrie' in the 'Wife of Bath's Tale' and Prologue, and the problem of governance in the Canterbury Tales on the whole.
In the given passage from 'The Franklin's Tale', the poet specifies the danger of conquering in love and the feeling of mastery in love, and clarifies how to conquer. The poet is particularly interested in bringing out the relationship of love, mastery and patience in the specified passage. Thus, Chaucer argues through the tale that obedience is essential for long and consistent relationship between lovers. "For there's one thing my lords, that's safe to say; / lovers must each be ready to obey / the other, if they would long keep company." (Chaucer) Here, the poet suggests the idea of obedience which is essential to a successful love relationship. The poet is emphatic about the mutual aid and understanding between the lovers and marriage becomes meaningless without freedom and liberty in the relationship. Th ...Show more

Summary

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which belongs to the Middle English (the 14th century), is one of the most celebrated collections of stories in English Literature and most of the stories of the work, except two stories that were written in prose, were written in verse…
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Chaucers Canterbury Tales essay example
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