Humor In The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer

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Many people believe in finding reasons to laugh in life, but others retreat back to books for humor. Humor is one of the most important aspects that keeps readers interested in reading a tale. People often find pleasure in reading a humorous tale especially when they have a lot going on their lives. In “””The Canterbury Tales”” by Geoffrey Chaucer, humor is found within the characters actions, immorality and nobility. He describes each and every character with a touch of humor. His tale is about group a of people going on a pilgrimage together for religious purpose. Chaucer happens to join the group, where he discovers the idealism and realism within each character. The characters happen to be very different from each other and the profession they have occupied.

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Appeared in their own time each character brings new ideas and humorous aspects to the tale. Chaucer is very observant he watched each and every character with sharp eyes. The immorality of these characters surprised him throughout the story. He was thrilled after seeing the Monk, his immoral flaw was mainly not representing a religious and a mature person as the Monk should. “As old and strict he tended to ignore ‘ [Chaucer, line 177]. This evidence supports the claim that the Monk didn’t follow the strict rules of his religion. Instead he is very arrogant and ignores all rules and faithless. As Chaucer expected the Monk to be sensible and helpful but he happened to be an arrogant being. “And that a monk uncloistered is a mere”. [Chaucer, line 183] “This Monk was therefore a good man to horse”. [Chaucer, line 193] Chaucer describes the Monk and states that he was really different from other Monks of the world. He also states that this Monk is only good for the animals. The immorality of this Monk didn’t seem to have Chaucer approval, and so he made fun of the monk by saying he is a good Monk for animals.

Meanwhile, the action of the doctor was beyond the immorality of the Monk. The doctor appeared as intelligent and smart who could treat any disease without any hesitation. His actions were quite surprising to Chaucer because he only loved money and gold. “he therefore had a special love of gold” [Chaucer, line 454]. “Gold stimulates the heart, or so we’re told”. [Chaucer, line 453] The doctor had especial love for gold which was surprising but Chaucer adding humor to the doctor’s passion states that gold probably stimulates the heart. The doctor treated his patients for money and his love for gold while he was on a pilgrimage. This adds more humor to his character because on one hand, he is trying to wash off his sins, while he is committing sins on his way.

Most of the characters have a noble background in this tale. They represent themselves as warriors an example being the Knight who fought many battles in his life appeared on a horse and was a noble person. “and ridden into battle, no man more’ [Chaucer, line 48] he talks about his battles and praised the Knight. Chaucer loves the manners of this noble Knight and the way he is so honorable but one thing which caught Chaucer’s eyes was the Knight’s cloth. They were rusty and stained. “fine horse, but he was not gaily dressed”. [Chaucer, line 76] Chaucer adds humor to the Knight’s personality while talking about his clothing. He appeared on the horse but with no noble sense of clothing.

All the characters in “The Canterbury tales’ have different personalities. Chaucer brings each character with a touch of humor. However, he asks his reader to not think of him as unmannerly because he just finds it funny the way these characters present themselves. “but I beg of you, in courtesy, “not to condemn me as unmannerly”. [Chaucer, line 721 and 722] He talked about each and every character with a humorous tone, and he describes their logic and immorality in such a way that one could never compare.

31 October 2020

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