Chaucers Legendary Use of Characterization
The writer is the reflection of his society, whatever he traces is the
tongue of contemporary society. The historians, without reading his work,
can not write history. His work, The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is
a great achievement holding various facets and proving him a poet and a
narrator. His work, prologue to the Canterbury tales is a good work,
there in thirty characters are led for pilgrimage representing English
society morally and socially. His art of characterization is very simple
and eminent. He is very fantastic in portraying his characters. He
watches his characters minutely. He looks over the behaviors, manners,
dresses and all habits minutely. His work is fit for all ages.
The Man of Law, the Doctor, and the Oxford Clerk belong to the learned
line of work. All his thirty characters represent different professions
as The Knight and the Squire represent warrior class ready to flow blood
for country sake. The squire is representing good-humored and joyful
disposition with the signs of success. Chaucer depicts that where there
is dispute, there is knight to face and reconcile. It is added that there
was a great keen for being the knight as holding and executing power. He
performs a great work.
Agriculture is represented by the Ploughman, the Miller and the Franklin.
The Merchant and the Shipman represent the higher commercial community
while the Wife of Bath, an expert Cloth maker represents the traders and
firm. His way of describing the Monk is very humorous but polite. As he
says that the monk has craze for hunting and taming dogs. His description
of all characters shows his mild humor.
The old Knight is an example of the chivalrous character which is found
in every generation. The Merchant is very proud over grow of wealth,
while the Man of Law like lawyers of all times is enhancing fees and
buying land. We recognize in him the typical lawyer of our own day: it is
the peculiarity by virtue of it he is called the poet of modern age. His
characters are perfectly lifelike. These characters represent various
types of contemporary society. They possess different qualities and
manners and move before us like real human being. Some of them are so
modern that they seem to be living today.
They have changed their name and profession but their chief part is an
element of humanity. There are characters like the Prioress, the Monk,
the Franklin, the Reeve, the Summoner, the Pardoner, and the Wife of Bath
whom we do not identify at first. But none of them is really extinct.
That is why when we accompany the Pilgrims on their way we feel quite at
home and have no feeling of being among aliens.
His way of narration is very excellent pursuing the readers to be their
companions. Chaucer's art of characterization is superb. Chaucer conveys
a strong sense of distinctiveness and depth of portraiture. He looks at
his characters positively and marks out each of the men and women
minutely and distinguishably. He simply evinces their realities without
any hard satire or humor.
It was for the first time in European literature that a writer proved
himself clearly cognizant of the relation between individuals and ideas.
Chaucer's method of portraying characters is a scientific manner by
differentiating them by means of their conspicuous characteristics.
Moreover, Chaucer's characters grow and develop in the course of the
tale, like living human beings. They give their opinions on the stories
that have been told and these comments reveal their central
thoughtsArticle Submission, their feelings and the objects of their