Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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There seems to be a disconnect in the innovations between our time and the advanced civilizations such as the Romans and the Greeks. People gawk at their engineering mastery and brilliance, always remarking, "They were smart for a civilization so far ago." This leaves a question to be asked. What happened to the foundation of innovation that these European predecessors had laid, so lost that it is fully understood by studying old ruins? The dark ages was the period that severed this trend of growth in Western Europe. This is the period that makes people associate the olden times with primitive times. This is the period of great unorganization and what the common image of villages with frayed people and blacksmiths and castles with knights…show more content…
This allowed for new stories to explore new morals and ideas and a group of people to become influenced by new ideas like previous civilizations had done in their beginning in a literature rebirth. In those times, most stories were oral. Due to this, there was not much choice in choosing what someone wanted to hear, meaning these stories were passed on and told endlessly, meeting many ears. In Canterbury Tales, matters of class, religion, female roles, and the church were discussed. When Geoffrey Chaucer wrote this book, he provided a commentary on these topics. Although his inspiration was from observations in society and religion, his remarks on hypocrisy in the church and women 's rights influenced society as well and the religious inspiration itself was from literature. He also provided perspective on the different lives for different classes. It was widely spread and transcribed after his death (New World Encyclopedia). It also remarks on the journeys of Charlemagne, sharing his stories and legacies over time as it spread across Europe, appealing to them using a religious pilgrimage (Schultz). His ideas were being shared and the message about his observations were unique and these observations seen by numerous other people as well. Dante 's Divine Comedy had an even more of an influence on society. Chaucer 's own Canterbury Tales was heavily influenced by Dante. Dante 's work had…show more content…
In our 21st century, literature is more for entertainment and the exploration of the imagination. Therefore, it is society which influences the literature by wishing for genres and making award for story-telling. The most successful book with 50 million sold copies in recent years is the Hunger Games, in which a group of people fight to the death in an enclosed area with limited resources (Scholastic). Such books come from our fascination with dystopia and stories, but do not present any social and cultural ideas. The Lord of the Rings is another extremely popular book series, not because it guides people, but because it entertains them, unlike medieval literature in that respect, but very much like it in the fantastical part. Most books that do present ideas, like I am Malala, are not the most popular types of books. Animal Farm, a book by George Orwell, is a very high seller and is very popular, yet it explores ideas that influenced people to have better understanding of the Stalin. But, the reason for its popularity is because books like these are used more in the education system because of their great ideas. Although these ideas are taught, not many students pay attention to them, as they are of the past. Even during the time the book was published, people had entertainment and leisure so the majority of people did not read it. These types of books in today 's world are more non-fictional, whereas back then there was more comfort in mixing story with ideas that could
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