How Does Chaucer Use Satire In The Canterbury Tales

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Geoffrey Chaucer’s satirical collection of stories called The Canterbury Tales, develops an insight of his criticism for the Catholic Church members during the medieval period. During the time period, the Catholic Church could be considered as the head of the society. The church held power over education, politics, economy, as well as the everyday lives of the citizens. Fear of excommunication kept the people from arguing with the ideas of the church. Some members of the church used this power to influence others to follow the rules of Catholicism; however there was a growing number of church members who were corrupt. Writers such as Chaucer, used their works to express the concern for the rise of corruption. In order to express these thoughts clearly, Chaucer used satire to symbolize the actions of the church. The monk and the parson can be interpreted as symbols of the Catholic Church members’ views during the medieval period: The monk symbolized the church members who disregarded the inculcation of Catholic values, and the parson symbolized the more orthodox members of the church. Chaucer used the same standards to criticize both characters in the prologue of tales. The values that the Catholic Church…show more content…
Chaucer, like many others in the medieval society, expected certain traits within church members. Those expectations focused around being devoted to one’s faith, helping the betterment of the society, and staying true to God. After being analyzed, it is clear that the monk crumbles when held to those standards. On the other hand, the parson seemed to be one of the few characters that is genuine and faithful. Chaucer may have used his satirical work to inspire reform in the church, but further peruse may lead readers to believe that such reform may be needed within their own

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