What Role Does Religion Play In The General Prologue

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Geoffrey Chaucer in the “General Prologue” describes a lot of characters in which he tells a tale and describes. Among them are many religious persons like the Friar, Prioress, Monk, Clerk, Parson, Summoner, and Pardoner. He frames their lives in this prologue, since this was a difficult situation in England for various reasons. Some of this reasons were the Bubonic Plague, which was going on in this time period. Another is the church was the one in control of everything either political or religious. This time period was the time of faith, there was no free religion like there is supposedly today. So, Chaucer wasn’t content with this institution for various motives.

Chaucer starts describing the Friar with his defects like he didn’t spent time with the poor, gave pins to the beauty, that his priority was money and so on. This demonstrated how he criticizes or was skeptic about his position and faith as a religious man at the Church. After that we characters like the Summoner and Pardoner that one
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Was that he conformed or was protected by the crown since an early age and this took him to know so well how these “religious” man did. Seeing as he had this position with the royal majesty he was in a perfect spot to see and understand social changes in the Church. The General Prologue is a perfect example of his true understanding of this institution rather than other tale of his. This political background helps to understand Chaucer’s view of why he criticized the strongest institution of his time period. Geoffrey Chaucer was a government official who happened to write literature, therefore he knew how to legally get away with criticizing the Church and not being imprisoned or accused of something wrong. This shows his mental capacity and brightness to get away with things which were wrong at this time, but he made them seen

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