Los cuentos de Canterbury; Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Authorial Intentionality: what the author meant to say.

  • Chivalry: code of behavior; the qualities of an ideal knight in the Middle Ages;bravery, honor, courtesy, protection of the weak, respect for women, and fairness to enemies; rules and customs of knights in the Middle Ages; knights as a group.

  • Medieval Period: of or belonging to the Middle Ages (1150-1500).

  • Arbitrary: one thing can be replaced with another and can work the same way. Ex. A pencil or marker.

  • Feudalism: system in which land owners give protection to the vassals in exchange of them working their land.

  • Landed Aristocracy:  people own land.


  • Themes:

  • Church officials: corrupted or not?

  • Cllass systems: rich or poor?

  • Satire.

  • It was written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century.

  • Narrative “I”: Chaucer didn't write the story, he made up a character to help him narrate it; it is written in first person.

  • Setting: April: in April you have rain and it gives life to flowers (opens up flowers).

  • Slant rhyme: Ex. Heath and breath  (supposed to rhyme but don't).

  • Allusion: means alluting to something (to think about something else).

  • Definitions:

  • Dowry: property which wife brings to her husband.

  • Crusades: medieval christian war to recover the wholy land from the muslims. It was in 1095, and nobles and christian missioners took the long and dangerous journey to Palestine, whose Christian shrines (templos) had been taken by muslim turks.

  • Pilgrimage: journey to a sacred place.

  • Martyr: someone put to death for refusing to give up a belief or cause.

  • Magna Carta: because of King John's autocratic rule, his personal excesses and heavy taxation led the noble to rise against him. They forced him to sign an agreement in order to limit the power of the King and it is the foundation of the representative English government and stated the basic rights of nobles, clercs, and free men.

  • Knight: a main raised to an honorable military rank and pledged to do good deeds.

  • 100 year war: the issue was english control of large parts of France (half). Engalnd won the early battles, yet the French recovered having Joan of Arc as the leader.

  • Habeas Corpus: protected people from unjust imprisonments.

  • Atheist: (a menas not) there is no God.

  • Agnostic: half and half (they say that you can't proof there is a God but you cant proof there isn't one either.)

  • Theist: believing in some kind of God.

  • Summary of story: two important things to know:

  • The bet: it was a bet established by the host of the tavern, which stated that each pilgrim, throughout the journey to Canterbury, had to tell two tales and another two on their way back. The one who would tell the best stories would win a paid dinner. Those pilgrims who refused to tell the four stories had to pay for the journey.

  • Where were the pilgrims going?: to St. Thomas Becket.

  • Characters: (Important: CLOTHES, FOOD, TREATMENT TO ANIMALS!!!!).

  • Knight: Truthful, honorable, generous. He is a Christian and all his battles have been for Christianity. He's dully armed. He did everything for the King: self-sacrifice, nothing for his own good. And they must be trusted. We mas modestly dressed: we could've dressed much more elegantly, but he didn't brag about it: “But he was not gaily dressed.”

  • Squire: the Knight's son. A young man learning to become a knight through service. He is a ladies man, and not a very intimidating figure. He was a pretty boy; more appearance than actions. The father doesn't brag about everything important and heroic that he has done, but his son bragged about stupid and simple stuff. He is not so honorable (not many chances to become a knight). Concerned with beauty, and was a let down to his father. He was very dandy: this is a person who is very concerned with his appearance, who doesn't really have a substance. He's going to be a hit with women until they get to figure him out.

  • Yeoman: servant to the knight. He handles things in the forest, he would carry his swords (just like a caddy in a golf game); not all knight had personal servants (yeoman). He was a proper forester. He was dressed with green clothes (like Robin of Loxley).

  • Nun: no money but well-respected. She's wearing a “rosario”. She was very sensitive: Ex: when mice got caught in a trap she would cry (BITCH!!...Kidding...). Another Ex: she would feed dogs and take care of them. In this example, dogs can be compared to bad people. Also, she fed them “white bread”, which was very expensive back then.    She is BIG, her french is an inferior french, not good one because she hadn't been to France (meaning that she doesn't have any money).    She is sitting down at the table, trying to avoid any meat from falling off. She's trying to overcompensate for something; she doesn't have any aspirations; her quiet manners also indicate that she's trying to belong there in that society, which means that she cares about what society thinks about her, that shouldn't be in a nun; she´s not letting her class keep her down, but she is concerned with society status.  Here is how the classes crap go: Monarchy à Nobility à Nunsà Serfs.  VERY IMPORTANT THING: she was COY: someone who is sexual but trying not to be. “Her mouth soft and red”: Chaucer is getting...horny!!! (toy relajando, sorry...), he is getting into sexual descriptions. Taking someone like a NUN!!! (a non sexual being) and mentioning her facial creatures. He's saying that she's too cute for a nun.

  • Monk: bald, fat, a manly man, he hunts and fishes, which means that he loves to be outside. He is not doing what monks are supposed to do: pray and be isolated. He doesn't care and he knows what a monk i supposed to do, but he just doesn't give a f***.à A lot of Church Officials don't do their duties.   He was very good to horses, but HE HUNTED!!! (treatment to animals: good to horses, but killed the rest of animal kind; so contradictory!!!).    He was TOO well-dressed: monks are supposed to have a sort of brown robe or a simple dressing style, boot like that one he was wearing.  He ate expensive food: oysters and fat swan best.

  • Friar: (éste es una especie de padre, de cura). He is a P-L-A-Y-E-R! He is interested in WOMEN. He likes making friends with rich people to gain more money. Here enters the definition of DOWRY (está más arriba ya definida). He was well-dressed and he would pay guys a lot of money if they would marry the girls he had empregnant, not to have to deal with the consequences from Church.  In simple words: we have here A PRIEST WHO SLEPT AROUND Y DESPUES LE TIRABA EL BOLLO A OTROS TIPOS!!! He was a strong man but HE HASN'T WORKED IN HIS LIFE; he spends his time seducing women and drinking in taverns. He is supposed to be helping people (beggars, lepers) but he doesn't even notice them.

  • Merchant: the only thing I have about him is that his duty is to help people get out of their debts; but he himself is debts. So, this is also contradictory and ironic.

  • Oxford Cleric: clothing: he didn't care about appearance. Remember that Chaucer is always leading us trhough the story: he makes us think that we are finally deducting things by ourselves, but he is ALWAYS leading us.

  • Cleric: His friends always gave him money and he spent it buying BOOKS. Treatment to animals: he doesn't spend money to feed his horse (but that doesn't have to mean that he is mean). He is so involved into studying that he doesn't pay any attention to anything else( I repeat, this does not mean that he's bad).


  • Sergeant at the law: this is the King's legal servant. He would memorize his speehces without understanding all the crap that he was saying. This indicates that he was dumb as hell!! He as not very wise, in other words, he was a travelling judge. And a high position won him $$$$. And a very important thing: HE WAS LESS BUSY THAN HE SEEMED TO BE à this means that he didn't do shit, he didn't work, but pretended to be working.

  • Franklin: wealthy lanowner. Aquí entra lo de landed aristocracy = landed gentry. He was not in pursuit of pleasure, and when you died you simply faded away. There was no way of being punished after death. He had good wine and good stuff to show off.  He ate the best food. He had a really nice dagger and a SILK purse to keep all his belongings.

  • Haberdasher, Dyers, Carpenter, Weaver, Carpet-maker: well-dressed, knives of purest silver. Each one of the, may have been chiefs because of their wisdom. Were all married: and their mantles were being carried by servants.

  • Cook: he had an open, disgusting wound on his knee, but he cooked very well.

  • Skipper: the ship's captain. He travelled a lot and maybe he doesn't treat people well.

  • Doctor: he wears gold supposedly because it is good for health (wealth), but Chaucer is being a little sarcastic; the doctor is making money and trying to show it off. An apothecary: is a pharmacist (who also did dental work) and he would mix up medicines; doctor gives prescription and people go to the apothecary.   Like the doctor and the apothecary are friends they help each other, engañando a la gente to gain more money. They are friends and they tricked people.  Their clothes is expensive: red and purple were expensive at that time.  He gained money by tricking sick people, and Chaucer says that people in position of helping others may not take profit out of it (and the Doctor did).  Food: he only ate nutritive stuff (that's weird because he had a lot of money) and he didn't read the Bible much.  By not reading the Bible means: he would follow what he believed, not what others did; free-thinking and impiety.

  • Wife of Bath: first strong female character ever; independent woman/ many husbands/ some people say she's a prostitute   Her clothes are beautiful: a beautiful big dress, and Chaucer describes her being on top of a horse to conceit big hips (this is saying that she is of high class).  She keeps marrying probably because she still can't find what she needs (5 husbands back then was a LOT, and I think now it´s even worse bitch!!).  She has some money/ she travels a lot. Back then, a woman, in order to obtain money she would: 1) inhertit it, 2) marry a rich man, 3)prostitution..  They mention 5 cities and she had 5 husbands (maybe she had one husband in each city). They mention something that she has that is scarlet red: this is a sign of wealth.

  • Parson: the minister/ church official/ preaches.  He was poor ( no billetes $$$). Ricj in holy though and work. He though that a priest should help people. He would lead his sheep and protect them. When he preached, he didn't have to use bad words to proof his points (he doesn't intimidate). He tells his listeners good things.  He's a good preacher. He would give his own things to others, but felt that it still wasn't enough (he was toooooo good).

  • Plowman: this is the brother of the Parson. He digs ditches; he has a steady work but he is not going to get rich with it. He wears simple clothes (cheap). He gives $$ to the Church (tithe:10% of money is given to Church). Maybe he was dishonest sometimes, because poor people (or simpley not rich people) are temptes to gain money.

  • Summoner: this is a messenger that tells you when you have to go to trial. He had a bad complexion and pimples. He eats garlic, onions (which is not poetic material, bu Chaucer). People are afraid of him and his behavior: drinking a lot and he would start yelling and laughing. He doesn't follow anything that the law states and he's supposed to be a person who tells others that they've done something wrong. He stated: “The question is: what part of the law applies?”à like saying that the law can go to hell and he is fucking working for the law.  Also, he was corrput, like many of the others already explained: he would allow  bad things to happen in exchange of wine. And he indulged in the same sins that he is just said to have excused in others.  When it comes to women, he let things go.

  • Miller: he was big and strong. He would steal grain, he was a thief, dishonest. Read line 580 for clothing.

  • Manciple: he was illiterate (analfabeto) but had wisdom enough to manipulate learned man.

  • Reeve: official: intermediary between the lord and the serfs. He was good to animals, he has MONEY, which is given to him by the king. He is old and wise. He knows about land and he is trusted by the government. He took care of the government's animals. He would know how to handle situations in order to obtain $$$$, goods, etc from the government.

  • Pardoner: interested in material things, appearance. He is blonde, and has long, curly hair. He says that his priority is money and he kills animals, he is bad to animals (que perroooo!!!). He is also a hypocrite: he would make belief that he was honest to priests and the congregation, but he would talk bad about them and then, in Church, appear to be a saint. He would rip off the parson´s money!! And he would preach to win silver from the crowd.

  • Host: he was good and served all of the, great food and good wine. He had money and made an arrangement with them: the famous bet. Everyone liked him.

  • The Pardoner's Prologue: here, he starts expressing everything that he's done wrong and narrating how he actually is.


    A singular noun does NOT have an S.

    A singular vers DOES have an S.

    * The student wants.

    * Students want.

    Otro ejemplo:

    à Taxes, ----------------, INFLUENCE the vote.

    (No importa lo que haya en el medio, en lo que está -------, como quiera

    taxes va a ser influence, no influences).

    (Lo que está en ------ se llama non-restrictive clause).

    Collective noun: it is a noun composed by two or more things.

    Group wants.

    Groups want.


    John OR Melissa writeS us daily.

    àIt´s one OR the other, thus they´re singular. REMEMBER THIS!!!

    John AND Melissa write us daily.

    àThey are plural...


  • 14 line lyric poem (8 lines then 6)

  • Iambic Pentameter: it is 10 syllables long and accents the second syllables.

  • They are divided divided into two major groups:

  • Italian or Petrarchian

  • English or Shakesperian


  • It is a two part poem:

  • First the octave (rhyme scheme): abba -abba  or  abba - cddc

  • Then the sestet (rhyme scheme): cde - cde or cdc -cdc

  • Difference between them is that the octave are the questions and the sestet are the answers; first the call then the response.

  • It is similar to the blues: first part repeats itself then the second part differs.

  • John Keats: “On first looking into Chapman´s Homer” (octave)


  • Ideas in three stages then brought to a conclusion in the couplet

  • Rhyme scheme: a b a b (first part-4 lines long or quatrian)

  • c d c d (second part-4 lines long or quatrian)

    e f e f (third part-4 lines long or quatrian)

    g g (fourth part-2 lines long or couplet)

  • Couplet: the summary or new idea.

  • Used to develop a sequence of metaphors or ideas in the quatrains

  • Shakespeare´s Sonnet 147: love compared to disease

  • In order to identify Shakesperian sonnets you should look for couplets first.


  • Blank Verse: definite or specific rhythm

  • Free Verse: no rhyme nor rhythm

  • Rhymed Verse: rhymes and may or may not have a definite rhythm.


  • Example of a Petrarchian sonnet: “Shall I compare thee to a summer´s day” it was written by Petrarch during the Italian Renaissance for Laura, his love.

  • Petrarchian sonnets enjoyed different or revivals.

  • During Elizabethan England sonnets were a form of choice; 41 lyric poets with traditional themes of love and romance.

  • “Astrophel and Stella” by Sir Phillip Sydney. Also, english verse by Dayden and Pope.

  • Writers of English Romanticism: Wordsworth, Shelley, John Keats

  • Sonnets are the most important verse in English Poetry.


  • When I Was Fair And Young:

  • written by Queen Elizabeth

  • AABB(rhyme verse)

  • 4 stanzas

  • last lines repeat in each stanza

  • In 1st stanza she is young and turned down guys, and she used to tell them to go away.

  • In the 2nd stanza she is proud of turning down guys

  • In 3rd stanza Cupid tells her since she is coy, he takes away her beauty. And tell he that she will say no more for men to go away.

  • In the 4th stanza she is getting old and losing her beauty and then regrets turning down suitors.


  • Written by Sir Walter Raleigh

  • Its postmostuous (published after he died).

  • Raleigh did not write it to be published

  • Rhyme Scheme: a b a b c c (c c is really important)

  • Those who keep silent are deeper people and have stronger feelings (last two verses of the first stanza); he admires her at a distance

  • The reason he cannot have her is not because he doesnt want, but because his duty stands in the way(2nd Stanza)

  • If she constantly pushes suitors away then, eventually they will stop coming and she will regret it(last two lines of Stanza 4)

  • He who complains the less is probably that loves her the most. When she regrets keeping a distance from him, he will not be there anymore.

  • Sir Walter Raleigh To His Son:

  • Mentions 3 things: wood, weed, and wag

  • They flourish and prosper(1st Stanza)

  • Yet when they meeet it is chaos, they want to destroy each other

  • The wood makes the gallow tree (branch to hang a man), the weed makes the hangman´s bag (the cord to hang a man), and the person that is hung wag.


  • Written around 1375 by Pearl Poet (not known).

  • Sir Gawain(...) belongs to the Alliterative Revival of the 1/2 of the 14th century.

  • Combines alliteration with rhyme.

  • Sir Gawain(the most noble knight of Arthur) accepts a challenge from the Green Knight to exchange blows and must therefore go on a quest to seek the Green chapel and fulfill his bargain.

  • The Green Knight arrives in New Year's feast and presents a challenge to the Knights. The first one to respond to the challenge is Arthur, but Gawain is the only Knight that decides to take his place.

  • After receiving his blow to the head, the Green Knight's head's cut off, but he picks it up and rides away telling Gawain to find him a year later to complete the deal(of exchanging blows).

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    Enviado por:Me Quieres
    Idioma: inglés
    País: España

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