Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the greatest authors of his time. His distinctive use of characters in his literary works is one of a kind. Chaucer’s works were accomplished during the Middle Ages. During this time period the whole community revolved around the church, the village and the surrounding farmland. The Middle Ages were heroic, entertaining, romantic, harsh, uncertain, and often dangerous. Throughout these times, Chaucer writes about the people and focuses on the certain ideas of each one.
Chaucer condemns, commends, or neutralizes each person he writes about. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer writes about numerous characters that are on their way to make a pilgrimage. Chaucer uses a form of allegory in this tale. Each character’s name is what his/her profession is, but not each character accurately fits their common description. Most of the people during Chaucer’s time are condemned. The Nun and the Monk are two examples of this. The Nun was a person who was not really living up to her name. She was not a typical nun.
A typical nun would not take typical oaths and feed animals over people. For “She used to weep if she saw a mouse Caught in a trap, if it were dead or bleeding. And she had little dogs she would be feeding. ” The Monk was also not a typical Monk. He wore gold jewelry and had classy attire. The Host “saw his sleeves were garnished at the hand With fine gray fur, the finest in the land. ” The three rioters in the Pardoner’s Tale were also condemned. They became greedy stopped and were willing to stop at nothing to get the florins’.
This caused their death. They caused their own death There were also a few people who were commended. The Parson and the Plowman are two examples. The Parson always went out of his way to help others and did unnecessary things to help the parishioners. “Wide was his parish, with houses far asunder, Yet he neglected not in rain or thunder. ” Nothing ever stopped the Parson from doing his duties. The Parson’s brother, the Plowman, was very much like the Parson. He never asked anyone to do his work and always paid his tithe in full.
He loved God more than anything. “For love of Christ and never take a penny If he could help it, and, as prompt as any, He paid his tithes in full when they were due. ” It seems as though the people that were commended never burdened others and always did what their job description asked. Nothing more nothing less. The only neutral person mentioned is the Yeomen. The reason he is neutral is because he never did more than what was expected of him. He is a servant to the Knight “-For he could dress his gear in Yeomen style.
To be condemned or commended, one must do something out of their job tasks, be an outcast, or do less than what is expected of them. Today’s people can compare with Chaucer’s people in that the same professions still exist and that the same some people due the same kind of things. There are bad preachers and nuns that don’t live up to society’s standards nowadays. One major difference is that we don’t call on people by their profession anymore. There is also more greed in our society than there was in the Middle Ages. The same thing happens now as it used to.
Some people get to greedy and sometimes are willing to kill just like the three rioters in The Pardoner’s Tale. Another difference is that people nowadays are not as involved in the church as Chaucer’s people. Our community thrives on each other and our government. The typical Middle Age community evolved totally around the church and the landlord, which could resemble our government. All in all, people are changing their ways and values as time goes by. As the years go by, people will lose more interest in the church and do more or less of what is expected which could be both good and bad.