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Comment on Chaucer's use of irony in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales?answer in detail

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hibo | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted May 23, 2010 at 3:52 AM via web

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Comment on Chaucer's use of irony in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales?

answer in detail

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 24, 2010 at 12:41 AM (Answer #1)

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Chaucer's irony throughout the Canterbury Tales is contained in his sarcastic tone and satirical characters. Since the poems are written from the perspective of one of the travelers, relating what he say and heard, most of the irony is in the form of verbal irony. Throughout the Prologue, this irony is found in the descriptions of the characters themselves. Chaucer both physically satirizes the characters and exaggerates their personalities. For example, in reading the description of the Friar, we see that granted absolution in exchange for money, and that he "knew the taverns will in every town...better than beggars and lepers and their kind." The describes the Cook as greasy, dirty, and having oozing boils. Even the knight, who is not seen as a negative character, is describe as being as meek as a girl. These types of descriptions are found throughout the Prologue, and makes up the irony of the tales.

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hulk-smash101 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 27, 2011 at 4:18 AM (Answer #2)

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