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How is "The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales" a satire of medieval society?How...

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pazza | Student, Grade 11

Posted February 22, 2009 at 3:18 AM via web

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How is "The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales" a satire of medieval society?

How does Chaucer show that the characters have things wrong with them?

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 22, 2009 at 11:56 PM (Answer #1)

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Chaucer uses indirect characterization to build the satire of his Tales. He describes the people using their social position, starting at the highest ranking (the Knight). The audience sees there flaws through the physical descriptions of them and through the stories that they tell. For instance, the physical description of the Pardoner and the Summoner are both less than appealing. They are described as having red, pimpled faces, and greasy complexions. On the other hand, the Knight is described as having a battled-scarred shield and majestic horse, creating a more noble effect.

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