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What aspects of society that Chaucer was making fun of in Canterbury Tales?

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emitch12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:02 AM via web

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What aspects of society that Chaucer was making fun of in Canterbury Tales?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Probably the most often mentioned part of society in the course of the Canterbury Tales is the Church, meaning the Roman Catholic Church of medieval Europe. The authority of the Church in secular affairs is questioned; the propriety of selling indulgences is decried; the propriety of the church court system is addressed.

Beyond references to the Church, Chaucer also challenges the expectations of chivalry in society such as the brotherhood of comrades in arms and the frequent violence that developed from supposedly chivalrous interactions.

The divisions between social classes in English society at that time also were examined and found problematic. Chaucer recognizes the deference given to the upper class knight but also equalizes all the pilgrims in the telling of their stories.

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