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Many critics have looked at Chaucer's prologue and suggested it is a somewhat accurate portrayal of many members of English society at the time. Many of the characters are so similar to people that Chaucer dealt with and was familiar with that there is little doubt that he was portraying them through the characters in the poem.
It is important to note that he also takes the character traits further than they extended in real life. They are dishonest to an extreme extent, and they are charicatures of their real-life counterparts in order to demonstrate or display the particular traits that Chaucer was after.
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