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What is the lesson of Canterbury Tales? What is the influence of Canterbury Tales in...

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junjun | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 6, 2009 at 6:11 PM via web

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What is the lesson of Canterbury Tales? What is the influence of Canterbury Tales in literature?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 7, 2009 at 12:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The influence of Canterbury Tales in literature expands to many different aspects. First, this was one of the first complete works written in the English language as opposed to Latin. Hence, it gave English literature an early taste of victory that would popularize it.  Second, Chaucer gives us a timeless stamp of time and place. He has illustrated life as it was during those times in an impeccable way, complete with characters, dialogue, descriptions, and even the humor of the day

Third, the use of perspectives from both the rich and the poor makes it a nearly three-dimensional tale, where you can experience all walks of life, their lifestyles, and the memes of their day.

I would not say that there is a lesson from the tales themselves other than that of history presented in fabliaux. It is moving, living history, timeless and universal.

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 7, 2009 at 1:35 AM (Answer #2)

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If there are indeed "lessons" or themes, one might formulate the following:

"Solitude is good for the soul but good company is even better."

"A good story helps pass the time."

"A tale tells much of the tale-bearer."

"It takes all kinds of people to make up a world."

Please check out the following references for more ideas.

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