Based on what we have read of The Canterbury Tales, describe Chaucer, the Pilgrim.

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chaucer is witty and very observant. He is the reporter of the actions, dress, stories, and characters on the pilgrimmage.  He is master of the moments when no one thinks he is looking or listening.  He tells us repeatedly to "forgive" him if his tale is offensive, vulgar, or profane...he is only reporting what he sees and hears.  He even quotes Plato by saying that the word is cousin to the deed, indicating that we should be careful what we say and do as these words and actions speak volumes about the people we really are.  He is quite clever and skilled at showing us the ugly side of human nature and protecting himself from attack by claiming that he is "short of wit" which the astute reader will know immediately as a cover.  Chaucer the pilgrim is holding the mirror to the face of humanity and daring us to see it all--the good, the bad, and the ugly side of human nature.  What we choose to do with the information is our decision.  Do we continue to ignore the poor behavior, or do we strive to be more like the Parson and the Plowman?

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The Canterbury Tales

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