How did Chaucer view the Oxford Cleric? Positively? Negatively? Neutral? Also, did he show any praise or criticisms?

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mariaosbourn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Geoffrey Chaucer portrayed the Oxford Cleric in a neutral light. He didn't include any negative descriptions nor characteristics about the Oxford Cleric, but he didn't overly praise him either. 

Overall, Chaucer simply stated the facts when it came to the Oxford Cleric and his tactics. The Oxford Cleric was absolutely consumed by his schooling and studies. He spent all the money he had on his books. The appearance of the student himself and his horse reflect this, as well. His horse was described as "thinner than a rake" and the student was said to be "not too fat," as well. 

As far as the type of person the Oxford Cleric was, Chaucer portrayed him as respectful, quiet and appreciative. His words were always respectful. He only spoke when it was necessary. And he prayed for those that gave him money for his schooling. 

Unlike the other pilgrims that were either committing sins against their religion, or others that were praised by Chaucer for their good deeds or holy nature, the student just seemed to be right in the middle in terms of how Chaucer described him. 

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The Canterbury Tales

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