How has Chaucer used his persona to create irony in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales?answer in detail

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susan3smith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The primary way Chaucer's persona creates irony is his naivete.  He seems to accept and praise each of his fellow pilgrims, and in this acceptance and praise, the reader is able to gather some unflattering information.  We see this type of irony first in the description of the yeoman who is a "proper forester, I guess."  The "I guess" at the end throws suspicion on the fact that the yeoman really is all that experienced.  In contrast to the knight's clothing and equipment, the yeoman's tools are shiny and bright as if they have never been used.  Later we see this same type of irony used when the narrator describes the nun's table manners and French (not the Paris style) rather than the virtues that nuns should have such as piety and charity. We see this same type of naivete in the descriptions of the friar and monk whom we learn through the narrator's seeming praise are quite despicable characters.

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The Canterbury Tales

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