What celebrities are like the characters in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, this is an opinion question. There is no single, one celebrity that exactly matches the characters from this Chaucer masterpiece. Additionally, it is unclear if the question wants celebrities that are wildly popular right now, or if the question allows celebrities from a generation or two prior to 2017. I am going to go with any celebrity ever.

The previous post did a nice job of laying out basic characteristics of each of the main characters in Chaucer's tale. The knight is a representation of the ideal medieval, Christian warrior. He is brave, strong, prudent, and chivalrous. I like how the previous post mentioned that a similar celebrity is likely to do something brave that other celebrities are unwilling to do while at the same time remaining humble. I would choose either Jake Gyllenhaal or Channing Tatum. Both of these celebrities have a fairly clean media image. They do not flaunt themselves or their money in the tabloids, and I would say that both men are brave. For example, both celebrities agreed to put their lives at risk by going on a survival expedition with Bear Grylls.

In my mind, the Wife of Bath's celebrity clone needs to be an older woman that has gone through many marriages. For that reason alone, I would have to go with somebody like Geena Davis, Liz Taylor, or Zsa Zsa Gabor. A combined twenty-two marriages occurred between those three women.

The miller is one of my favorite characters. He is stout, dirty, ugly, drunk, and loud. He is more or less a jerk that thinks his story is so much better than everybody else's story. That is why he insists on telling his story second. I have to go with Shia Labeouf for this one. The actor is notoriously difficult to work with, and he is frequently in the tabloids for doing something that is intentionally designed to make people mad.

The prioress is described as being modest and quiet. She also has good taste and dresses well. Finally, she is compassionate and caring. While she is a prioress, she seems quite regal in the way that she carries herself. For that reason, I believe a good celebrity choice would be Princess Kate Middleton. The media adores Kate Middleton and seems to adore everything she wears. Additionally she is very involved in charity work. In fact, she asked for people to give to charities instead of giving her wedding gifts.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To identify celebrities who are similar to characters within Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, one must be able to characterize them (the characters). Once characterized, one will be able to align each character with a celebrity. 

The Knight is modest in both his speech and the way he presents himself (even with the amazing and important challenges he faces). A celebrity who can be matched with the Knight would be modest in character, refuses to flaunt his wealth, and does what others are not brave enough to do. 

The Squire is similar to the Knight (since it is his son), yet the Squire likes to have a very good time. Therefore, a celebrity who could be compared to the Squire would be courteous, yet he would like to squander a little bit of his wealth to insure he has a good time. 

The Prioress is a good woman who possesses both sympathy and good conscious. She believes in the concept of love conquering all else. A celebrity who can be identified for she similarity to the Prioress would be sympathetic and moral. She would believe in the power of love over all else.

The Friar knows those who work in the bar better than those who are in need of him (like the sick). He is a worldly man who is known as "the best beggar." A celebrity who could be compared to the Friar would be well traveled and tend to spend a little more time entertaining than working.

The Wife of Bath was married numerous times and was abused by her husband. She wants power over her man. A celebrity comparable to the Wife of Bath would be married numerous times (with most of the marriages being troubled).  

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The Canterbury Tales

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