In what genre does The Canterbury Tales fall?  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Talesis recognized as the first book of poetry written in the English language. A composer of French poetry as well, Chaucer incorporates in his tales many of the techniques of this genre. There are, however, two tales that are written in prose: "The Tale of Melibee" and "The Parson's Tale." Within this broad genre of poetry, Chaucer's work falls into the categories of narrative, satiric, romantic, and fabliau, a short metrical tale of French poetry which is usually a rough (bawdy) and humorous narrative. Examples of fabliaux are "The Miller's Tale" and "The Reeve's Tales."

The narrator of Chaucer's poetry is anonymous and should not be mistaken as the voice of the poet. By using his naive voice of the anonymous narrator, Chaucer is able in is intricate tableaux of medieval life to incorporate a wide range of attitudes. The Canterbury tales in, without question, Geoffrey Chaucer's magnum opus.

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The Canterbury Tales

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