illustration of a clergyman with Canterbury cathedral behind him

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

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Who is Friar? I need many details on this person

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The Friar in  The Canterbury Tales is of course one of the travelers on the journey, but in Chaucer’s time, roaming priests with no ties to a monastery, friars were a great object of criticism. Always ready to befriend young women or rich men who might need his services, the friar actively administers the sacraments in his town, especially those of marriage and confession. However, Chaucer’s worldly Friar has taken to accepting bribes.

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He is a man of poor morals whose chief concern is profit and money, rather than helping people overcome sin. His tale is an attack on the wickedness of summoners. The friar paints summoners as those who are greedy, and will thus meet the devil. The irony in this is that the friar is also known to be greedy.

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