Are the characters of Chaucer's pilgrims representative of people from everyday life?
Write a critical response to the poet William Blake's assertion that the "characters of Chaucer's pilgrims are the characters which compose all ages and nations." Use examples from the "General Prologue" to explain why you agree or disagree with Blake's idea that Chaucer's characterizations can apply to people today.
I agree with Blake's assertion. If we look at the "General Prologue," we are introduced to a few dozen characters from very diverse backgrounds, everyone from a Friar to the Wife of Bath. Every walk of life is represented.
What is unusual about this is that very rarely would a journey of this type containing such a of diversity of travelers occur in the real world at that time. One would not typically find a Knight traveling with a Miller, for example. Most of these characters did not encounter each other in everyday life; in fact, some would never have encountered each other at all. To find evidence of this, all one has to do is read Chaucer's descriptions of the characters in the "General Prologue" and one can see how diverse they are.
We can relate these characters to today because our country is made up of such a diverse group of people. We have so much cultural, social, and economic diversity, just as the characters' world did.