Essay questions on canterbury tales


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Find out more about the society in which he lived. What were social, religious, and political beliefs at that time?

THE CANTERBURY TALES 20 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Pick one or few pilgrims and summarize their tales in a few brief sentences. What is the tone of these tales? What are their themes? How do they fit with the chosen pilgrims? What do you think about the role played by the Narrator?

During what century did Chaucer live?

Is he really reliable? Is he effective? Be sure to use your creative writing skills when answering these questions in your essay. Explain your readers more about the role played by the Host. Is his role effective in the story?

Sample of Discussion & Essay Questions

How does he join the pilgrimage group? Define the mood of either the entire book or one tale. How is it expressed by the author? How does it contribute to the overall theme? Do you agree that stereotypes are associated with negative connotations?

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story

How the author uses them to describe the society? Feel free to discuss if these stereotypical characteristics are acceptable or not. Is it applicable to the modern society? What can all people learn from it?

List of Chapters and Topics

Do you believe that irony plays an important role in this book? How does it affect characters and their trait characteristics? Basic Canterbury Tales Essay Questions What qualities cause the author to place the Pardoner at the bottom of the society? Why do modern readers consider him to be the most intriguing and controversial character?

Chaucer And The Canterbury Tales English Literature Essay

What are the main reasons to use magical, miraculous, supernatural, and exotic factors in this book? How can you illustrate Chaunticleer and how vanity almost leads to the death? Do you know any other characters to whom vanity can be applied? Describe them in your literature short essays to impress readers with unique ideas.

Read the stories of the Friar and the Summoner. What are their differences and similarities?


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Despite the dreary backdrop of the Plague, The Canterbury Tales is full of sly humor, witty repartee, and comic relief. Some of the tales are downright bawdy and vulgar. Focusing in on one or two of the funnier tales, what can be learned about medieval society through its humor? How is humor used, and how does it serve the larger narrative, especially when compared to some of the more sober and serious tales?

Consider how the listeners react to the variety of tales.

Does humor appear to be a more effective narrative device than moralizing? Explain the motif of the journey in The Canterbury Tales. If so, why?


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  • If not, why not - and which character is better fleshed out? This question asks you to consider the presentation of men in the Tales. Look at examples which support the quotation's argument, but also remember that Chaucer includes a variety of presentations - and that there is certainly justification in the text for taking the opposing view to the quotation. This question asks you to consider the structure of the Tales, and consider whether each Tale has a pair. It would be a good idea to examine some tales which do fall naturally into pairs, but also to consider some that do not - or perhaps, even fall into threes.

    They are quite simply blasphemous. This question asks you to consider the theme of religion in the Tales.

    The Canterbury Tales | Pearltrees

    It is a difficult subject to precisely consider, and would be helped by some knowledge of the religious context of the later s when Chaucer was writing. Don't forget to define "blasphemy". This question asks you to consider the presentation of women across the Tales as a whole. Remember to include contradictory facets: there is nothing to say that Chaucer's writings are consistent from tale to tale.

    It might be best to choose two entirely contradictory examples say, Cecilia in the Second Nun's Tale, and the Wife of Bath and try and find some points of similarity. At what point does a joke become cruel?

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