Canterbury tales Essay

Submitted By samanthaherrmann17
Words: 1055
Pages: 5

Geoffrey Chaucer is the author of “The Canterbury Tales” he writes of a pilgrimage that he goes on with other pilgrims. On this pilgrimage each pilgrim is to tell four tales each two tales on the way to the Canterbury Cathedral and two tales on the way back. Many of these tales have hints of irony. Irony is when the use of the words the pilgrims use in their story conveys a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. Two of the stories that Chaucer writes are “The Prioress Tale” and “The Pardoners Tale”. Both of these tales show irony in two ways, the irony of the Person telling the tale and the irony in the tale itself. The prioress who is a nun is perceived and someone who cares more of artificial things then of the important things in life. Then you have the pardoner who is supposed to be a man of the church who is committing one of the seven deadly sins daily. The Prioress who is also known as a nun, is a modest lady who is very quiet and loves her dogs, she dresses well which is something that one does not expect because she is a part of the convent and is a head nun. This prioress is also very well educated and \ is the kind of lady who cares greatly about how she is dressed and what she wears to the point where she wears a brooch upon her writs of the brightest sheen that has “Amor Vincit Omnis” inscribed into it. For a nun this is ironic. Most nuns where simple outfits and care more about people then they do animals. This nun is well mannered and very compassionate about what she does. She is very charitable too. Some of the qualities you expect in a nun but then there are the few ironic ones that really get you thinking. Most nuns are not well educated and don’t care about animals more than humans like she does. “And she had a little dogs she would be feeding with roasted flesh, or milk, or fine white bread.” (Page 7) These are luxuries most people didn’t have and yet that’s how her animals were treated. Besides the irony of the prioress the tale she spoke also had a lot of irony in it. The tale itself is ironic because one would think that a tale being told by a nun would never be as horrid at the one the Prioress told. The “Prioress Tale” is a tale of a young Christian boy. The prioress tells how the boy is very obedient and does as he is told. He even has self-obedience and makes himself learn the song of the blessed lady. This song is what gets him killed. This is already an ironic part of the story; by singing a song of the Blessed Lady the boy gets murdered. But then you also have the most ironic part of the whole tale. Thins young Christian boy gets murdered and when his mother finds him he is still singing the song of his Blessed Lady. The Adults who find him call upon The Provost to make judgment. The Provost then decides what the punishment should be. You would think that like most Christians that the punishment would be there but they would forgive because that is the Christian response to things. But that is not how it happens in this tale. The prioress say this is how it’s happened “And he condemned them to be drawn apart by horses then hanged them from a cart” (Page175). This response is not even close to what a Christian response would be and it makes and ironic message in this tale. The “Pardoners Tale” is another one with great ironic statements, but to start one must see the Irony in the Pardoner himself. The pardoner is a person who is supposed to pray to help one who is dead be relieved from sins they committed in life will be forgiven. The pardoner from “The Canterbury Tales” abuses his pardoning power to…