December 13, 2013
Differences in Morals
The story of The Canterbury Tales is one full of different characters who all display a wide range of ideals and beliefs. The reader learns a lot about each of the character’s moral standpoints, with the scale ranging from true decency to dishonesty. Some of the characters that Chaucer describes seem to live an admirable life, while others live lives that are nothing to be proud of. In this way, Chaucer presents a few characters in a positive light, while painting others in a more negative light. In my opinion, The Knight is portrayed in a positive way, while on the reverse end The Monk is portrayed negatively. The Knight is one of the few characters in the story that Chaucer writes of in a way to indicate that he should be liked or admired. Both the narrator and the Host talk about the Knight in this favorable way, so the reader gets the impression that he is generally a good person. He was admired for his bravery for being a military man. He went into battle for noble causes, always defending the Church and the Faith. The Knight dressed simply with a stained tunic. This shows he is humble and genuine in the sense that he is not trying to impress people, unlike his son the Squire who did it for appearance purposes only.
By contrast, the Monk displays immoral and unfavorable characteristics. His occupation n in name is quite contrary to the life he actually leads. A monk is believed to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the religious community. The Monk in Chaucer’s story is not whom he is supposed to be. He ignores religious traditions and does not want to be cloistered and locked into a monastery. Chaucer describes him negatively by revealing how gluttonous and corrupt he is in nature and by his ability to act as a showoff. The Monk always gives in to his impulses instead of rejecting temptation as a monk should. He indulges in food and expensive goods that he pretends to abstain from. The…