How Does Chaucer Present The Corruption In The Summoner's Tale

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Canterbury Tales Essay: Chaucer
While writing Canterbury Tales, was Chaucer aiming to reveal an alter ego of himself or a glimpse of society through his tales? Although this topic is widely debated, a universally accepted answer is that Chaucer was aiming at producing a work that accurately depicted a snapshot of what life was like during the late 14th century. For example, the Summoner’s Tale focuses on the unethical nature of seemingly good friars, and the Wife of Bath’s Tale reveals that common medieval wives weren’t given the same privileges as their husbands. The Miller’s tale also shows a snapshot of society; specifically it’s views on adultery and women. In Canterbury Tales, the Summoner, the Wife of Bath, and the Miller’s tales reveal
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During medieval times, Summoners were “usually low-class characters whose job it is to bring people before the ecclesiastical court for sins.” (Delahoyde) In Canterbury Tales, the Summoner and the Friar don't get along, particularly because both are corrupt, yet the Summoner believes the Friar is lazy and isn't in the Church for the right reasons. The Summoner's hatred for the Friar is further heightened when the Friar delivers a scathing tale about a Summoner’s desire for money and his interaction with a demon. Absolutely mortified, the Summoner stabs back at the Friar with a tale, and describes the vision of a supposed friar, “‘Show forth thine arse and let the friar see the best ordained for Friar's in this place!’ Ere the tail rose a furlong into space from underneath it there began to drive, much as if bees were swarming from a hive, some twenty thousand friars in a rout”(Chaucer 304) The Summoner bases the rest of his tale around the corrupt ways of a friar, and his abilities to finagle money out of his patrons. Through this tale, Chaucer desired to convey one element of society during his time: the corruption of the church. According to, "The clergies had worldly lives. They dressed richly and lived in luxury. And there arose a feeling that the church was using its power for its own advantage instead of for the good of the people…. Perish priests neglected their …show more content…
When the Knight is done telling his story of true and epic love, the drunken Miller requests to tell his own tale. Drunk, the Miller wishes to set the record straight about love: that it isn’t all lovey-dovey. He forewarns people that his tale is scandalous, and asks people who don’t want to hear to cover their ears. The Miller’s tale focuses on a woman named Allison and her affair with a man, Nicholas, who is much younger and prettier than her wife, John. Ultimately, Allison and Nicholas’s affair takes a comedic turn when Absalon, a man who's in love with Allison, kisses Allison’s butt instead of her lips. Enraged, Absalon returns to Allison and Nick for revenge, singing Nick’s behind and leaving Allison in a state of shock. Chaucer concludes the Miller’s Tale with these lines, “ ‘the fellow’s crazy, my dear brother!’ And everyone among them laughed and joked. And so the carpenter’s wife was truly poked, as if his jealousy to justify, and Absalon had kissed her nether eye and Nicholas is branded on the bum and God bring all of us to Kingdom Come.” Through these lines, Chaucer brings up a fantastic point. In the tale, the males are the real fools, as Nicholas puts his butt out the window only to be burnt by a stake, John believes Nicholas and hides in a metal barrel for a whole night, and Absalon makes awkward