Essay about Lust Creating a Contradictory outlook on Characters

Submitted By milamarie
Words: 705
Pages: 3

During the “General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales there are seven deadly sins represented by various characters. In Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer offers a look into human characteristics and actions. Of the seven deadly sins, lust remains a reoccurring characteristic in several descriptions of; The Wife of Bath, The Summoner, The Friar, The Squire and last but not least the Prioress. As romance and marriage are prominent in The Squire, a more sexual definition of lust is based on the majority of Pilgrims.
The physical description of the Squire illustrates him as if he was a Roman statue, or taken from a chivalric romance. Chaucer describes his " lokkes crulle as they were leyd in presse"(Norton, 83), average height, great strength, "Of twenty yeer of age he was" (Norton, 83), bravery and cleverness. The author illustrates Squire's youth "as fressh as is the month of may." (Norton, 83). The dress of the squire is colorful, embroidered with flowers, short with large sleeves. He is very talented, too. Chaucer dedicates some lines in the poem to the squire's skills - horsemanship, jousting, sketching, dancing, song and verse writing: "Wel koude he sitte on hors and faire ryde./ He koude songes make and wel endite,/ Juste and eek daunce, and weel purtreye and write." (Norton, 83).
The physical illustration of Squire is carefully surrounded by sexual references. The author tells us in his poem that the young character is "a lovere and a lusty bacheler"(Norton, 83), who loves so hotly that he sleeps at night "namoore than dooth a nyghtyngale"(Norton, 83). Chaucer uses meadows, fresh flowers, and squire's songs as the methphors to represent the character's sexual image that hides under the portrait of the candidate for a knight. Chaucer also refers to the object of squire's chivalry, his lady.
The strange thing about Squire's sexuality and his character as a whole is its neutrality. He is illustrated as powerful and effective young knight. It seems however that he is lifeless, like a stone or still statue. The squire's physical characteristics strongly hit the reader's mind, yet not much is understood about Squire. Chaucer even portrays him in a morally neutral manner, he leaves the judgement of the squire to the reader. The squire is a victim of Chaucer's prejudice portraits, where some characters get detailed representation while others get brief, basic treatment.
The squire's character is ironically a wonderful example of young men who in the middle ages devoted their lives to become powerful knights. They were supposed to be "the finests" as many policemen are called today. However, it seems that Chaucer also wanted to illustrate the character's another side of personality. This side is the squire's sexuality and attitudes to women. As a