The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of spring. He describes the April rains, the burgeoning flowers and leaves, and the chirping birds. Around this time of year, the narrator says, people begin to feel the desire to go on a pilgrimage. Many English pilgrims set off to visit the Canterbury . The narrator tells us that as he prepared to go on such a pilgrimage, staying at a tavern in Southwark called the Tabard Inn, a great company of twenty-nine travellers entered. The travellers were a diverse group who, like the narrator, were on their way to Canterbury. They happily agreed to let him join them. That night, the group slept at the Tabard, and woke up early the next morning to set off on their journey. Before continuing the tale, the narrator declares his intent to list and describe each of the members of the group.
There was a KNIGHT. Smart and honest man who loved knighthood, true and honour, freedom and courteousness. He had a son, a young able knight and lover. There was also a NUN, still smiling, simple and shy. Her name was Madam Eglantyne. Also there was a MONK, a robust and handy man who loved ride on a horseback and hunting. He would be a great abbot. There was a FRIAR, a happy and mendicant friar. In a four mendicant orders there was nobody so making excuse. His name was Hubert. There was also a MERCHANT. KLERIK FROM OXFORD was a very skinny man who studied a logic. There was also a SERJANT AT THE LAW, man cautious and clever. He was speaking very wisely and carefully and he often sat as a member of the jury. There was a Franklin, red in face having a beard like a daisy. He liked a cup of wine early in the morning. Also there were wandering a haberdasher, carpenter, weaver, dyer and carpet-maker. Each of them was dressed according to his guild. There was a COOK with them for preparing a chicken and turkeys for them and pouring a wine. There was a SKIPPER from the west side of the country, maybe from Dartmouth. His ship was called Magdalene.
There was also a DOCTOR of Medicine. Nobody was so good at a surgery and treating and also in astrology. There was a nice WOMAN FROM BATH, unfortunately rather cloth-eared. She kept a drapery shop and surpassed another ypers and gents drapery shops. Her face was very nice and rosy. There was also wandering some good religious man, a town PARSON, bursting with his thoughts and acts. Also he was a man of letters who truly preached a Christs´ gospel. There was his brother with him, very nice and honest PLOWMAN and peaceful and real Christian. Also there was a MILLER, a robust guy, muscular and bony. He always won in a fights. There was a COLLEGE MANCIPLE. A REEVE was a slim and irritable, having a smooth-faced moustache and a bald spot like priests. There was a SUMONER with them, it was a man with a narrow eyes, pockmarked and red in face like a cherub. At last there was a sumoners´ good friend PARDONER from Rouncival who has already arrived to a Roman court.
THE MILLER´S TALE
The Miller begins his story: there was once an Oxford student named Nicholas, who studied astrology and was well acquainted with the art of love. Nicholas boarded with a wealthy but ignorant old carpenter named John, who was jealous and highly possessive of his sexy eighteen-year-old wife, Alison. Nicholas devises a plan that will allow him and Alison to spend an entire night together. He has Alison tell John that Nicholas is ill. John sends a servant to check on his boarder, who arrives to find Nicholas immobile, staring at the ceiling. When the servant reports back to John. He feels sorry for the student and goes to check on him. Nicholas tells John he has had a vision from God and offers to tell John about it. He explains that he has foreseen a terrible event. The next Monday, waters twice as great as Noah's flood will cover the land, exterminating all life. The carpenter believes him and fears for his wife, just what Nicholas had hoped would occur. Nicholas instructs John to fasten three tubs, each tied to the roof of the barn. Monday night arrives, and Nicholas, John, and Alison ascend by ladder into the hanging tubs. As soon as the carpenter begins to snore, Nicholas and Alison climb down, run back to the house, and sleep together in the carpenter's bed. In the early dawn, Absolon passes by. Hoping to stop in for a kiss, or perhaps more, from Alison, Absolon sidles up to the window and calls to her. She harshly replies that she loves another. Absolon persists, and Alison offers him one quick kiss in the dark.
Absolon leaps forward eagerly, offering a lingering kiss. But it is not her lips but Nicholas. She and Nicholas collapse with laughter. Determined to avenge Alison's prank, Absolon hurries back into town to the blacksmith and obtains a red-hot iron poker. He returns with it to the window and knocks again, asking for a kiss and promising Alison a golden ring. This time, Nicholas, having gotten up to relieve himself anyway, put his lips out the window. Absolon brands his face with the poker. Nicholas leaps up and cries out, "Help! Water! Water!". John, still hanging from the roof, wakes up and assumes Nicholas's cries mean that the flood has come. He grabs the rope, cuts free the tub, and comes crashing to the ground. The noise and commotion attract many of the townspeople. The carpenter tells the story of the predicted flood, but Nicholas and Alison pretend ignorance, telling everyone that the carpenter is mad. The townspeople laugh that all have received their dues, and the Miller merrily asks that God save the company.
THE PARDONER'S TALE
The Pardoner describes a group of young Flemish people who spend their time drinking and revelling, indulging in all forms of excess. Three of rioters sit drinking, they hear a funeral knell. One of the reveller’s' servants tells the group that an old friend of theirs was slain that very night by a mysterious figure named Death. The rioters are outraged and, in their drunkenness, decide to find and kill Death to avenge their friend. Travelling down the road, they meet an old man who appears sorrowful. He says his sorrow stems from old age and he has been waiting for Death to come and take him for some time, and he has wandered all over the world. The youths, hearing the name of Death, demand to know where they can find him. The old man directs them into a grove, where he says he just left Death under an oak tree. The rioters rush to the tree, underneath which they find not Death but eight bushels of gold coins with no owner in sight.
At first, they are speechless, but, then, the slyest of the three reminds them that if they carry the gold into town in daylight, they will be taken for thieves. They must transport the gold under cover of night, and so someone must run into town to fetch bread and wine in the meantime. They draw lots, and the youngest of the three loses and runs off toward town. As soon as he is gone, the sly plotter turns to his friend and divulges his plan: when their friend returns from town, they will kill him and therefore receive greater shares of the wealth. The second rioter agrees, and they prepare their trap. Back in town, the youngest vagrant is having similar thoughts. He could easily be the richest man in town, he realizes, if he could have all the gold to himself. He goes to the apothecary and buys the strongest poison available, then puts the poison into two bottles of wine, leaving a third bottle pure for himself. He returns to the tree, but the other two rioters leap out and kill him. They sit down to drink their friend's wine and celebrate, but each happens to pick up a poisoned bottle. Within minutes, they lie dead next to their friend. Thus, concludes the Pardoner, all must beware the sin of avarice, which can only bring treachery and death.
- The Pardoner's Tale is a type of story often used by preachers to emphasize a moral point to their audience. The main theme - "Greed is the root of all evil" - it never changes.
THE TALE OF THE NUN'S PRIEST
A poor, elderly widow lives a simple life in a cottage with her two daughters. Her few possessions include three sows, three cows, a sheep, and some chickens. One chicken, her rooster, is named Chanticleer. He crows the hour more accurately than any church clock. His crest is redder than fine coral, his beak is black as jet, his nails whiter than lilies, and his feathers shine like burnished gold. Chanticleer has many hen-wives, but he loves most truly a hen named Pertelote. She is as lovely as Chanticleer is magnificent. Once, Chanticleer has a terrible nightmare about an orange houndlike beast who threatens to kill him while he is in the yard. Fearless Pertelote berates him for letting a dream get the better of him. She urges him once more not to dread something as fleeting and illusory as a dream. He then praises Pertelote's beauty and grace, and the aroused hero and heroine make love in barnyard fashion.
One day in May, Chanticleer has just declared his perfect happiness when a wave of sadness passes over him. That very night, a hungry fox stalks Chanticleer and his wives, watching their every move. The next day, Chanticleer notices the fox while watching a butterfly, and the fox confronts him with dissimulating courtesy, telling the rooster not to be afraid. Chanticleer relishes the fox's flattery of his singing. He beats his wings with pride, stands on his toes, stretches his neck, closes his eyes, and crows loudly. The fox reaches out and grabs Chanticleer by the throat, and then slinks away with him back toward the woods. No one is around to witness what has happened. Once Pertelote finds out what has happened, she burns her feathers with grief, and a great wail arises from the henhouse. The widow and her daughters hear the screeching and spy the fox running away with the rooster. Chanticleer very cleverly suggests that the fox turn and boast to his pursuers. The fox opens his mouth to do so, and Chanticleer flies out of the fox's mouth and into a high tree. The fox tries to flatter the bird into coming down, but Chanticleer has learned his lesson. He tells the fox that flattery will work for him no more. The moral of the story, concludes the Nun's Priest, is never to trust a flatterer.
- The Nun's Priest's Tale is a fable, a simple tale about animals that concludes with a moral lesson.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury tales
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||1 850|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Vysoká škola||Počet A4:||5.4|
|Priemerná známka:||3.02||Rýchle čítanie:||9m 0s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||13m 30s|