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Canterbury Tales


            Describe two of the character from The Prologue (neither of them may be the Pardoner of the Wife of Bath) and explain how they represent the lifestyles of England during the Middle Ages. Make at least two refrences to The Prologue to support your ideas. You may also refer to your knowledge of the Middle Ages from the Literary Period Introduction to Collection 2, and/or any prior knowledge you may have from previous studies.
             Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, written in approximately 1385, is a collection of twenty-four stories apparently told by various people who are going on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral from London, England. Beside the actual tales, however, Chaucer offers the reader a glimpse of fourteenth century life by way of what he refers to as a General Prologue. In this prologue, Chaucer introduces all of the characters who are involved in this imaginary journey and who will tell the tales. Among the characters included in this introductory section is a knight. Chaucer initially refers to the knight as "a most distinguished man" (line 43) along with his son the Squire, and indeed, his sketch of the knight is highly complimentary.
             When someone ever mentions the word knight to you, first thing that comes into your mind would always be the link with the medieval age. Simply because that was the time when the whole knighthood began, grew to an ever so popular stage, and was ended by the tragedy of the Hundred Years War, which brought the final chapter of the medieval stage.
             The medieval age was organized in a triangle system, where it's started off with the king, and ranks and status were gradually lowered as you progress down the triangle. After the lord on the social ladder came the knight. The path to knighthood began at the age of seven, when a vassal sent his son to the lord's house to become a page. For seven years a page was cared for by the women of the house, who instructed him in comportment, courtesy, cleanliness, and religion.


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