Essay/Term paper: Canterbury tales
Essay, term paper, research paper: Geoffrey Chaucer
In the book Canterbury
Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, gives us a stunning tale about a
rooster named Chaunticleer. Chaunticleer, who is the King
of his domain in his farmland kingdom. Like a King, he
quotes passages from intellectuals, dreams vivid dreams, has
a libido that runs like a bat out of hell, and is described as a
very elegant looking Rooster. He has every characteristic of
a person belonging to the upper class. Chaucer's hidden
meanings and ideas make us think that the story is about
roosters and farm animals, but in reality he is making the
Aristocracy of his time period the subject of his mockery by
making the reader realize how clueless the Aristocracy can
be to the way things are in the real World. Chaucer
describes Chaunticleer in many different ways. One of them
is his language. Chaunticleer's language is that of a scholar.
He quotes many different scriptures in a conversation with
Pertelote, such as, Saint Kenelm, Daniel and Joseph (from
the bible), and Croesus. From each author he tells a story
about an individual who had a vision in a dream and the
dream came true. He may have been making all the stories
up in order to win the argument with Pertelote, but, this
seems unlikely because he does not take heed to his own
advice and stay away from the fox that encounters him later.
He is educated enough to know these supposed quotations
but not intelligent enough to understand the real meaning of
them. It is if he simply brings because they help him win the
argument with his spouse and not because he actually
believes what they say. Chaucer is using the idea that the
Aristocracy has schooling throughout their childhood, but it
is only done to have seemingly important but empty
conversations. His physical appearance is also described
with such beautiful passion that it makes us think
Chaunticleer is heaven on earth. "His comb was redder than
fine coral, and crenellated like a castle wall; his bill was
black and shone like jet; his legs and toes were like azure;
his nails whiter than lily; and his color like the burnished
gold." Chaucer describes Chaunticleer as the quintessential
Cock, so perfect that his description is no longer believable
when we realize he is describing a Rooster. Chaucer is
setting up Chaunticleer to be as regal and grandiose as a
King. Even though he looks like a million dollars he is still
very shallow inside. He lies to his spouse just to keep her
happy and his every thought is of fornication. Like the
Aristocracy he takes many pleasures of the flesh with no real
commitment to his duty as a rooster. Chaunticleer's
character appears to be that of a shallow used car salesman.
He lies to his spouse about his opinion of women just so he
can ride her later in the morning. "Mulier est hominis
confusio; Madame, the meaning of this Latin is, 'Woman is
man's joy and all his bliss.'" The real meaning is " Woman is
man's ruin". He tells her a lie to ensure he gets what he wants
from her later. He seems like the type of person who would
say anything to get what they want no matter the truth or
whom it hurts. He also falls victim to his own hubris,
something that is not uncommon to most rich arrogant
people. Chaucer's creation of Chaunticleer is done solely to
imitate and mock the upper class. Chaunticleer is educated,
like people in the upper class; looks good, as people with
money can afford to do; and revolves around the pleasures
of the flesh like a pre-pubescent child. Had he not been
"riding" Pertelote all morning he might have seen the fox
coming and been able to avoid becoming captured. His
attitude was that of the upper class, that he is too good to
worry about life's little trivial matters and that he loves to
have pleasure. The fox is able to dupe him simply by
flattering his voice. "... the reason I came was only to hear
how you sing.". He is so consumed with living in his own
grandiose twisted reality, where nothing bad happens, that
he does not realize that a fox is about to gobble him up! He
does have an epiphany at the end, however, "No more
through your flattery get me to close my eyes and sing. For
he who knowingly blinks when he should see, God let him
never thrive." Chaucer uses the character Chaunticleer to
poke fun at the Aristocracy and all their tendencies towards
living life in the name of "consummate pleasure seekers," and
not in the name of "reality driven people".
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