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Essay/Term paper: Canterbury tales

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Geoffrey Chaucer

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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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