My biggest fear about this book was that it would be like The Pilgrim s Progress Although they followed a similar format, they couldn t have been different for me The Pilgrim s Progress was boring and preachy, whereas this was delightfully bawdy There are many translations, from Middle English, to Victorian verse, to modern day prose So sample a few and read what you re comfortable with Then dive in and enjoy the stories They can be read independently of one another, but often play off each other so they re best read in order, though this differs between editions If you happen to hit one you don t like, feel free to skip it, as there ll be another riotous tale along soon enough These can be read lightly, laughing at the rudeness and humour, or studied in depth, to find hidden subtleties and meanings It s the sort of book that re reading will enrich your experience and it s one I m glad to have tried for my first time.
So don t be scared of stuffy or complex tales because it s 600 years old Really, not that much has changed today.
I once spent a pleasant bus trip sitting next to a grad student who was doing a dissertation on Chaucer I asked her why it seemed in some ways so much sophisticated than Shakespeare Apparently the difference is that Shakespeare had to be suitable for the masses, but Chaucer was aimed pretty exclusively at court people, who could be given stronger stuff without having their morals corrupted Or whatever double standard was being employed It all sounded quite interesting.
I read it in the original Middle English speaking Swedish and French, I found it reasonably easy to understand, most of the words were similar to something I knew It s really lovely language.
To my considerable surprise, I have just learned that the good Geoffrey is still with us He is very well preserved considering his advanced age, and has even started a blog Under Favorite posts , I particularly recommend Lynes of Pick Up , She s yonge, sexie rich interviewe wyth Parys and The Cipher of Leonardo.
Stalker Week update read The Merchant s Tale Or if you can t be bothered, at least answer my Quiz question about it.
It s that you each, to shorten the long journey,Shall tell two tales en route to Canterbury,And, coming homeward, another two,Stories of things that happened long ago.
Whoever best acquits himself, and tellsThe most amusing and instructive tale,Shall have a dinner, paid by us all,Here in this roof, and under this roof tree,When we come back again from Canterbury One of the most legendary books from the Middle Ages, the Canterbury Tales is a wonderful collection of short stories about life in medieval England.
Chaucer s world at the time of writing is one of plague, famine and war The Hundred Years War had just come out of one of its most violent phases when the author penned these words And yet the Canterbury Tales are filled with humour, lightness and parody There is little of the dark, war torn oppressed society that some might expect.
Throughout the collection, Chaucer fills his pages with wit, exaggeration and an illustration of how medieval English society was outside the religious texts and formally written histories That makes for rather interesting reading The Canterbury Tales is far from the best book ever written The language, despite sometimes being incomprehensible, is sometimes beautiful, but not something truly outstanding The tales themselves are far from perfect, and the characters are a mixed bunch, both in morality, complexity and pure quality.
Nevertheless, this is a classic for a reason, and that reason isn t only that the book through a twist of fate actually has survived down the centuries It provides a fun and light hearted insight into the English Middle Ages, and it s been inspiring European culture for centuries.
Hoewel Sommige Verhalen Van Eerdere Datum Zijn, Begon Geoffrey Chaucer Ca Omstreeks Aan The Canterbury Tales Ze Vertonen Vele Punten Van Overeenkomst Met De Decamerone Van Boccaccio Beide Werken Bestaan Uit Een Aantal Losse Verhalen Die Op Kunstzinnige Wijze Tot Een Geheel Zijn Samengeregen, Als Kleurig Flonkerende Kralen Aan Een HassnoerBij Boccaccio Is Het De Pest Die Het Galante Gezelschap Vertellers Uit Florence Verdrijft Bij Chaucer Is Het Een Pelgrimstocht Naar De Kathedraal Van Canterbury Naar Het Graf Van Thomas A Becket Die Een Zeer Gemengd Gezelschap Bijeenbrengt In De Herberg De Wapenrok, In Een Voorstad Van Londen Op Initiatief Van De Goedronde Waard Vertellen De Pelgrims Om De Tijd Van De Rit Te Bekorten Om Beurten Een Verhaal De Aard En De Trant Van De Vertellingen Wisselen Met De Vertellers Ridder, Non, Burger, Handwerker, Aflaatkramer, De Vrouw Uit Bath Pittige Volksverhalen En Ridderromantiek, Pikante Anekdotes En Vrome Legenden Volgen Elkaar Op Chaucers Virtuositeit Bestaat Hierin Dat Hij De Vertelling Aanpast Aan Het Karakter Van De Verteller Hij Wordt In De Engelse Literatuur Wel De Eerste Romanschrijver En N Van De Eerste Toneelschrijvers Genoemd, Op N Lijn Met Shakespeare En Dickens Zoals Newton De Sterren Registreerde En Linnaeus De Planten, Zo Registreerde Chaucer De Soorten Mensen William BlakeHoewel Veel Eerder Geschreven, Werden The Canterbury Tales Pas In Voor Het Eerst Gedrukt, Door William Caxton This masterpiece was written over 600 years ago but I am positive that if you decide to pick it up you will find the stories most interesting My favourite tale was The Pardoner s Tale I always enjoy a story in which greedy, vicious people get what they deserve I had tried reading Chaucer at university but Middle English was an obstacle I was not able to overcome So this time I played safely and opted for this one in modern English And I enjoyed it so much Look out, Bocaccio there s a new author of clever, bawdy rhyming tales, and his name is Geoffrey Chaucer Whether you re a reeve, abbot, or just a simple canon s yeoman, you re sure to find something delightful in this witty, incisive collection My personal favorites were the one about Chaunticleer the rooster and the one where the dude gets a red hot poker shoved up his butt I read it while I was laid up with the plague, and Chaucer s insouciant descriptions and intricate plotting helped immeasurably in my recuperation The frequent bloodlettings prescribed by my barber surgeon helped, too.
Quick note If you re illiterate, like nine tenths of the population, this might not be the book for you.
60 14 Ted Ed Everything you need to know to read The Canterbury Tales