The Canterbury Tales
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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
Poetry
Jul 31, 2018
The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s most enduring work, began in the 1380s as a loose collection of stories, myths, and fantastical anecdotes—most in verse, though some in prose—that were all written in different voices. Only in the 1390s did Chaucer start to think of his baggy assemblage as a single narrative, conceiving a framing story, called the “General Prologue,” in which the tales’ various narrators are introduced as pilgrims on their way from London to Canterbury Cathedral, which houses the shrine of Saint Thomas à Becket. The pilgrims, a mixed crew of squires and commoners, decide to partake in a story-telling competition, with the winner getting a free meal at a London tavern. Their tales range widely across styles and genres, from romance to sermon to fabliau (a type of bawdy comedy), and even include a scientific treatise. Censored, expurgated, or banned outright for centuries (one American school struck it from the syllabus as recently as the 1990s), The Canterbury Tales retains its power because it’s a rollicking read, full of lavishly beautiful poetry spiced with hilarious comedy.
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Oct 28, 2018
What surprised me about the Canterbury Tales when I read them in high school was how funny and filthy they are, and how unaware the powers that be at my school were of that fact, or they would have banned it outright.
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Oct 28, 2018
The bawdy bard - wonderful
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Nov 28, 2018
entertaining.
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Part of the canon of literature.
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Ole English with modern day themes
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Tremendously enjoyable and an insightful look at humor over time.
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11 hrs
Classic tales, worth reading again and again
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