Nevertheless, the Wife of Bath got the upper hand in this marriage as she had done in the other four and as she would probably do in the sixth, which she declared herself ready to welcome. Among the characters included in this introductory section is a knight. He travels across his big parish to visit all of his parishioners, on his feet, carrying a staff in his hand. The narrator claims that this lisp makes the Friar's English more sweet, suggesting that he speaks in this way to more effectively seduce those who might give him money. She has been married five times and had many other affairs in her youth, making her well practiced in the art of love.
Her choice of jewelry reveals her secularity, too. Moreover the Friar was actively involved in settling secular matters on love-days. It would be nice to think that a person such as the knight could exist in the twentieth century. Thus, the Friar's pleasant demeanor actually makes him harmful; he cares more about retaining his rich friends than purging their souls of sin. His tale is comedic and obscene. She is his equal in looks, manners, and talent.
Many of the pilgrims were a part of the church. He gets drunk frequently, is irritable, and is not particularly qualified for his position. Chaucer expresses themes and messages through the characterization of each pilgrim. Her appearance conforms to the contemporary ideal of a beauty. Instead of concerning herself with the running of her convent or her service to God, the Nun makes certain everyone knows that she is a courtly or aristocratic woman. The knight can do no wrong: he is an outstanding warrior who has fought for the true faith—according to Chaucer—on three continents.
In breaking down this barrier between the reader and the text, Chaucer positions his narrator as an interpreter or presenter of events. This attention to detail about the way in which the Friar speaks suggests that the Friar carefully constructed this attribute. Through the double narration it can be seen that the narrator of the Prologue is Chaucer but this pilgrim Chaucer is not the author Chaucer. He never loses any money in his bargains and is extremely knowledgeable about the business of borrowing and lending money. Another stereotype about friars was that they were so crafty at soliciting donations that they could convince a widow to give away her last penny, and, moreover, that they earned far more than they needed, enabling them to live a life of luxury.
The third quality of the knight is different than most would expect. My attention was drawn to the Wife of Bath through which Chaucer notes the gender inequalities. Chaucer uses each pilgrim to tell a tale which portrays an arduous medieval society. In such cases charity to friars is equivalent to tears and prayers. Many of the 'types' of characters featured would have been familiar stock characters to a medieval audience: the hypocritical friar, the rotund, food-loving monk, the rapacious miller are all familiar types from medieval estates satire see Jill Mann's excellent book for more information. This Summoner is a lecherous man whose face is scarred by leprosy. He has fought in many battles and served his king nobly.
Gradually the practice degenerated and the church forbade the clergy to arbitrate except in case of the poor. These traits define the three and eventually lead to their downfall. The main emphasis in the story is upon rules of honor, decorum, and proper conduct. John is jealous and possessive of his wife. All three indulge in and represent the vices against which the Pardoner has railed in his Prologue: Gluttony, Drunkeness, Gambling, and Swearing.
Ironically, though a soldier, the romantic, idealistic Knight clearly has an aversion to conflict or unhappiness of any sort. The next morning, the Host awakes, raises everyone up, and 'in a flok' the pilgrimage rides towards 'the Wateryng of Seint ', a brook about two miles from London. The third quality of the knight is different than most would expect. He is a noble example to his parishioners 'his sheep', as they are described because he acts first, and preaches second or, in Chaucer's phrase, 'first he wroghte, and afterward he taughte'. Yet what is key about the information provided in the General Prologue about these characters, many of whom do appear to be archetypes, is that it is among the few pieces of objective information - that is, information spoken by our narrator that we are given throughout the Tales. We also learn that the more money a penitent donates, the easier the penance the friar gives; basically, he is selling the Church's forgiveness.
Nevertheless, in his description of the knight, Chaucer shows the reader the possibility of the chivalric way of life. However, because he is unable to see Emily, he feels that he ultimately has bad fortune. After talking to them, he agrees to join them on their pilgrimage. Clearly, the knight possesses an outstanding character. Chaucer ironically pronounces that the Monk is perfectly suitable for the office of abbot. John - The dim-witted carpenter to whom Alisoun is married and with whom Nicholas boards. She fell in love with her fifth husband, Jankyn, while she was still married to her fourth.
The books points out both the good and the bad qualities of the people, however, the most obvious descriptions are those of the sinful flaws of humans, such. At the time the church had a very high status, and was very powerful. After all, there had not been a major European war for over a century. In fact hunting itself was considered an immoral activity. In August 1914 the outbreak of war seemed a glorious adventure in a foreign and far a way land. Chaucer paints a picture of an elegant woman.