In 1386, Chaucer became Controller of Customs and Geoffrey chaucer canterbury tales pdf of Peace and, in 1389, Clerk of the King’s work. He uses the tales and descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church.
Chaucer’s use of such a wide range of classes and types of people was without precedent in English. Although the characters are fictional, they still offer a variety of insights into customs and practices of the time. Often, such insight leads to a variety of discussions and disagreements among people in the 14th century. For example, although various social classes are represented in these stories and all of the pilgrims are on a spiritual quest, it is apparent that they are more concerned with worldly things than spiritual.
It is unclear to what extent Chaucer was seminal in this evolution of literary preference. According to the Prologue, Chaucer’s intention was to write four stories from the perspective of each pilgrim, two each on the way to and from their ultimate destination, St. It is also open to a wide range of interpretations. Fifty-five of these manuscripts are thought to have been originally complete, while 28 are so fragmentary that it is difficult to ascertain whether they were copied individually or as part of a set. Chaucer both added to his work and revised it as it was being copied and possibly as it was being distributed. Determining the text of the work is complicated by the question of the narrator’s voice which Chaucer made part of his literary structure.
Chaucer intended the stories to be placed. Textual and manuscript clues have been adduced to support the two most popular modern methods of ordering the tales. The tales that make up a Fragment are closely related and contain internal indications of their order of presentation, usually with one character speaking to and then stepping aside for another character. However, between Fragments, the connection is less obvious. Oxford University Press for most of the twentieth century, but this order is now seldom followed. Fragments I and II almost always follow each other, just as VI and VII, IX and X do in the oldest manuscripts.
Fragments IV and V, by contrast, vary in location from manuscript to manuscript. Chaucer wrote in late Middle English, which has clear differences from Modern English. From philological research, we know certain facts about the pronunciation of English during the time of Chaucer. Chaucer’s time, scribes did not accurately copy it, and this gave scholars the impression that Chaucer himself was inconsistent in using it. Chaucer’s grammar, and helped to distinguish singular adjectives from plural and subjunctive verbs from indicative. No other work prior to Chaucer’s is known to have set a collection of tales within the framework of pilgrims on a pilgrimage.