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Church Criticism in "The Canterbury Tales": The Monk and the Prioress in the Light of Pre-Reformation

 
9783668361140: Church Criticism in "The Canterbury Tales": The Monk and the Prioress in the Light of Pre-Reformation
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Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2014 im Fachbereich Englisch - Literatur, Werke, Note: 1,7, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik), Veranstaltung: The Fabliau in English, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Religion and Church play a significant role in Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' and although the Church was so important, powerful and present it was not free from criticism. At the time when Chaucer wrote his 'Canterbury Tales', the Church was an extremely wealthy and predominant organization that was highly embedded in politics. This connection between religion, politics, prosperity and the will to protect the won rights led inter alia to secularization and corruption and the Church diverged from its own moralities. Considering that, the ecclesiastical authorities had problems to fulfil their spiritual mission convincingly. Such conflicts led to controversies and debates about Church and religion since the late fourteenth century was a vivid period for parishioners in the medieval Europe to question the established Church and its authorities. Chaucer did not describe his relation to pre-reformatory movements in detail but his criticism in the 'Canterbury Tales' overlaps with them in some points. The question that arises therefore is, whether Chaucer can be seen as a pre-reformatory author or not. To answer this question it would be necessary to analyze all religious aspects of the 'Canterbury Tales', which were an undeniably monumental endeavour. Due to the restricted space of that term paper the focus of this research will be laid on two central pilgrims and their tales: the monk and the prioress. Since both characters are described explicitly in the prologue and represent the ecclesiastical establishment they serve as a good example for Chaucer's church criticism.

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