Review : Canterbury Tales

Posted: June 9, 2009 in Centuries Challenge, Fill In The Gap 100 Project, Reviews

This book took more time than usual and you will understand why when you read it.Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a classic and very solid one at that. I had always wanted to read it but never got a chance so I put it up on my Centuries Challenge and read it off. It is a beautiful piece of literature I must say.Its poetry and prose combined together.

Canterbury Tales is a set of stories told by pilgrims going to visit the shrine of Thomas Backet , a saint in Canterbury. Story begins with the introduction of each pilgrim who have come from various parts of England. The group consists of the Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath and Chaucer. Host of the Tabard inn,Harry sets the rules for them.They have to tell stories , two each during to and fro journey .and he will decide whose tale is best of all based on its meaning and moral. Thus begins the book with these pilgrims,some of them brave ,some cunning ,some naive yet all of them adding to the picture a unique quality that doesn’t fail to stand out at the end of the particular tale told by them.A comparison done with present times will surely show similar characters in our midst.

Being a romantic at heart ,I loved the Knight’s tale the most .Though other tales were equally good.The themes of the tales include love, chivalry, dishonesty, sermon and so on but most of them with a religious message. Some tales I must tell you are incomplete and it is not clear if Chaucer ever completed this work as it abruptly ends with no winner chosen in the end.As the characters have been introduced in the first chapter the focus of the book is mostly on the tales .This in no way makes any difference ,as it still a wonderful book for all Classics and Poetry lovers.

Written in the Middle Ages this book is considered Geoffrey Chaucer’s best work.

  1. Jenners says:

    Hats off to you for finishing this! I tend to quake at the thought of "solid classic" like this one. I'm realizing I'm a pretty lazy modern reader so I don't know if I'm ready for this one! The idea of it sounds really good though!

  2. Shona says:

    Its very different from what I read normally ,but having heard so much about it couldn't miss out on a chance to read it..Once u start reading ,its fun..

  3. Alyce says:

    I'm glad you liked it! I haven't read it since college, but I remember that it was a challenging read.

  4. Precie says:

    Did you read it in Middle English? I suppose that would have taken even longer. πŸ˜‰

  5. Shona says:

    @ Precie – I did start with middle english edition but needed lots of help to get thru it. Some of tales I used Modern english version. It still wasn't a easy job πŸ™‚

  6. Steven says:

    I've been reading The Canterbury Tales off and on for a few months, taking my time because my edition is just the Middle English. When I read The Knight's Tale, it sounded very familiar. I had previously read Shakespeare's play The Two Noble Kinsmen, which, it turns out, is based on The Knight's Tale.

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