Chaucer: Religious Figure Analysis
The corruption of the church has been a long debated topic for centuries. Most organized religions have some kind of manner in which they extract money from the pockets of their respective congregations. For Christians, the money is received in the form of tithes while Jews require money for other services. The people of the past faced very similar problems in regards to “paying for salvation”. Although some of the people that work for the church are good in heart and God-driven, there are many who are only involved with the church for personal gain and benefit. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, he uses Horacian and Juvenalian satire to depict the various corrupt members of the church.
Chaucer uses his stories to condemn the members of the church who have wronged the general public by extorting money and possessions. He does however exclude one member of the church from his condemnation. It seems that Chaucer favored the parson amongst the other characters. Not much satire is used against him and he is depicted as a somewhat angelic character who works for the church for the pure purpose of fulfilling God’s will and spreading the word of Christ and salvation. He did not wish to be paid. As a matter of fact, he looked down upon those who extorted money. Chaucer displays an overall attitude of indifference, or maybe even praise, toward him through out the duration of the prologue.
The first type of satire in which Chaucer utilized was horacian. This type of satire is not very harsh and brutal toward its recipients. It has a much more gentle tone to it and it generally extracts a response of humor rather than scorn. Because Chaucer does not look poorly upon the nun, he does not criticize her but he instead points out her flaws. He criticizes her appearance by speaking of he abnormal forehead and height in line 158. He also criticizes how she thinks to highly of herself although she is not at all conceited....