Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 163 pages of information about Medieval Europe 814-1450.
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The Canterbury Tales

A Cross-Section of Fourteenth-Century Character Types.

Begun about the late 1380s and still incomplete at Chaucer's death in 1400, the Canterbury Tales comprise the most famous story collection in medieval literature. Like the journey to escape the ravages of the plague in Boccaccio's Decameron, the frame that holds together this collection of tales is the purportedly random meeting of 29 individuals at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, southeast of the city of London. The common goal of this group of "sundry folk" is to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury. In some ways, this pilgrim group presents a cross-section of late fourteenth-century English people and professions. At the top of the social hierarchy are an aristocratic knight and his entourage (his squire son and their attending yeoman). Also represented are various strata of the clerkly class (an Oxford clerk and...

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This section contains 1,778 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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