Friday, March 22, 2019
Chaucers Retraction in The Canterbury Tales Essay -- Canterbury Tales
Chaucers Retraction in The Canterbury TalesChaucers ability to characterize people from all walks of life in definite detail, as is so wonderfully displayed in The Canterbury Tales, is just one factor out that allowed him to be known as one of historys finest literary artists. At the nullify of a career that would be considered by most artists as an highly successful one, what could have caused Chaucer to apologize for both of the works which defined literary success? In Chaucers Retraction, which appears at the windup of The Canterbury Tales (Norton 311), Chaucer not only apologizes for some(prenominal) of his secular works, he also goes so far as to tip over them, and ask for forgiveness for much(prenominal) works which tended toward sin (313), as he puts it. Such an extreme action seems to be somewhat irrational. Some desire that Chaucer, nearing the end of his earthly life, was preparing himself for Gods judgment in the afterlife. If, by means of his writings, he was gui lty of some grave sin, which would keep him from the eternal bliss of heaven, such(prenominal) a retraction expertness be considered justifiable. Furthermore, the concept of being hagridden in the depths of hell for all eternity could easily persuade any person, especially on his deathbed, to renounce all past actions, good or bad. Maybe it is better to be safe than to be sorry, forever. While it is unsurmountable to truly discern Chaucers reasoning, assuming him to be the actual author of this passage, a closer examination of the offending text, as well(p) as a look at some of the social and religious influences of the time period, might give us a clue as to why such a gifted poet would take this position.The dominant theme of the pilgrimage in The Canterbury Tales illustrates one obvious religious... ...xed with molten lead, brass and other kinds of metal broad worms with poisonous teeth gnawed at some others were fastened on by one on stakes with fiery thorns. The torturers tore them with their nails, flogged them with dreadful scourges, and lacerate them in dreadful agonies The Monk of Eveshams Vision, 1197 (qtd. in Speed 4). When facing the end of ones life, the notion of spending all eternity in such a place would surely make even the most avid non-believer signify twice. A true believer in Christianity might very well think that it is much better to be safe, than to be sorry forever. plant CitedChaucers Retraction. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Seventh Edition. Volume1. Ed. M.H. Abrams. New York W.W.Norton and Company, Inc., 2000.Speed, Peter, ed. Those Who Prayed, An Anthology of Medieval Sources. New York Italica Press, 1997.