The Monk is known throughout the land, particularly by men and women of a higher class. Although, Chaucer does seem to draw the monk up as a somewhat rebellious individual, who does not like rules and governs his own life. Nero Although this Nero was as vicious As any fiend that is beneath the ground, Yet he, as so says Suetonius, Had in subjection this great world, all found, From East to West, South to North around. Thus Julius to the Capitol went One day, where he was wont to go, In the Capitol they seized him then, That false Brutus and his other foes, And struck him with their daggers so That he had many a wound, there he did lie, But groaned he at no stroke but one, I know, Or else at two, unless the stories lie. The Monk then admits that most have heard of Alexander the Great, poisoned by his very own offspring. Hercules was seized, bound, and led to the altar by his orders, but the hero broke his bonds and slew the tyrant.
The vanguard of his Triumph there walked she, With golden chains about her neck hanging; Crowned she was, according to degree, And full of gems was charged her clothing. When great power is joined to cruelty, Alas, too deep in venom men must wade! And that same night the King he was no more, And Darius occupied his degree, Though he thereto had neither right nor law. Chaucer believes that the Monk lives a more lavished life then a regular monk should. Yet, by my troth, I know not your true name; Whether I should call you my lord Sir John, Or Sir Thomas now, or else Sir Alban? That shall he find, that her misdoth or saith. We may not trust in her great favour long, But watch her with suspicion as we go; Witness all these conquerors so strong.
These traits define the three and eventually lead to their downfall. Is there a morsel of that bread you keep? It is, on one level, simply a series of car-crash narratives - an unrelenting dark, Boethian reminder that the high-status end miserably. But to his wives his secret told he, And so he slew himself from wretchedness. The Clerk had mentioned to the other pilgrims that Griselda was not a model for women to imitate but an example to be patient when God tries us. Brave, strong, and sworn to everlasting friendship with his cousin Arcite, Palamon falls in love with the fair maiden Emelye, which brings him into conflict with Arcite.
Admiring the Monk's skin and stature, the Host jokes that he could be a good breeding fowl, if only he were allowed to breed! The Emperor, one Claudius Gothicus, And before him Gallienus, the Roman, Were never in their reign so courageous, Nor the Armenian, nor the Egyptian, Nor the Arabian, nor the Syrian, To dare to take the field with her and fight Lest she should slay them by her own hand, Or with her army put them all to flight. The Host decided to pay for his own travel with one condition that if anyone argues with his final judgment, that person will bear the cost of his travel. Finally the Monk's Tale is interrupted. He prepares profiles for each person and gives his verdict on their social category or rank. He is as judicious and conservative with his words as with his gold. He likes having the of a monk, but does not enjoy doing those things a monk usually would. When the fox takes him away, she mourns him in classical Greek fashion, burning herself and wailing.
She kept her maidenhood from every wight, To no man deigned she for to be bond. The Canterbury Tales is full of irony, beginning with the characters description all the way to the end of the story. All of these unsavory practices enable him wear a double-lined and thus doubly expensive , brand-spanking new robe, and to bribe an official into allowing him sole begging rights in his territory, further increasing his earnings. Just as men have struggled with lust and desire throughout time, the Catholic Church will be posed with instances of bribery and corruption for times to come. I say, one of his men, a false traitor, Smote off his head, to win great favour From Julius, and him the head he brought. From her childhood I finde that she fled Office of woman, and to woods she went, And many a wilde harte's blood she shed With arrows broad that she against them sent; She was so swift, that she anon them hent.
But this situation led to rivalry between friars, who could travel from place to place soliciting donations, and the religious figures like parish priests who also depended upon their communities for donations. King Peter of Cyprus O worthy Peter, King of Cyprus, also, Who won Alexandria by high mastery, On full many a heathen you wrought woe, At which your own liegemen felt great envy, And for no other cause but your chivalry They in your bed slew you on the morrow. Like the Monk and the Prioress, the Friar's extracurricular activities are inappropriate for one of his profession: we learn that he likes to hang out with wealthy landowners, barmaids, noblewomen, and tavern owners. The Summoner, in retaliation, skewers friars in his tale, satirizing their long-windedness and their hypocrisy. The same clothes that he had worn a day, After that time he never more must see. For instance, the Squire is training to occupy the same social role as his father, the Knight, but unlike his father he defines this role in terms of the ideals of courtly love rather than crusading.
That he so little of his mother told. Samson Lo, Samson, his birth annunciated By the angel, long ere his nativity, Was to Almighty God consecrated, And stood forth nobly while he could see: There was never another such as he, As regards his strength, and hardiness. And an idolater he was always. Now may'st thou weepe with thine eyen blind, Since thou from weal art fall'n to wretchedness. And gripped by this stench and deadly pain He starved full wretchedly, on a mountain. Tragedy, as the Monk defines it, is a story from an old book of someone who fell from high degree and great prosperity into misery, and ended wretchedly; tragedies are also usually presented in hexameters, he thinks. Canterbury Tales is one of the most excellent frame stories.
Moreover, the numbers that the Monk quotes - he has a hundred tragedies in his cell, of which he manages to fit in seventeen before he is interrupted - suggest a painfully dismal repetition of the fall from fortune to misery, fortune to misery, fortune to misery. She loved him, but he was a reveler who had a mistress. But gave the word to summon all his host, And swiftly, ere he was of it aware, God dented all his pride and all his boast; For he fell sorely from his chariot there, So that his limbs and skin began to tear, And he might no longer walk or ride, But men bore him about in a chair All bruised severely, both back and side. The Friar represents the corrupt system that the church has overlooked. Let no man blindly trust prosperity! The next pilgrim to be described is Roger de Ware, hired by the guildsmen. In the Italian Renaissance, it is regarded as one of the greatest works of early humanism and was emphasized in the Greek and Latin classics focusing on the importance of man as his own individual regardless of their fame which can be contrasted with the medieval views.
Like a messianic leader, he tries to practice what he preaches and is regarded by Chaucer as the noblest of the priests in the land. Croesus This rich Croesus, king of Lydia, Croesus whom Cyrus held in dread, Was captured still, midst of all his pride there, And to be burnt men to the fire him led; But such a rain down from the heavens shed The fire was doused, and he made his escape. Yet when Daniel disobeyed the king, Nebuchadnezzar lost all dignity, acting like a great beast until God relieved him of his insanity. It keeps the reportage as close to the real and unaltered as possible. Brave, experienced, and prudent, the narrator greatly admires him.