Wednesday, 12 October 2016

PROLOGUE TO THE CANTERBURY TALES

The Canterbury Tales , though an unfinished work , is definitely the best specimen of Chaucerian literature and remains unsurpassable in the English literary works before Spenser . What , however , constitutes the crowning interest in this unfinished work is the finished and most artistic execution of the Prologue to the Tales .

Prologue implies a kind of introduction and in his sense the prologue to the Canterbury Tales may be taken as Chaucers introduction to his whole literary scheme in the work . He , no doubt , intended to make the Prologue a befitting introduction to his entertaining tales about which he had perhaps not drawn any definite plan . His original plan to have two stories , told by each pilgrim enroute to Canterbury and two more in course of the return journey , is given out here .

Of course , that was , perhaps only schemed ,  but not put into any definite literary action . Nervertheless , the Prologue was employed by him , with an eye to the whole scheme as a just introduction to his numberous tales , characteristic of the age .

But what Chaucer has achieved in the Prologue is something more than a mere introduction . The Prologue to Canterbury Tales to Canterbury and planning to make their journey diverting and free from monotony by telling tales to one another .

The most important thing that Chaucer is found to have accompanied in his introductory purpose is to bring the picture of the entire English society of his time , and this is truly a unique attainment . Within the brief compass of some eight hundred and sixty lines , the poet has presented the whole English conmunity of the fourteenth century with different classes and ranks and professions , except the nobles , the bishops and the serfs . This is really a commendable representation in a precise and entertaining manner . Indeed , Chaucers Prologue passes from a mere introductory verse to a poetical social chronicle of a high order.


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