Taking the stage after the Knight and his lofty tale of courtly love, the drunken miller regales the pilgrims with the account of a young scholar, Nicholas, who persuades his aged landlord's beautiful young wife to go to bed with him. Having successfully duped the husband and made his conquest, he finds himself the butt of his own practical joke played on a rival suitor, in the process giving rise to a famously farcical end sequence.
This study provides extensive readings of overlooked American reconstructions of Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales from the colonial to postmodern periods, demonstrating how these repackagings convey uniquely American ideas.
A Penguin Classic In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
While Geoffrey Chaucer composed several magnificent works of poetry, his reputation as "the father of English literature" rests mainly on The Canterbury Tales, a group of stories told by assorted pilgrims en route to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. From the mirthful and bawdy to the profoundly moral, the tales, taken in their entirety, reflect not only the manners and mores of medieval England, but indeed, the full comic and tragic dimensions of the human condition. Considered the greatest collection of narrative poems in English literature, The Canterbury Tales was composed in the Middle English of Chaucer's day, possibly to be read aloud at the court of Richard II. However, their grandeur, humor, and relevance are timeless, as readers of this authoritative edition will discover.UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE SIGNET CLASSICS CANTERBURY TALES Full critical Introduction by editor Donald R. Howard * Normalized spelling system for easier reading and pronunciation * Extensive footnotes
* Special section "On Pronouncing Chaucer" * Glossary of basic Middle English words With a Foreword by Frank Grady and a New Afterword by Paul Strohm
This comprehensive collection of the major critical views of Chaucer's works over time engages students with the entire critical history.
- Introduces students to the critical discourse on Chaucer's works from a historical perspective.
- Encourages students to make links between past and present criticism.
- Foregrounds those modern approaches that are genuinely productive.
- Avoids a formulaic approach through lively editorial commentary and judicious selection of texts.
A groundbreaking biography that recreates the cosmopolitan world in which a wine merchant's son became one of the most celebrated of all English poetsMore than any other canonical English writer, Geoffrey Chaucer lived and worked at the centre of political life--yet his poems are anything but conventional. Edgy, complicated, and often dark, they reflect a conflicted world, and their astonishing diversity and innovative language earned Chaucer renown as the father of English literature. Marion Turner, however, reveals him as a great European writer and thinker. To understand his accomplishment, she reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer's adventurous life, focusing on the places and spaces that fired his imagination. Uncovering important new information about Chaucer's travels, private life, and the early circulation of his writings, this innovative biography documents a series of vivid episodes, moving from the commercial wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence and the kingdom of Navarre, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side. The narrative recounts Chaucer's experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter's nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament, and as a diplomat in Milan, where he encountered the writings of Dante and Boccaccio. At the same time, the book offers a comprehensive exploration of Chaucer's writings, taking the reader to the Troy of Troilus and Criseyde, the gardens of the dream visions, and the peripheries and thresholds of The Canterbury Tales. By exploring the places Chaucer visited, the buildings he inhabited, the books he read, and the art and objects he saw, this landmark biography tells the extraordinary story of how a wine merchant's son became the poet of The Canterbury Tales.