Canterbury Tales: riassunto in lingua inglese

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The Canterbury Tales
The life of Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the fourteenth century (1340) in London. His father was an important wine merchant. He was connected with the court: he became a page in the household of one of the King’s daughter-in-law; he was taken prisoner in France during the hundred year’s war. Chaucer began writing the Canterbury Tales when he was about forty and he hadn’t finish writing it when he died in 1400. The Canterbury Tales was almost certainly based on Boccaccio’s decameron
The place he was buried is in Westminster Abbey is known as Poet’s corner.
Chaucer’s world
During Chaucer’s life were in power: Edward II, Richard II and Henry IV. The France had a long war with England called Hundred Year’s war. Chaucer’s life it was also the time of the Black Death or Plague and all people said God is deaf. Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral and in April pilgrims begin their journey to Canterbury.
The Prologue
In the prologue Chaucer describes the pilgrims who met at tabard Inn in London, from where they started their pilgrimage.
They were twenty-nine and between them, first of all there was a:
==> Knight: brave man who fought chivalry, truth and honour. Although he was famous, he was a modest man. He was a perfect gentleman.
==> Squire: the knight’s son. He was 20 years old, very good-looking and he know how to ride well, to dance, to sing and to write poems. The girls all loved him.
==> Prioress: (madame Elegantine) She could speak French and she had very good mamers. Infact when she was eating she was careful, not to make a mess. She was a fine, sensitive (with animals not with men)lady. She had grey eyes and soft, red lips and a white forehead.
==> A fat monk: who wore rich clothes and loved hunting
==> A fat friar; who loved pretty girls, gold and silver
==> The wife of bath: she came from bath (a city, and she had been married five times (so she got very rich) and she was, of course an expert in love. She had a large red face and she wore a hot and wavy coat.
==> The miller: a great fat man who loved drinking and telling jokes. He was also an expert thief who stole corn form his customers.
==> The parson: he loved god and to help other people. He gave money to the poor, gave advice to people who had problems and visited the sick. He was a very good man.
==> The Summoner: his job was to punish people who broke the religion laws and he had a lot of power and he used it to make money from poor people who were afraid of him.
==> The Pardoner: if people gave money to him, he forgave them in the name of the church. He was a liar and he earned much more money than the honest people.
The Knight’s tale
Palamon and Arcite were two cousins who lived in the Greek city of Thebes. When Theseus, the Duke of Athens attacked their city, Palamon and Arcite fought bravely but in the end they were taken prisoner, taken back to Athens and locked in a tower.
One day Emily, the sister of Hippolyta, Theseus’s wife, was walking in the garden near the tower. She was very beautiful and when Palamon and Arcite saw her they both fell in love with her and began arguing about who should marry her.
Soon after, Arcite was freed on condition that he left Athens. However, he came back secretly to Athens and found a job in Emily’s house. After seven years Palamon escaped from the tower and arrived in the countryside. There he met Arcite who was out riding. The two cousins began fighting for Emily until Theseus arrived with Hippolyta and Emily.
At first Theseus was very angry but then told Palamon and Arcite to go away and collect 100 knights each and then return to Athens to fight. The winner would then marry Emily. Arcite won the battle but as he approached Emily, he was thrown from his horse. As he lay dying he told Palamon and Emily to get married. They were very sad, but after the funeral they got married and lived happily together.

Thomas Becket
He was born in 1118 in London and was murdered on 29th December 1170. he began a career in the church as administrator, but then he became Chancellor in 1154 to king Henry IV. They got friend.
But then there was a long period of disagreement between them because Becket supported the church instead of the King.
Then Henry became so angry that Thomas escaped to France and when he got back he became a popular hero.
He continued to attack the power of the Kin, who made him kill by his knights in Canterbury cathedral.
Then he went to Canterbury and he was the first pilgrim. Then there where many stories of miracles because of the power of Saint Thomas.
These stories are shown in the ancient glass windows.
The Pardoner’ tale
Once upon a time there was a group of three young men who lived very badly. One day they heard a bell; it was ringing because another man was stabbed the night before. A servant boy told them Death killed him and he said that Death had killed thousands people. One of the three young men said not to be afraid, because they would find and kill Death before the night. On the way they met an old man and they treated him very badly. Then they asked him where Death was, and he answer to go under the oak queries. Then they went there and they found a huge pile of gold coins. They were very happy and they decided to take the money away at their house. They decided that one of them had to go to the town to get bread and wine, then during the night they could bring home the treasure. The youngest man went to the town, and the leader convinced the other to kill the youngest and take the money. But in the meantime also the youngest man thought to kill the others, so he put some poison in two of the three bottles of wine he had bought, then he came back to the tree. His friends killed him and died because of the poison. They had found Death! Temi: selfishness (egoismo), death (morte) treason (inganno) person unkind
Message: greed and selfishness do not pay back. Their greed brought them to death.
The wife of Bath’s tale
Once upon a time a lady told the King that a knight had attacked her. He was very angry and wanted to kill the knight, but the queen told the knight to give him just a punishment.
So he told him that he would live only if he coved answer this question: “What is that women most desire?”
He travelled lay, but he coved not find two people who agreed.
Then he met an old woman who made him promise that if she had told him the right answer, he would have done anything she asked.
She told him the answer and he told it the queen: women desire to have power over their husbands. The queen agreed.
Than the old poor woman asked the knight to marry her and, even if he didn’t want, he accepted.
That night she told him that the coved choose if he wanted an old poor woman, like she was, who wouldn’t cheated him with other men, or if he wanted a very beautiful woman which other man would visited when he was away.
The knight thought lay and finally he said her to choose herself.
He was giving her the power to choose and, for this, she became young and beautiful and they lived in perfect joy.
Temi: love, relationship between a wife and a husband, generosity, misogamy (misoginia, non volere aver a che fare con le donne.
The frankein’s tale
A long time ago a knight , who loved a very beautiful lady, asked her to marry him, and she accepted.
But soon Avergus had to go to England to fight and Dorigen, who loved him so much, began to recover and every day she walked crying along the diff top, hoping to see her husband coming back.
One day her friends gave a party to make her happy, but she couldn’t be happy without Avergus.
At this party Aurelius, who loved her secretly for years, decided to tell her that he was in love with her.
She told him, joking, that she would have loved him only if he could remove the rock of the sea, whish she hated because they coved kill her husband. He told, her that this was impossible and he went away crying. Then he fell on the floor…fortunately his brother found him and carried him to bed.
He only told his brother about all his secret love for Dorigen and as he got well with the help of a magician of Orleans, they made the rocks because invisible by magic.
Aurelius showed it to Dorigen and she couldn’t believe at it. She didn’t know what to do but fortunately the next day Avergus arrived and, as she told him everything, he said her not to break her promise and to go to Aurelius,
But as he realized how much Avergus loved her he decided it was better to forget his loved. So he went back to the magician to pay for his magic, but as he heard his story, he decided not to make him pay.