Geoffrey Chaucer as a Pilgrim
We will read selections from Chaucer's famous tales including the General Prologue, where we will meet the pilgrims, and the Knight's Tale. One thing we can learn from reading the CT is that people in Chaucer's day were not so different from people today.
The world Chaucer presents to us is diverse and interesting. He gives us a wide variety of contrasts to consider. And he never preaches at us, but lets his tales and his characters reveal their own truths to us.
We will read the Knight's Tale (KnT) and others in a translated version (Coghill), but we will attempt the General Prologue (GP) in Middle English. And to own a piece of linguistic history, you are "invited" to memorize and recite the first 19 lines of the GP.
Family Scene, Wife With
Click on art to listen to medieval music.
Breaking Flax For Linen,
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First 18 lines of the General Prologue
Whan that Aprille with his
The drought of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every vein in swich liquor
Of which vertu engendred is the flour
When Zephyrus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes and the yonge sun
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne
And smale fowles maken melodye
That slepen all the night with open eye
So priketh hem nature in hir courages
Thanne longen folke to goon pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seeken stronge straundes
To ferne halwes couth in sondry londes
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Canterbury they wende
The hooly blissful martyr for to seeke
That hem hath holpen whan that they were sike
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