The General Prologue starts the Canterbury Tales. That’s a detailed introduction and description of each of the pilgrims making their way to Canterbury to pay a visit to the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, reportedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since 1170. As for the pilgrims, we can say they represent a unique mixture of virtuous as well as villainous characters from Medieval England, including a Prioress, a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight's Yeoman, a Second Nun, a Friar, a Monk, a Man of Law, a Merchant, a Clerk, A Dyer, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Carpenter, a Cook, a Physician, a Parson, a Shipman, a Miller, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Manciple, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, to say nothing of Chaucer himself. Each of them bring a slice of England to this trip with their stories of chivalry, glory, Christianity, villainy, disloyalty, honor and cuckoldry. Some pilgrims are really faithful to Christ as well as his teachings. Others openly disobey the church and its law of honor, faithfulness and modesty.
The pilgrimage actually bursts out in April, a time of rebirth and happiness. The pilgrims hope not only to travel in this blessed time, but also to enjoy a rebirth of their own along the way. The pilgrimage includes those characters journeying to Canterbury and back. Each of them tells two tales in each direction, as suggested by the host. At the conclusion of the tales, it’s up to the host to decide whose story is the best. The Knight appears to be the first to tell a story, stuffed with honor and chivalry. After his tale, Miller kicks in with his narration of frivolity and dishonor. As for Chaucer, he frequently places tales of religion as well as Christ-like worship, including tales of unfaithful women and also cuckolded men. The Cook, the Reeve and the Man of Law unroll their stuff, while the host interjects his points of view throughout. There’re several rivalries, growing from within the intertext, which include the small quarrels between the Friar and Summoner and also between the Miller and Reeve. Between every tale, the vast majority of pilgrims have a prologue, where they tell about themselves or simply allow Chaucer to depict the dynamics of the group. The Summoner and the Friar develop a minor feud, within which they tell tales of ill-will towards the other's profession, while the Pardoner brings his own immoral behavior into the Tales.
The General Prologue starts the Canterbury Tales. That’s a detailed introduction and description of each of the pilgrims making their way to Canterbury to pay a visit to the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, reportedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since 1170.