Canterbury Tales, Medieval England
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Canterbury Tales, Medieval England
Medieval English and the Canterbury Tales
Curated by Ginger Roy
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“Courtly Love, Or, Woman As Thing”: How To Do Lacanian Analysis ...

“Courtly Love, Or, Woman As Thing”: How To Do Lacanian Analysis ... | Canterbury Tales, Medieval England |
Courtly love, in other words, enacts as Imaginary and Symbolic masochistic theatre the hierarchy and sadism of the Real (in the poet Tennyson’s phrase, “nature red in tooth and claw” and the muteness of God in providing an explanation for this arrangement of things). This theatre plays out the persistent frustration of desire and it does so via ambiguity, anamorphosis (distortions of form), betrayal, blocking, capricious demands, castration, concealment, deadlock, delay, deprivation, detour, difficulty, disruption, hindrance, impotence, inaccessibility, indirection, impediment, impossibility, interposition, intrusion, invasion, irony, meander, obscurity, obstacle, ordeal, postponement, prohibition, shock, the spectral, suspension, and trauma. In short, it obeys Emily Dickinson’s admonition to tell the truth, “but tell it slant.” Or, as Zizek puts it:

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The Canterbury Tales Prologue in Middle English

A reading of the Canterbury Tales Prologue in Middle English accompanied by the text so that one might learn it.

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The Pilgrims....

The Pilgrims

The Host (Harry Bailey) The owner of the Tabard Inn, who volunteers to travel with the pilgrims. He promises to keep everyone happy, be their guide and arbiter in disputes, and judge the tales.

The Knight Socially the most prominent person on the pilgrimage, epitomizing chivalry, truth, and honor. He stands apart from the other pilgrims because of his dignity and status.

The Miller A drunken, brash, and vulgar man who rudely interrupts the Host, demands that his tale be next, and warns everyone that his tale about a carpenter will be vulgar because it is true.

The Reeve A very old and irritable man who was once a carpenter. He resents the Miller's tale about a stupid old carpenter.

The Man of Law (or Sergeant of Law) A lawyer and one of the high justices of the court. He is cautious, suspicious, and wise, and one of the more cultivated men among the pilgrims.

Roger, the Cook Known for his cooking and characterized by a chancre sore that runs with pus. His story is incomplete.

The Wife of Bath (Alisoun) Characterized as gat-toothed, somewhat deaf, and wearing bright scarlet red stockings. She has had five husbands (the last half her age), enjoys her freedom, and is openly sensual.

Hubert, the Friar A sensual, licentious man who seduces young girls and then arranges their marriages. He loves money and knows the taverns better than the poor houses.

The Summoner An officer of the church who calls people for a church trial. He is as ugly as his profession; he frightens children with his red complexion, pimples and boils, and skin infected with scales.

The Clerk A sincere, devout student at Oxford University who loves learning and is respected by all the pilgrims. He is very poor because he spends all his money on books.

The Merchant A shrewd and intelligent man who knows how to strike a good bargain and is a member of the rich rising middle class.

The Squire A vain, lusty young man and a candidate for knighthood. He can sing, write poetry, and ride a horse very well, and considers himself a lady's man.

The Franklin A large and wealthy landowner who enjoys fine living and good companionship.

The Shipman A huge, uncouth man who can steer a ship but flounders on his horse.

The Prioress (Madame Eglantine) A very genteel lady who is coy and delicate. She has precise manners, eats as an aristocrat would, and wears a gold brooch with "Love conquers all" inscribed in Latin.

The Physician A doctor who can speak knowingly of medicines, drugs, and humours, and who knows astrology as well. He is fond of gold and makes a lot of money during the plague season.

The Pardoner The most complex of all the pilgrims. He is an intellect and uses advanced psychological means to gain his objective. Although he is not a good person, he can preach a good sermon.

The Monk A man who tends the property of the monastery. He is fat and happy, loves good food and wine, and finds the taverns more to his liking than the cold, severe monastery.

The Nun's Priest The priest of the church who accompanies the nuns so that they may offer up their confessions.

The Second Nun A very devout nun who, because she believes that idleness leads to sin, begins her story immediately.

The Canon and the Canon's Yeoman Although not one of the pilgrims, the Canon appears with his servant (the Yeoman) but leaves when his Yeoman begins a tale.

The Manciple The steward for a law school. Although not as intelligent as the law students, he is clever and shrewd enough to be able to put away some money for himself.

The Parson A very poor but very holy and virtuous religious man who tells a highly moral tale. He gives his scant money to his poor parishioners and tries to live the perfect life and set an ideal for others.

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The Canterbury Tales Remixed, by Baba Brinkman #web20 #technology

10 track album...


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The Canterbury Tales Rap (General Prologue)- In Middle English

A rap version of the General Prologue of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, with auto-tune. NEW!!! You can download the rap track now for FREE and rap your own ...

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DylanSmith's curator insight, June 25, 2013 9:32 PM

This video featured a rap/auto-tune of the General Prolougue of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The video featured lyrics on the screen of the old English  version as well as a modern English version. The rapper sings from the old English section, and was very creative in this video.


I think that this would be a good way to connect to students especially with all the auto-tune music videos being produced in today's society. The General Prologue can be a little dry for people who aren't interested in this kind of text, but I feel that after watching this video people could quickly become interested in the text. That is why I believe this video would be benefical to students. 

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The Canterbury Tales ("California Dreamin" by the Mamas and the Papas)

Music video made by history teachers - crazy history teachers.

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Graphic Novel Resources: The Canterbury Tales

Graphic Novel Resources: The Canterbury Tales | Canterbury Tales, Medieval England |

In his second graphic novel, The Canterbury Tales, Chwast transforms Geoffrey Chaucer's religious pilgrims into a cadre of motorcycle riders while retaining the medieval flavor of their dress and affects.

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