Themes are elements that give more meaning and direction to a literary piece. In the story “The Canterbury Tales”, several themes emerged and all of these brought more meaning to the legendary masterpiece.
Geoffrey Chaucer highlighted the significance of women in the community. This is evident in the way Chaucer discovers the possible subtleties of marriage between a man and a woman. During the middle Ages, feminism was not as emphasized as it is now; nonetheless, equality for women were not at all uncommon. As a whole, there is also a sense of religiosity that existed in the story especially during a pilgrimage; however, these are never the most devout pilgrims because majority of the travelers thought that the pilgrimage was traveler voyage instead of a fervent spiritual quest. This proves to show that the Catholic Church was a powerful entity in the medieval world. The ornate and gilded churches were constructed to preserve saints’ relics. The materials used in the construction were very costly. Corruption was also given focus in the story. But such corruption exists in the church. This is exemplified by a Monk who has passion in hunting rather than worshipping. The greedy friars were also highlighted because of their hypocrisy.
The use of words in the story is also given emphasis for these words possess meaning and these words were scrutinized all throughout the story. The major structural complexity of the story is the manner that the author positions himself in the pilgrimage. Chaucer claims that he was only in the pilgrimage to document what the people said. Chaucer, as an author, is interested in stories that contain moral lessons or stories that follow a specific pattern. There are various events in the story in which the character wishes to stop another for his own benefit. Adulterous acts and sex also surround the story. The author presented sex in a wild manner.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, and Reginald Thorne Davies. The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. 1st ed. London: G. Harrap, 1953. Print.