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The Cantebury Tales

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презентация по истории английского языка
The Canterbury Tales
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The Canterbury Tales (Middle English: Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24
stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer
who began working on the text during 1386 - 1389.
The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as
part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a
journey from London to Canterbury in order to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas
Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the
Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
Geoffrey Chaucer
Chaucer wrote in late Middle English, which has clear differences from Modern
English. From philological research, we know certain facts about the pronunciation
of English during the time of Chaucer.
Chaucer pronounced -e at the end of words, so that care was [ˈkaːrə], not /ˈkɛər/ as
in Modern English. Other silent letters were also pronounced, so that the word
knight was [kniçt], with both the k and the gh pronounced, not /ˈnaɪt/. In some
cases, vowel letters in Middle English were pronounced very differently from
Modern English, because the Great Vowel Shift had not yet happened.
Below is an IPA transcription of the opening lines of The Merchant's Prologue:
'Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,'
Quod the Marchant, 'and so doon oother mo
That wedded been.'
ˈweːpɪŋɡ and ˈwailɪŋɡ ‖ ˈkaːr‿and ˈoːðər ˈsɔrwə
iː ˈknɔu əˈnoːx ‖ ɔn ˈɛːvən and aˈmɔrwə ‖
ˈkwɔd ðə ˈmartʃant ‖ and ˈsɔː ˈdoːn ˈoːðər ˈmɔː ‖
ðat ˈwɛddəd ˈbeːn ‖
The variety of Chaucer's tales shows the breadth of
his skill and his familiarity with many literary
forms, linguistic styles, and rhetorical devices.
Medieval schools of rhetoric at the time encouraged
such diversity, dividing literature into high, middle,
and low styles as measured by the density of
rhetorical forms and vocabulary.
Vocabulary also plays an important part, as those of
the higher classes refer to a woman as a "lady",
while the lower classes use the word "wenche", with
no exceptions. At times the same word will mean
entirely different things between classes.
The Miller
Chaucer uses the same meter throughout
almost all of his tales, with the exception of
Sir Thopas and his prose tales. It is a
decasyllable line, probably borrowed from
French and Italian forms, with riding rhyme
and, occasionally, a caesura in the middle of a
line. His meter would later develop into the
heroic meter of the 15th and 16th centuries
and is an ancestor of iambic pentameter.
Title page of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in
the hand of his personal scribe Adam Pinkhurst
Historical context and themes
Religion. The pilgrimage in the work ties all of the stories together and may
be considered a representation of Christians' striving for heaven, despite
weaknesses, disagreement, and diversity of opinion.
Social class and convention. The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between
classes. For example, the division of the three estates: the characters are
all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being "those who pray"
(the clergy), "those who fight" (the nobility), and "those who work" (the
commoners and peasantry).
The Monk
The Knight
Historical context and themes
Relativism versus realism. Chaucer's characters each express different—
sometimes vastly different—views of reality, creating an atmosphere of
testing, empathy, and relativism.
Liminality. The notion of a pilgrimage is itself a liminal experience, because
it centers on travel between destinations and because pilgrims undertake it
hoping to become more holy in the process.
Thank you!
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chaucer, чосер, кентерберийские рассказы
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