Chaucer satirizes the Church of his time, by using several characters to show that. He uses both Monk and Pardoner to show that he does actually satirize about the church. On the other hand the Pardoner is someone who should be allowing people to pardon their sins to him.
It is clear from his satire that Chaucer believed the higher up in the hierarchy the church official, the worse it was if they gave in to greed and became corrupt, but also that the lower church officials could be extremely pious and kind people.
Church official were often seen as corrupt, bribing and coercing people to obtain money for the church under false pretences. He tells a tale about a summoner who bribes an old innocent widow. The Summoner, in retaliation, skewers friars in his tale, satirizing their long-windedness and their hypocrisy.
Chaucer’s opinion on friars is quite clear and perhaps the strongest criticism on Church corruption compared to his other religious travellers. The Friar’s equal in moral corruption ironically is his most hostile enemy on the pilgrimage: the Summoner, a feared figure in medieval England.
Even though the Tales are fictitious, Chaucer draws directly on real people and real events in his satire of human life. Chaucer presents his characters as stock types – the greedy Pardoner, the hypocritical Friar, etc. – but he also presents them as individual people who exist in the world around him.
The Canterbury Tales is a satire, which is a genre of literature that uses humor—sometimes gentle, sometimes vicious—to ridicule foolish or corrupt people or parts of society.
In 1359, the teenage Chaucer went off to fight in the Hundred Years’ War in France, and at Rethel he was captured for ransom.
Why are the three rioters looking for Death? They are looking for Death because a boy told them it was death who killed the person in the coffin and other people in town. They expect to find Death sitting there under the tree, but instead they find treasure.
There is no doubt Chaucer likes the Knight, the Oxford Cleric, and the Parson. There are others he admires in some ways, but he is completely favorable in his descriptions of these three.
Written during a tumultuous period of Christianity, The Canterbury Tales provides a window into the debasement of Christianity under the Catholic Church during Chaucer’s time. But on the balance, Chaucer is also mindful of the fact that there are still individuals who practice what they preach.
The tales could be described both as social realism and as estates satire. At the same time that Chaucer takes care to honestly show the perspective of each of his characters, he also aims to critique the hypocrisy of the church and the social problems posed by Medieval politics and social custom.
The Friar is one of many religious figures that Chaucer put on the journey to Canterbury. His actual name is Hubert, and he’s also one of many that is corrupt. The Friar also listens to confessions much like a parson or priest. However, the Friar uses his ability to provide forgiveness to solicit gifts.
The Narrator Although he is called Chaucer, we should be wary of accepting his words and opinions as Chaucer’s own. In the General Prologue, the narrator presents himself as a gregarious and naïve character. Later on, the Host accuses him of being silent and sullen.
They include clergy with titles still common to us today: nun, monk, cleric, parson, canon, prioress, and the nun’s priest, and some that might be more obscure in modern times, such as summoner, friar and pardoner.
Which members of the clergy appear to be corrupt or sinful? The Monk; the Pardoner; the Friar; and the Summoner appear corrupt.