Chaucer at Work is a new kind of introduction to the Canterbury Tales. It avoids excessive amounts of background information and involves the reader in the discovery of how Chaucer composed his famous work. It presents a series of sources and contexts to be considered in conjunction with key passages from Chaucer's poems. It includes sets of questions to encourage the reader to examine the text in detail and to build on his or her observations. This well-informed and practical guide will prove invaluable reading to those studying medieval literature at undergraduate level and English literature at A level.
PART 1: The general prologue: the pilgrimage controversy Chaucer's pilgrimage. Two middlemen PART 2: The Knight's tale: a question of context The idea of imprisonment The vagaries of fortune; the bonds of love
PART 3: The Miller's tale: the portrait of Alisoun Domestic drama PART 4: The Wife of Bath's prologue and tale: inventing the Wife of Bath The quest for "gentillesse" PART 5: The Merchant's tale: what's in a name? January's garden PART 6: The Franklin's tale: the virtues of patience Dorigen's rocks PART 7: The Pardoner's prologue and tale: the portrait of hypocrisy; dicing with death PART 8: The Nun's Priest's tale: the play of language; taking the moral