Is Language And Mood Under Voice Or Style For English Criticism of Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Franklin’s Tale" of The Canterbury Tales

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Criticism of Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Franklin’s Tale" of The Canterbury Tales

In this article, I devote myself to comparing, analyzing, translating (interpreting) and evaluating Franklin’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. I will study and use the tools of different “schools of literary criticism”, such as: biographical; comparative; ethical; expressive; historical; impressionistic or aesthetic; mimetic; pragmatic; psychological; social; textual and theoretical criticism to achieve the purpose of this paper.

The action of “The Tale” was mostly located in Brittany (former Armorica, France – south of the English Channel. However, Orleans and other French cities were mentioned, as well as Britain (as in the British Isles).

The language used in the Story was mostly French. Latin was used by an English scholar who introduced Brother Aurelius to the master magician/clergy of Orléans. It could be assumed that English (like Middle English) was also used because of the Arveragus (knight) expedition to Britain and the presence of an English clerk.

The clothes, of course, were similar to what was worn in those days of Chaucer’s time. A knight would have to wear armour, while typical clothing consisted of the clothes worn in Chaucer’s time.

The action of the fairy tale falls mainly on spring (lines 901-909) –

“So one day, right at the morve tide,

To the garden that was nearby

In which they had their resolution

From life activities and other goods,

They walk and play all day long.

And it was on the sixtieth of May,

Which May drew with his soft shoes

This garden is full of leaves and flour;

-Therefore the weather was sunny and pleasant, as it would be in spring in a temperate geographical location such as Western Europe, particularly southern France.

The events of this story took place over two years, while Aurelius was literally sick (caused by love sickness) (lines 1101-1103) –

“He is furious in languor and torment

Two years and Moore lay unhappy Aurelius,

Any leg he can stand on;

to the end of the fairy tale. There was no spectacular event (except for the illusion) as such, the story rather focused on “marriage and promises” that involved the main characters in an abstract, circumstantial and literal way.

The mood of the story was very climactic. For example, “The Miller’s Tale” is very comical; A Knight’s Tale is very restrained, &c. “Franklin’s Tale” is a more moralistic story, somewhat similar to the plot of morality plays that were common after Chaucer’s time. At the beginning of the Tale, it all started with a sunny disposition (see my first quote). During its climax, the mood turned dark and gray (see my second quote), and then at the end it became calm (with a sigh of relief), shrouded in morality.

The style of The Story was refined, sophisticated and innocent, unlike the mood of The Miller Story. The latter was a parody (in an obscene “Jerry Springer” manner) of A Knight’s Tale, which was noble and romantic.

Like the style, the form and structure of the tale greatly contribute to the reference of the tale. For example, the Story talked about decency, honesty and honor. It was also borrowed from The Knight’s Tale and The Squire’s Tale, which Franklin ironically admires and emulates. (He wanted to be like a Knight, while he wanted his son to be like a Squire – part of his ambition to become a noble, ironically, Chaucer took the same path to nobility in his own life). In short, the form and structure of the story act as a conduit that carries the water (the message) to the climactic end.

In a fairy tale, we could perceive imagery/style. We can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the actions of the character and the environment. In other words, it appeals to our sight (beautiful gardens), hearing, smell, touch and taste. In addition, the images are kinetic (in his movement) and synesthetic (the squire’s lust and the black rocks by the shore).

The style, of course, is supported by the attitude and tone of voice of the main characters: Arveragus (knight); Dorigen (knight’s wife); Aurelius (the squire) and his brother, as well as the Clerk (the magician). These characters cannot be divided evenly into the traditional protagonist/antagonist. For example, in “The Knight’s Tale” the main character was Palamon and the antagonist was Arcita, and in “The Miller’s Tale” the main character was Nicholas and the antagonist was Absolon. In turn, the main characters proved to be extremely noble and noble in the finale of The Franklin Story with their noble deeds. (Lines 1620 – 1625) –

“Lord, this is a question than I will ask now,

What do you think was the most enjoyable?

Now tells me, er that ye further wende.

I kan namoore; my story has come to an end.”

In the sequel, the characters played out in the plot of the story as follows. Arveragus made a pact with his new wife, Dorigen, that their marriage would be like a courtship, where he would continue to serve her needs as a suitor serves his potential beau. He wanted not to dominate her (which is different from The Scribe’s Tale being dominated by a man and The Wife of Bath’s Tale being dominated by a wife), but rather to be mutual friends, while they could share their innermost secrets with each other. After that, Arveragus went to Britain to reap his knightly fame in the world. Dorigen, herself, went to a dance in the spring (against the morals of the time, as a married woman should not be out in public without a husband, especially a dance), where she danced with a lustful squire who wanted to have sex with her. In response, choosing not to be rude or embarrassing (a common practice for ladies of her class), she tried to avoid his advances by promising him the opportunity to lie with her if he could remove the stones from the shores of Brittany. In her opinion, this task seemed impossible. In unrestrained lust, Aurelius suffered from his carnal condition for more than two years, until his brother came to his aid, introducing him to a magician who could grant his wishes through an astrological illusion. In turn, he promised the wizard wealth. The magician performed the action. To Dorigen’s horror and surprise, the impossible task was accomplished. To be honest, she realized that she could not dishonor her promise to Aurelius. Distraught, she turns to Arveragus (who rejects the idea of ​​equal partnership in the relationship, since the man is now the one who is crucial and thus embodies the cliché of “helping the damsel in distress”) for help. With dignity, he told her that she must keep her promise. However, she must be careful not to betray her unorthodox marriage arrangement to her peers (society).

Then, after many intolerable mental tortures, she gave herself to Aurelius, who, figuratively speaking, was drooling like a glutton lost at a feast. She eventually told him about her husband’s knowledge and response. The squire was so moved by her story that he sent her home still “a virgin out of wedlock.” Oh, by the way, Aurelius realized that he still had that small fortune to pay the wizard for his secret services. Instead of “disappearing”, he decided to nobly negotiate with the magician about payments (the squire was not worth a fortune). In a domino effect fashion, the magician, realizing what had happened in this amazing sequence “was as contagious as the bubonic plague in a medieval European setting,” let him off the figurative hook. As in a fairy tale, everyone (and the married couple) lived happily ever after.

During the plot, we could witness several forms of conflict, such as: man against man; man against nature; man versus the supernatural; man against himself; man against deities and man against society. In the first conflict we witnessed Dorigen versus Aurelius. The second features a magician who strangely manipulates nature to create an illusion through astrological means. In the third part, Dorigen reminisces about the stories that tell how the Vestal Virgins of Ancient times sacrificed their lives to honor their virginity, their gods and goddesses, while she violently struggled with herself and her predicament, how to get out from a promise without breaking it. promise a squire, nor break a marriage vow (abstain from adultery) to her husband. Fourth, the unorthodox interpretation of knightly marriage against the public view of what marriage should be – patriarchal in nature (without “ifs” and “buts”…).

From the conflicts and the plot, we could highlight the theme of this story, which is about nobility and nobility of spirit. Through conflicts and trials, the main characters have proven themselves worthy and noble, which is confirmed by the last stanza of the tale, which suggests the question: “Who is the best of all?” I replied to the Knight because he risked the most with his unconditional love and trust in the author and living in such an unconventional society that does not match his status in his society.

The point of view of the poem is omniscient. In addition, it consists of three parts. In other words, Franklin, Chaucer the narrator, and Chaucer the author all played a part in shaping the story. First, Franklin tells the story to portray his idealism of nobility and civility (even feigned nobility). (The importance of this point of view to the story is depicted somewhat ironically in the portrait of Franklin in the General Prologue.) Chaucer, the storyteller, pointed out the connection between the story in relation to the stories of the knight and the squire (which he admired); his revenge on the master who treated him cruelly, and the middle ground his story occupies between the stories of the clerk and the wife of the bath regarding marriage and the relationship between a man and a woman. The poet Chaucer basically conveyed his personal (in my opinion) beliefs about marriage which reflected the story of Franklin who was in conflict with the society of Chaucer’s time. (Mr. Lambert, a Cambridge graduate and a native Briton, once informed my senior high school English class that Chaucer had been fined for beating a monk during his lifetime). As I have argued, Franklin’s life somewhat resembled that of the poet Chaucer because of the life path Chaucer took to become a false noble during his lifetime, rather than being born into nobility through the “traditional path of the blue blood.”

I have not found where Chaucer borrowed this story from. In fact, I fervently believe that the story was inspired by Chaucer’s own imagination and beliefs.

As for The Tale, modern readers (late 90s) would see the story as more appropriate for Chaucer’s time (14th century) rather than ours, where we are shaped by raunchy talk shows (Jerry Springer) and soap operas, but not the morality plays and religious entertainments of Chaucer’s time.

Personally, I am very much in love with this fairy tale. I appreciate the nobility of the characters and its themes. The story was beautifully written and delivered by Franklin; Chaucer is a storyteller and Chaucer is a poet.

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