The Canterbury Tales describe the Middle Ages, where social classes were extremely distinctive. Chaucer’s characters speak to a widely expansive cross-segment of all pieces of society. The book is significant because it explores the differences between social classes.
The reader learns about medieval life from this satire by Chaucer. The Middle Age society was divided into three classes:
- the nobility
- the church
- the lower class.
Each character of the book is related to a social class inside the feudalism framework. Every character perfectly fits into a particular kind or class throughout The Canterbury Tales. For example, the Knight is a respectable upperclassman, the Miller is a worker, the Wife of Bath symbolizes the working class, and the Pardoner depicts the Clergyman.
In The Shipman’s Tale, The Cook’s Tale, and The Miller’s Tale, every story is told from a lower class’s perspective. The Wife of Bath introduces the problem of gender inequality. It emphasizes the men’s dominance and women’s inferiority during the Middle Ages. The Pardoner’s plot demonstrates the church’s corruption and how the pastors were arranged in medieval times. Chaucer’s writing focuses on all aspects of social issues and human indecency in the Middle Age. The Canterbury Tales gives an image of life in medieval society. Each character’s story uncovers the ethical issue of each class. Thus, the work by Chaucer shows the contrasts between the social groups.