Chaucer depicted his Friar as a fun-loving playboy, which is an ironic divergence from the common image of monks as pious and self-disciplined. Rather than living his life among the poor, as was his oath, the Friar "knew the tavernes wel in every toun," and enjoyed singing and dancing while taking generous donations of silver from guilt-ridden penitents.Know More
By depicting the Friar this way, Chaucer almost certainly made his readers laugh. The public face of 14th-century monasteries was of cloistered virtue and strict discipline. In truth, many monastic orders of the day had grown immensely rich from guilt offerings and tithes collected from pilgrims. By painting the image of a friar who is, in the author's description, a "lymytour," or beggar on behalf of the poor, and then devoting dozens of stanzas to his fun-loving ways and the glee with which he collected silver from parishioners, Chaucer achieved an ironic twist that is at the heart of the character's humor.
There is also a suggestion that the Friar has been made effeminate by his soft lifestyle. Near the end of Chaucer's description of him, after his disdain for lepers and general avoidance of the poor is depicted, it is said of the Friar: "Somwhat he lipsed for his wantownesse [wantonness]."Learn more about Classics
The Tabard Inn served as the beginning point for 29 pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury to visit the relics of St. Thomas Becket, according to SparkNotes. Harry Bailey owns the Tabard Inn, and he agrees to guide the group to Canterbury with one provision: every person must tell four tales, two on the way to the site and two on the return trip to the tavern.Full Answer >
In the play "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo does not receive Friar Laurence's message because the messenger who carries the letter is quarantined by the health authorities. Friar John, who is Friar Laurence's messenger, is suspected of carrying the pestilence.Full Answer >
The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 1300s, begins at the Tabard Inn on Southwark Street in London, England. This inn, famous at the time, was later called the Talbott Inn, says British History Online.Full Answer >
One significant issue is that Sunnis believed that only the most pious of the Prophet's disciples should become caliphs, but the Shiites argued that succession should be based on bloodline. Abu Bakr succeeded Muhammad, but Shiites wanted Ali, a cousin of the Prophet, to become caliph.Full Answer >