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EN 1006
Alison Halsall

An Introduction to Major English Authors in English 11/09/2008 TOPICS DISCUSSED TODAY: “Tales of best sentence and most solas”: Chaucer and Tale-Telling Chaucer and Language Chaucer’s Ironic Speaker The pilgrimage as Frame Tale Humors and More NOTES: Chaucer Chaucer is the first of Major authors His visuality, graphic quality, realism, ambiguity. Use of humour asking questions about life death and spirituality His irony, obsession with se, violence and fart-jokes. Language Language is written in a different form of English known as middle English The vernacular in England from about 1100 to 1500 The descendant of old English language The ancestor of modern language Literary culture of middle ages was more international than national Latin was language of church or language of scholars. After 11 century, french dominant language of European culture. There is a startling different between Middle English and our English. Writers that came after Chaucer made Chaucer renowned as the major English author of the time. In the “General Prologue,” a group of 30 pilgrims gather at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, across the Thames of London. TWO SPEAKERS IN THE “GENERAL PROLOGUE”: A first person pronoun or a speaking eye ( Geffray) and the post of the tavern (Harry Bailly) Harry Bailly is the Master of ceremonies for story telling context Geffray, speaking “I” is and is not Chaucer himself, makes his first appearance in line 20. He is very Ironic and says one thing but always means another. Lines 35 to 42 is where the first person speaker sets out his purpose in the “General Prologue,” here he promises to introduce us to all the pilgrims, and tell us how they seemed and who they are and what social realm they came from. The first person Chaucer said he will disclose is the knight. IRONY: A SUBTLY HUMOROUS PERCEPTION OF INCONSISTENCY, IN WHICH AN APPARANTLEY STRAIGHTFORWARD STATEMENT IS UNDERMINED BY ITS CONTEXT SO AS TO GIVE IT A VERY DIFFERENT SIGNIFICANCE. For example an Irony in between line 118 to 141 Madame Eglantine: She spoke French very nicely, and English Has good manners She is trying to be even more proper than it fits her nature. Her French is not completely perfect its learned in England She has a really big heart Line 118 we encounter a prioress, which is known as the house of the none She’s sincere Shy, sings beautifully, she nicely dabs at her upper lip after every meal, and makes sure she doesn’t drop any grease as she’s eating to maintain proper behaviour at the court. Up to this point Chaucer does no more than picture a portrait of mother superior. Line 141 onwards Madame Eglantine the woman of the church. Seems uncommonly gentle She seems to baby her pets, her hams. She’s all unconscious and tender to the heart. Chaucer’s Prioress is one of his most unique portraits. Madame Eglantine Mother superior Sings beautifully, well schooled in her French speaking, and has beautiful manners. Fastidious Wide for head Like ornaments Motto: “Love conquers all “?! Monk-
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