Chaucer wrote about many personalities and their triumphs and inadequacies.The Knight is portrayed as an ideal persona. He is a part of the Feudal system. The impression that I get is one of am older weathered soldier. He is modest of his cultural status. I think that after the wars and battles that he fought he might not want to talk about them and he may even be guilty of them. He wore older clothes. They were not as fancy as he could have worn. He portrays the chivalry element of the bunch. He is religious and also courageous:Who from the day on which he first began / To ride abroad had followed chivalry,Truth, honour, generousness, and courtesy. (44-46)
He traveled many places over great distances to fight at almost all of the important battles. Chaucer calls him a perfect Knight: He was a true, a perfect gentle-knight(68). He owned fine horses that were a symbol of wealth at that time, but he did not show this wealth outwardly in his clothing or adornments.
The Knights son is somewhat his opposite. He dresses more fancily and shows off. He is a squire training to be a knight like his father. I dont think that he is very serious about this because he enjoys the pleasures of life and not much of his training. Chaucers thoughts of his appearance were:
He was some twenty years of age, I guessed. In stature he was of moderate length,With wonderful agility and strength. (78-80) He stayed up mall night and partied so he did not get much sleep.
The Oxford Cleric was an odd scholar. He had a skinny horse and he looks hollow. His clothes were worn thin because he spent all his money on learning. He took money from his friends and spent it on more knowledge: Whatever money from his friends he took / He spent on learning or another book (303-304) The only thing he cared about in his life was studying.
The Franklin wanted the best of everything and lived for happiness to every extent. He had the finest food and wine and was obsessed with them. He was not religious. He was so obsessed with food that he had to have the finest there was and if he sis not he blamed the cook.
The wife of bath was deaf. She made long scarves and traveled. In church she did not like anyone to go in front of her in church. She wore red maybe because she had five husbands, but they were all alright with the church. She went to the holy land three times before and then wanted to go to another holy site. She had large hips and tries to hide them. She also knew how to cure diseases of love.
The Pardoner was one of Chaucers more dishonorable characters. He sells pardons to people who have committed sins and so they do not have to do their penance. He also sold fake religious relics to unknowing country people. He wore more fancy clothes. He had wavy blond hair. He could not grow a beard, and he had a womanly voice. He wore a hat that had a relic on it. He also performed church services to people for a price even though he had no right to.
The Miller in his description is a appalling looking man:
And, at its very tip, his nose displayed A wart on which there stood a tuft of hair Red as the bristles on an old sows ear. (556-559) He was a stupid man who wrestled and broke down doors with his head although he was very good at stealing grain from people. He could tell its worth by one touch and would charge more than it was worth.
I think Chaucer wrote very different characters because no one is alike and not just the most religious went to see Canterbury. All types of people went to it because they wanted to see a shrine and some I think went because they wanted something to do. This piece of literature is a good one in my mind because it shows different types of peoples shortcomings and strengths.