Chaucer’s Humor in Prologue to the Canterbury Tales



Humor is a vital part of Chaucer’s verse and the spine of “The Prologue and The Canterbury Tales”. All the characters in The Prologue have been cleverly portrayed. Humor, infact, makes Chaucer’s characterization different. A humorist is one who is fast to see the interesting side of the things and who has the ability to chuckle and makes other giggle at what is ridiculous or crazy or incoherent.

Chaucer is known as the first humorist of English writing. No English abstract work before him uncovers silliness in the current sense. Furthermore Chaucer is a more prominent humorist than Boccaccio. Chaucer’s humor is predictable all pervasive and exceptional as we discover in Shakespeare’s plays. He paints all the characters in “The Prologue” in a funny way. The Knight is as tender as a servant; the Squire is excessively wistful in his adoration to rest around evening time; the Minister has relations with the bar-house keepers rather than poor people; the Parson is excessively honest and Agent is excessively studious. Chaucer even does not extra himself and says:

“My wit is short, ye may well understonde”

His humor has refined and complex touches and it doesn’t insult anyone. For instance, when he lets us know that Prioress is so genial and charming in her conduct that she takes paints to copy the behavior of the court we can’t know whether he is lauding her or giggling at her warmth:

And full pleasant and amiable of port;
And peyned hire to counterfete cheere
Of court, and been es’attich of manere,

Anyway his humor is of the finest sort. It is average and thoughtful on the grounds that he is a man of charming disposition. He realizes that each individual has one sort of imperfection or others. He pinpoints the deformity in a light way with a perspective to cure them, not for corrupting the exploited person. His disposition is sure. Thus, when he says that the Monk drawls a bit out of warmth and when he plays on a harp, his eyes twinkles in his mind like shining stars on the chilly night, we don’t detest him or his friendship, rather we simply giggle at him at this shortcoming.

Chaucer’s humor is additionally tinged with compassion. It makes us insightful of the shortcoming of his exploited person and we begin feeling sorry for him. Case in point, when he lets us know that the Minister is more intrigued by riding, chasing and other common interests than in religious exercises we feel sorry for him and wish him better. It implies that his humor conveys a sound message.

Chaucer’s humor is, obviously, humorous yet it is sugar coated. His purpose is to conscious the individuals against substances of life. His age is of sentimental optimism and individuals are heedless to the substances of life. His parody is not destructive however tender and gentle. Besides, he is not a fanatical reformer. He parodies just these characters that can’t be changed at any expense, e.g. the Summoner, and the Pardoner who are amazingly degenerate. Here he unabashedly passes comments about their deceitfulness and defilement.

More often than not, Chaucer’s humor takes the type of incongruity on the grounds that it calms the bitterness of satire. For example, the utilization of the world “worthy” for the most unworthy characters brings a tickling incongruity aside from the “Commendable” Knight. Chaucer utilizes diverse sorts of incongruity. He has made an adequate utilization of incongruity by contract in “The Prologue”. For example, in the wake of discussing the boldness, aptitude, experience and greatness of the Knight, he lets us know that in his conduct he is as tender as a cleaning specialist and can’t hurt anybody.

“What’s more of his port as meeke as is a mayde”

He likewise utilizes incongruity be misrepresentation when he says the Prioress has all the behavior of consuming in light of the fact that she knows how to convey a piece and how to keep. She doesn’t let any piece tumble from her mouth and she doesn’t dunk her fingers profound in the sauce. This is all embellishment in light of the fact that these things don’t represent way and everybody knows them well. In the portrayal of the Shipman, he makes humor by incoherence when he says that he is a decent individual on the grounds that he takes wine and has no prick of still, small voice.

Taking everything into account, we can say that commentators may be partitioned in supposition as to Chaucer’s humor to be known as the father of the English verse, yet there could be no doubt that he is the first incredible English humorist.

About Saweel Ur Raheem

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