This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Language Of Chaucer

774 words - 4 pages

The Language of Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales

 
   With careful study, the language of Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales is usually clarified and understood as the beautiful verse narrative it is. There is, however, the common problem that comes when one is unable to comprehend it in Middle English enough to coherently study it. The question has been raised as to whether it might be more useful to study a translated version of the poem so that it can be understood on first reading. The main problem with this idea is that in nearly every translation, the great beauty of the language is lost in translation, thus subtracting a great deal of the poem's power and charm. Some gloss, however, ...view middle of the document...

Without changing the meter at all, the replacement in cases such as that can smoothly be made. Other examples of this almost invisible but greatly helpful re-spelling can be found in such changes as "euery veyne" to "every vein" (l. 3), and the otherwise nearly illegible "whan Þat they weere seeke" to "whan that they were seke." (l. 18)

 

This helpful spelling should not be taken too far, however. In Michael Murphy's "modern-spelling" edition, there are certain lines in which reading the Middle English in proper inflection would be difficult. The main changes occur when, in the modern spelling of the words, the "e" is deleted from the end. In Middle English, that letter is not always silent. Directly from the first line, this change becomes apparent, as the modern spelling version reads, "When that April with his showers soot / The drought of March hath piercèd to the root." This seemingly minor change not only affects the pronunciation and presentation, but in fact goes to change the flexibility of the meter that the optionally pronounced "e" provides.

 

Further translations go even further to lose the lyrical feel of the original. A modern translation by David Wright has the alliterative feel of the original, but none of the rhyming which lends smoothness to the lines. Another by Neville Coghill attempts to preserve the...

Other Essays Like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - The Language Of Chaucer

Canterbury Tales- The Wife Of Bath

399 words - 2 pages The Wife of Bath was an anti-feminist that opposed single marriages. Although one would imagine the Wife of Bath to be ashamed of her way of life, she simply is not. She is actually very proud of what she has accomplished in life. With her four dead ex-husbands, she has received plenty of money and valuables. Married now to her fifth husband who is much younger, not because of his wealth, but because she has true love for him. Her basic method

Tales Of The City - Book Report

5780 words - 24 pages When you sense the affection where people enfold their loving kindness you are probably amidst the tenants of 28 Barbary Lane, San Francisco 94109. Perhaps 'tenants' is the wrong word, it should be something more like a friendly community of people. In Tales of the City , by Armistead Maupin, the characters are intertwined with togetherness. The mother of all mothers, 'the landlady', guardian of all who live under her roof, orchestrates an

The Politics Of Language

1331 words - 6 pages A single language can be bring about unity and message can be get through to the intended target without much hassle, thus bilingualism and multilingualism should be discouraged.Spoken language is a major factor in personal identity. Just as people identify with their own cultures and customs, they identify with their native language dialect. Language is defined by the Collins 'Compact English Dictionary" as a system of spoken sounds or

The Power of Language

1983 words - 8 pages Language is the method in which all human beings communicate. It is what separates human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom. However, while the languages of the world share similarities, the differences cause problems in understanding. These problems stem from the differences in culture, language, and how people in those cultures thing. Cross-cultural interpretation causes cognate and emotive meaning to be lost due to cultural

"The Power Of Language"

639 words - 3 pages Language is one of the most important things in our world. It is used in many different ways, whether it be good or bad. Language is extremely powerful. It is, after all, how we communicate for the most part.Language can be either empowering or disempowering depending on how it's looked at. A perfect example would be for new students. I have had a handful of new students in my classes from a foreign country. So far, all of them have not been

The Language of Hawaii

562 words - 3 pages . The two cultures that I consider myself, Scottish andHawaiian, are both proud, interesting, and contain their own prescriptions towardbehavior. The pidgin dialect is a major part of life in the lower class Hawaiianneighborhoods. For most children in these neighborhoods it is the language spoken athome. The other people of the islands look at this dialect as a sign of a poor educationand up-bringing. My mother did not want her son associated with

The Role of English Language

1346 words - 6 pages terror into the people. Now, if we are doing anything for the people at all, we are paying only a portion of the debt due to them. It is not a painful thing that, if I want to go to a court of justice, I must employ the English language as a medium ; that, when I become a Barrister, I may not speak my mother tongue, and that someone else should have to translate to me from my own language ? Is not this absolutely absurd ? Is it not a sign of

Dialects Of The Arab Language

2818 words - 12 pages The Arab culture has many different local dialects, where each state has its own individual understood dialect divergent to its neighbouring Arabic speaking countries. Despite this, all Arabs from each dialect have one mutual aspect, they all understand the same Arabic language and it is because of this dynamic that all Arabs are united. The Arab nation states all share a parallel culture, thus when considering Arab hospitality we can say that

The Popularity of the Japanese Language

933 words - 4 pages The Popularity of the Japanese Language Nowadays, it is not surprising to hear people from other countries say Japanese words such as Konnichiwa, Sushi, and Samurai. According to the New York based Institute of International Education, the number of people who study Japanese outside Japan is said to be 3 million, increased by 3 times compared to 1990 (Newcomb 4). Although Japan is an island country which had not had much connection with

The Slaughter Of The English Language

1158 words - 5 pages In George Orwell’s essay “Politics of the English Language”, Orwell argues that the English language is in ruins. What is to blame for the collapse of the English language? The answer simply lies within technology. Technology in many ways has a adverse effect on the English language. Young kids are now allowed to carry cell phones with texting being their main source of communication. Often times these kids butcher the English language through

Communicate in the Language of the People

912 words - 4 pages Communication By:   William Butler Yeats once said “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” Communication can be defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.” (Schwartz, Simon, Carmona 2008). Even though there is something called one-way communication, communication is better perceived as a two-way process in which there is an exchange

Related Papers

Wife Of Bath's Tale In Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"

682 words - 3 pages In the satirical comedy The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer introduces Dame Alice (who is known as "The Wife of Bath") as an obstinate, energetic and opinionated woman. In addition, she is promiscuous and filled with sexual desire. Throughout her prologue she is depicted as a determined feminist who continuously argues against the belittling of women and forbidden female sexuality. Chaucer uses her tale to add humor to his works because a feminist

Citing Specific Evidence From Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Not From The Textbook), How "Religious" Was Medieval Society (Or Was It Not Religious

2721 words - 11 pages blame. But the vilest fanatics are in the White House, comfortably enabling destruction from their "situation room." The only difference between them and the barbarians who blow up mosques is a matter of dress and language, and, of course, method. The results are the same. Further Readings Books · Irwin Abrams and Wang Gungwu (eds.) The Iraq War and Its Consequences: Thoughts of Nobel Peace Laureates and Eminent Scholars, World Scientific, 2003

The Canterbury Tales And England’s Context

1357 words - 6 pages The Canterbury Tales and England’s context Most of the tales are useful to determine how the political, social and religious situation was at the end of the 14th century. The study of this context can be divided into four groups: politico-social, religion, sexuality and administration. 1) The politico-social situation The Knight’s tale must be the more useful and interesting story to describe the politico-social situation. It’s one of

Write An Essay Demonstrating How Chaucer's Description Of Alison Relates To His Use Of The 'courtly Love' Convention In The Story. (The Miller's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer)

2662 words - 11 pages ,H. Oxford Guide to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991Chaucer, G. The Miller's Tale. Ed. Mack, P and Walton, C. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983Muscatine, C. Chaucer and the French Tradition: A study in style and meaning. Berkeley: university of California Press, 1957Kolve, V.A. and Olson, G. A Norton Critical Edition: Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue. New York, London: WW Norton. 1989