What I am reading: “The Canterbury Tales”

One of the required units of study for my Master of Arts course in Creative Writing is a unit on English Literature. It covers some of the great themes of English literature from Beowulf through to modern times. With such a broad scope there quite a deal of reading involved.

One of the texts I needed to read was Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. It had been over 40 years since I last read any of these fascinating tales. It was initially a struggle to come to terms with the version of English used at the time. As I got into it more, and as we read aloud from the text during the tutorial, I become more comfortable with reading it.

We weren’t required to read the whole work; that’s a major study in itself. We read sections only, dipping into several of the tales to sample some of the major themes. As I became more accustomed to the language being used I was amazed at the accomplishment of this important poet and storyteller. Some of the tales are hilarious and most that we read are good yarns. It was good to revisit them again after all those intervening years.

 

2 Responses to “What I am reading: “The Canterbury Tales””

  1. Rose says:

    Some of those tales are dodgy! We had to use some serious censorship when ‘teaching’ them to Year 7s at Woodlands! I have animated versions if you ever care to watch them… And then there was the Canterbury Tales experience in Canterbury: http://www.canterburytales.org.uk/home.htm Hmmmm! Actually it was quite well done!

  2. Trevor says:

    The lecturer made us read out aloud some extracts from several of the tales (there only 11 students in that lecture). Some of us could hardly contain our laughter as we read – despite struggling with the language of Chaucer. Talk about bawdy!

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