What is The Canterbury Tales About?

Updated: November 28, 2022
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of short stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 14th century. The stories are told by a group of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury.
Detailed answer:

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet, philosopher, and courtier who lived in the late 1300s. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that are presumably written by Chaucer.
The tales are told by a group of pilgrims who are on their way to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. Each traveler tells two tales on the way, and the stories are meant to reflect the character of the teller. Some of the tales are comical, while others are quite bawdy and lewd.
Chaucer likely intended for the tales to be a commentary on social issues of his time. The tales are also thought to be a reflection of Chaucer’s own views on religion, with some focusing on tales of chivalry and courtly love.
The Canterbury Tales has been enormously popular over the centuries and has been adapted numerous times for stage and screen. In fact, there are more than a dozen different film adaptations of The Canterbury Tales from various time periods. The tales are still studied in classrooms today and are considered to be classic works of English literature. Some scholars argue that it’s even one of the most important works of English literature ever written! Chaucer himself is considered to be one of the most important authors of the Middle Ages. The Canterbury Tales is an important work of literature that continues to be relevant and enjoyed centuries after it was first written.

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