What is The Main Purpose of Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales?

Updated: November 28, 2022
Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales is meant to introduce the reader to the various characters who will be telling the tales. Chaucer also uses the Prologue to set the scene for the story.
Detailed answer:

Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales is a great way to introduce his characters and their stories. It also helps the reader understand the setting and context for the action that follows.
Chaucer essentially uses this prologue as an opportunity to show off his poetic skills by creating a beautiful, richly detailed world for his readers. The Prologue gives us insight into each character’s motivations and gives us a glimpse into their lives before the story begins.
In the Prologue, Chaucer establishes the setting and tone of the Tales. He describes a group of pilgrims traveling together on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral in England. In addition, he also tells us that each pilgrim will tell two stories on the journey, one on their way to Canterbury and one on their way back home. This prologue sets up the main conflict of The Canterbury Tales: the competition to tell the best story.
It also introduces the theme of social satire that runs throughout the Tales, which can be funny or serious; it doesn’t always have to make fun of people—sometimes it just makes fun of situations or ideas that are accepted as normal but aren’t really normal at all (like when people think they have to wear certain kinds of clothes just because everyone else does).

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What is The Main Purpose of Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales?. (2022, Nov 19). Retrieved from