The Pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales held jobs that were common in their day. Now, we are only passingly familiar with many of these roles. To understand the satire present in the Tales, it's important to know who/what these characters are SUPPOSED to be.
Look up the job description of the tasks/duties involved in the job/profession of each Pilgrim. A short, dictionary definition will not do (e.g.: Housewife- a woman who doesn't work and just stays home is WRONG. It doesn't describe what a housewife DOES do all day.) A modern equivalent is the difference between Clerk I, Clerk II, and Special Assistant. Each has specific job duties that Human Resources differentiates. For the first column of this chart, what is the job of each character? (e.g.: difference between a Priest, a Monk, a Friar, and a Parson, etc).
Later we will examine what the actual characters do in the Prologue and if they are a good or poor example of who/what they are supposed to be. We will also discuss Chaucer's satirical point.
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