Write a short note on the Monk of the prologue to the canterbury tales

A monk is a man who has dedicated his life to religion, partly by giving up some aspects of regular, worldly life. But in the prologue To the Canterbury Tales Chaucer (1340-1400) exposes the hypocrisy of the clergy class through the character of the Monk. 

The Monk is one of the thirty pilgrims traveling on a pilgrimage to Canterbury in The Canterbury Tales. He is nothing like the usual monk many people imagine. He is rebellious, ignores rules, and lives and controls his own life. 

The Monk in ‘’The Canterbury Tales’’ defies expectations of the poor and dutiful Church officer. By depicting his monk as enjoying a lavish lifestyle, Chaucer provides a critique of the clergy in this period. 

The Monk is bald and dresses in fur and gold, which tells us that he cares more about what he looks like on the outside than what he should be on the inside. His face is smooth and shiny, and his eyes roll in his head, and Chaucer describes them as hot and fiery. 

More Notes: the general prologue to the canterbury tales

With the Monk’s portrait, we see another satire of religious figures who are supposed to live a monastic life of deprivation and hard work but instead live a life of luxury and ease. Similar to the Prioress, the Monk is doing all kinds of things which primarily represents him as pious but he is not.  

He represents the themes of erotic obsession and the corrupting influence of power. The Monk deals with important issues and contains moments of impressive psychological insight. However, his character remains a morality tale about one man’s fall from grace through greed, pride and lust.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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