The Canterbury Tales is a book about a group of 30 pilgrims who gather at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, London. They are on a religious pilgrimage to St. Thomas à Becket’s shrine located in the Canterbury Cathedral. The journey spans 60 miles and lasts four days.
Pilgrimages were common in medieval times and were considered a way to receive God’s blessings and miracles. In The Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims have varying reasons for their journey, some for religious purposes, and others for adventure, socializing, and entertainment. The pilgrims also agree to take part in a storytelling contest during their trip, with the prize being a dinner at the Tabard Inn.
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Geoffrey Chaucer used the pilgrimage as a framing device in the book, enabling him to combine multiple literary genres into one work. The pilgrims in the book come from different social classes, including knights, monks, merchants, scholars, and many others. This diversity allowed the author to create one of the most significant works of English literature.
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