Chaucer has had an immense influence on British culture during the last six hundred years. From the main events of Chaucer’s lifetime (c1343-1400) we will turn to aspects of the literary traditions from which he drew. We consider contemporary perceptions of society and the groups/types of people of which it was comprised, before looking at how Chaucer used this material in The Canterbury Tales. We then focus on two of the pilgrims and their tales, contrasting characters who tell stories for very different purposes.

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