Canterbury Tales the Monk's Tale Essay

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Chaucer's "The Monk's Tale"

"The Monk's Tale," from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, is intriging because it is different from the other poems in the collection. Presented by a monk who appears to be very unlike a monk, it focuses on the calamity of life with a slight mention of how fate can intervene and set anyone's life upon a new, and sometimes not better, course. Life is difficult and fate is cruel appears to be the message from this man of the cloth. His tale might have been dark but his message is clear: be happy because misfortune could strike at any moment.

It is a collection of short tales about men who lose their power in oe way or another. Readers are cautioned at the beginning of this tale to let "no one trust a blind prosperity" and to be "warned by these examples, true and old" (207).
A recollection of the stories of Adam, Lucifer, Hercules, Samson, Nero, Julius Caeser, Belshazzar, and others, "The Monk's Tale" is a conglomerate of diiferent tragedies that befall these men. These men "once knew / Fortune to be their friend, and how she grew / To be their foe" (229). For instance, Samson's story advises readers that "Men should keep counsel and not tell their wives / Secrets that is concerns them to retain" (210). From Belshazzar's tale, readers learn that no position, great or small, is secure and "When fortune flees a man is left forsaken / Of glory, wealth and kingdom; all' past cure" (215). The Monk's Tale concludes with the account of Croesus, who failed to heed this warning. The moral of the tale is that "tragedy is….....

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