Canterbury Tales Character Assignment

You have been assigned a character from the Prologue. You will complete a 3 part assignment dealing with this character.

Objective: Create a wiki page on outlining information about your character.

1. Look over the sample to see what is expected. Note use of page organization and media, such as photos and videos.
2. Choose your character and corresponding class period from the list on the left side of the page.
3. Answer the following questions to create a page of media for your character.
4. After completion, you will present your wiki page to the class.
5. The student with the most in-depth and entertaining presentation will win a meal to their favorite restaurant!

Part 1
The Middle Ages is one of the most interesting and colorful time periods in history.
The research questions in part one of this activity will give you only a brief glimpse into the people of the time and how they lived. It will also demonstrate how Chaucer creates characters that help us understand the complexities of the historical time period. Be sure to create a link to each site that provides an answer for each of the research questions. You may have more than one site for any one question.

Research questions:
  1. What specific occupation does your character practice?
  2. What does the need for this occupation tell us about the time period?
  3. What was his or her social standing?
  4. What might your character’s day to day life be like?
  5. What details about this character does Chaucer not include?
  6. What modern day occupation might correspond to your medieval character and why?

Part 2
Examining the language of a specific text can be very complicated. For the purpose of this activity, we will be looking for word choices that give us clues about the author’s tone and attitude about his characters. We will also examine how specific words have evolved from medieval times to today.

Examination of text:
  1. Paraphrase each line of the prologue describing your character into modern language. You may use slang and your own “voice.”
  2. Which lines in the prologue best describe your character’s physical appearance?
  3. Which lines describe his/her personality?
  4. Which specific words add to your understanding of the character’s personality?

Part 3

Once you have researched the background of your character and examined the text in which your character is developed, you can analyze the language better.

Analysis of the passage
  1. (Be sure to answer in complete sentences and include these responses in your wiki page. Don’t limit yourself, however; include any additional information that would help a reader understand the text better.)
  2. What is Chaucer’s opinion toward this character?
  3. What specific lines or words tell you this?
  4. What word choices require an understanding of vocabulary from the time period?
  5. Do you see any satire? If so, what is Chaucer trying to reveal or expose about the time period?
  6. What do you think Chaucer's purpose of including this character was?