The Canterbury Tales

The Marriage of Walter and Griselda: A Socio-Political Analysis of the ‘Clerk’s Tale’

The “Clerk’s Tale” of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales can be seen as a mirror of society, where social classes have very noticeable tensions between them. This essay shall analyze the “Clerk’s Tale” by putting it in a socio-political context and focusing on the interactions between Griselda and Walter, who belong to different social classes.

Introduction and Method of Analysis

The “Clerk’s Tale” is one of the stories that form the “marriage group of tales” of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. While the stories in that group were told by people (the pilgrims) with such different personalities, it is certain that marriage is one important topic that Chaucer chose to explore. It is also important to note that the marriage group of tales is also one of the most well known groups from Chaucer’s magnum opus, if not the most criticized. In addition, marriage is still a serious subject to talk about, just as in the time of Chaucer; this makes the Clerk’s Tale still relevant today.

Chaucer’s character the Clerk is a student of philosophy in Oxford. He is considered as one of the ideal pilgrims because of his diligence and humility. In the prologue, his meekness is already observed, as commented by the Host. This meekness of the...

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