Professor Marion Turner provides an in-depth exploration of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic work, the Canterbury Tales.
In the captivating second episode of the podcast series, "Chaucer for Beginners,” Professor Marion Turner provides an in-depth exploration of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic work, the Canterbury Tales. The conversation unfolds as Professor Turner skilfully navigates through the intricacies of this renowned work, elucidating how it comprises a collection of stories and tales framed by a General Prologue. These narratives, told from diverse viewpoints by characters of varying social classes, form a rich tapestry grounded in the interactions of a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, who convene in a London tavern to share their stories and adventures.
Professor Turner delves into the structural brilliance of Chaucer's tales, dissecting the characters and frameworks that bring the stories to life. The discussion encompasses the varied perspectives Chaucer encapsulated in his writing, highlighting the diversity of voices and experiences within the Canterbury Tales. The episode further explores Chaucer's distinctive writing style, emphasising his role as the originator of iambic pentameter verse, a ground-breaking contribution to English literature.
As the conversation unfolds, listeners gain insights into the early circulation of the Canterbury Tales, initially disseminated in stages as manuscripts to a select audience. Professor Turner underscores the performative nature of Chaucer's work, emphasising its design for oral recitation and entertainment rather than just silent reading.