When the peasants revolted against their feudal lords inthey were able to organize themselves well precisely because they had formed these strong social ties through their companies. The company of pilgrims on the way to Canterbury is not a typical example of a tightly networked company, although the five Guildsmen do represent this kind of fraternal union.
They were particularly popular in the literature and culture that were part of royal and noble courts. To prevent discord, the pilgrims create an informal company, united by their jobs as storytellers, and by the food and drink the host provides. Beginning with the Troubadour poets of southern France in the eleventh century, poets throughout Europe promoted the notions that true love only exists outside of marriage; that true love may be idealized and spiritual, and may exist without ever being physically consummated; and that a man becomes the servant of the lady he loves.
Indeed, the Squire is practically a parody of the traditional courtly lover. The pilgrims come from different parts of society—the court, the Church, villages, the feudal manor system.
Together with these basic premises, courtly love encompassed a number of minor motifs. Eating together was a way for guild members to cement friendships, creating a support structure for their working community.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. If workers in a guild or on a feudal manor were not getting along well, they would not produce good work, and the economy would suffer.
As far as class distinctions are concerned, they do form a company in the sense that none of them belongs to the nobility, and most have working professions, whether that work be sewing and marriage the Wife of Bathentertaining visitors with gourmet food the Franklinor tilling the earth the Plowman.
The functioning and well-being of medieval communities, not to mention their overall happiness, depended upon groups of socially bonded workers in towns and guilds, known informally as companies.
It was the term designated to connote a group of people engaged in a particular business, as it is used today. Distaste for the excesses of the Church triggered stories and anecdotes about greedy, irreligious churchmen who accepted bribes, bribed others, and indulged themselves sensually and gastronomically, while ignoring the poor famished peasants begging at their doors.
The Corruption of the Church By the late fourteenth century, the Catholic Church, which governed England, Ireland, and the entire continent of Europe, had become extremely wealthy.
The description of the Squire establishes a pattern that runs throughout the General Prologue, and The Canterbury Tales: One of these is the idea that love is a torment or a disease, and that when a man is in love he cannot sleep or eat, and therefore he undergoes physical changes, sometimes to the point of becoming unrecognizable.
They would be unable to bargain, as a modern union does, for better working conditions and life benefits.
But, in a more abstract sense, company had an economic connotation.The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories by Geoffrey Chaucer that was first published in A summary of Themes in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.
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