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on 5 September 2008
In the general prologue Chaucer introducs the pilgrims and set the scenario for "The Canterbury Tales". It is a delightful start. Chaucer already showcases his narrative method of projecting multiply layered viewpoints through the voices of the characters and himself, achieving the satirical wittiness for which he is famous for. His poetic devices are superb and "The General Prologue" cannot fail to convince the literary reader to proceed to the individual tales.

Almost like its Shakespeare for school series yet it seems that, consequent of its being expended alongside all other great works of English literature to disproportionately concentrate academic effort on Shakespeare, it falls far short of its prototype to deliver its purpose. For one, Chaucer wrote in Middle English. And however similar it is to Modern English rather more linguistic pointers are needed to initiate its target group of students to Chaucer's language than Shakespeare's Early Modern English. From the point of view of someone who is long past A Level standard, the additional information provided is frugal, though I should think certainly more than enough for A Level (after all it is more important to regurgiate information according to the prescribed formula for essay writing if one wishes to gain marks at A Level than display genuine depth). Nevertheless, texts other than Shakespeare's are rarely presented with so much linguistic guidance let alone with that printed on the pages facing the text, that this is still probably the best study edition there is for those reading Chaucer for the first time.
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on 21 March 2004
I bought this book as i am currently studying the general prologue for my exams this summer. I found that the book was not the easiest book to use, however it does give you a lot of information at the back on what certain things translate as or meanings of phrases. There are a few problems with these because some are exaggerated or not entirely correct so you will probably need to buy another help guide. It does give you quite a good introduction to the prologue and it is good value for money, so i would say generally it is a good buy. I haven't however looked around so there may be something a little better on the market.
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on 6 March 2002
For many of us Chaucer's characters are familiar figures, such as, the Pardoner, The Miller to name two of his more unsavoury characters. Yet it is in the Prologue that we meet the entire company of disparate characters on their way to Canterbury. In the Prologue Chaucer seeks to describe the Pilgrims and their characters. Insight is given to their personalities by what they have to say of themselves and also the reactions of their companions. All too often the clearest indication to the true nature of the individuals' personality, is what others say about them.
The Prologue is necessary reading for anyone wishing to read The Canterbury Tales, as it sets the scene for what is to come. In many cases the description of the Pilgrim in The Prologue prepares the reader for the tale that they will tell.
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