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Jenny Herfurth

English 46A                                                                        


        Luther made assurances that to show that the people in a social class would be considered equal under they watchful eye of a just god. In turn, the tales would also express the common situations that all people face in life. During this historic period, regardless of station, all persons fell into such categories. They all had common struggle and strife. But their position allowed them to defy or except such things. 

        When considering how clothing plays into their station, a person has to consider the arguments of virtue. Chaucer was assured in his beliefs that those who wore types clothing were of higher virtue and moral standing. While he was certainly against the Holy Church, he would not be as brazen as Luther in his intention. He turned to symbolism in order to portray such arguments. It can be made, in particular witness, in 2 characters: The Knight, the Bath Wife and the Yeoman.

        The knight, whom is a man of assumed Christian virtue, is granted or given to adorn finer attire. His horse would be fine. His station was based on his moral creed and actions; ergo he was to be deserving of finer attire. His work, for the assumed betterment of Men and God, grants him such amenities. The Wife of Bath was one who had willfully admit that her intentions were to fain faith with intention to gain a greater station in her life. She is a braggart who explains that her gains are through the usary of men. She married upward. Her intent was lacking virtue. While she was adorned in fine clothing to appear attractive, she was considered ugly by the reader. The Yeoman is separate from both. He is a servant. And while he is the servant to the knight, he is intended to act as a agent to the knight's virtue and the intentions of 'God'. As such, he darns plane clothing. He would followed Luther the ideology of Luther where he was plain. He was a man who assumed that his "God" would only want him to serve. And while both the knight and the wyf of bath are adorned, he is devout in his service. And said service is without expectation. And in that matter, he is plain. This fulfills Luther's 95 Theses. These are arguments of fair treatment toward all men. Chaucer could not actively speak out against the Holy Church as Luther had. He used allegory as a means to protecting himself from being prosecuted under arguments of heresy. But his intention was to show that the moral failure of these characters is exemplified by their attire. In the end, he makes a point of explaining that those persons who wear better clothing are not the most moral.

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