Cantebury Tales - Chaunticleer: Behind the Rooster

Cantebury Tales - Chaunticleer:

Behind the Rooster

In the book Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey

Chaucer, gives us a stunning tale about a rooster named Chaunticleer. Chaunticleer,
who is the King of his domain in his farmland kingdom. Like a King, he
quotes passages from intellectuals, dreams vivid dreams, has a libido that
runs like a bat out of hell, and is described as a very elegant looking

Rooster. He has every characteristic of a person belonging to the upper
class. Chaucer's hidden meanings and ideas make us think that the story
is about roosters and farm animals, but in reality he is making the Aristocracy
of his time period the subject of his mockery by making the reader realize
how clueless the Aristocracy can be to the way things are in the real World.

Chaucer describes Chaunticleer in many
different ways. One of them is his language. Chaunticleer's language is
that of a scholar. He quotes many different scriptures in a conversation
with Pertelote, such as, Saint Kenelm, Daniel and Joseph (from the bible),
and Croesus. From each author he tells a story about an individual who
had a vision in a dream and the dream came true. He may have been making
all the stories up in order to win the argument with Pertelote, but, this
seems unlikely because he does not take heed to his own advice and stay
away from the fox that encounters him later. He is educated enough to know
these supposed quotations but not intelligent enough to understand the
real meaning of them. It is if he simply brings because they help him win
the argument with his spouse and not because he actually believes what
they say. Chaucer is using the idea that the Aristocracy has schooling
throughout their childhood, but it is only done to have seemingly important
but empty conversations.

His physical appearance is also described
with such beautiful passion that it makes us think Chaunticleer is heaven
on earth. "His comb was redder than fine coral, and crenellated like a
castle wall; his bill was black and shone like jet; his legs and toes were
like azure; his nails whiter than lily; and his color like the burnished
gold." Chaucer describes Chaunticleer as the quintessential Cock, so perfect
that his description is no longer believable when we realize he is describing
a Rooster. Chaucer is setting up Chaunticleer to be as regal and grandiose
as a King. Even though he looks like a million dollars he is still very
shallow inside. He lies to his spouse just to keep her happy and his every
thought is of fornication. Like the Aristocracy he takes many pleasures
of the flesh with no real commitment to his duty as a rooster.

Chaunticleer's character appears to be
that of a shallow used car salesman. He lies to his spouse about his opinion
of women just so he can ride her later in the morning. "Mulier est hominis
confusio; Madame, the meaning of this Latin is, 'Woman is man's joy and
all his bliss.'" The real meaning is " Woman is man's ruin". He tells her
a lie to ensure he gets what he wants from her later. He seems like the
type of person who would say anything to get what they want no matter the
truth or whom it hurts. He also falls victim to his own hubris, something
that is not uncommon to most rich arrogant people.

Chaucer's creation of Chaunticleer is done
solely to imitate and mock the upper class. Chaunticleer is educated, like
people in the upper class; looks good, as people with money can afford
to do; and revolves around the pleasures of the flesh like a pre-pubescent
child. Had he not been "riding" Pertelote all morning he might have seen
the fox coming and been able to avoid becoming captured. His attitude was
that of the upper class, that he is too good to worry about life's little
trivial matters and that he loves to have pleasure. The fox is able to
dupe him simply by flattering his voice. "... the reason I came was only
to hear how you sing.". He is so consumed with living in his own grandiose
twisted reality, where nothing bad happens, that he does not realize that
a fox is about to gobble him up! He does have an epiphany at the end, however,

"No more through your flattery get me to close my eyes and sing. For he
who knowingly blinks when he should see, God let him never thrive." Chaucer
uses the character