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THE CANTERBURY TALES (non illustrated) (English Edition) par [Chaucer, Geoffrey]
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THE CANTERBURY TALES (non illustrated) (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Longueur : 788 pages Composition améliorée: Activé Page Flip: Activé
Langue : Anglais

Description du produit

On a spring day in April--sometime in the waning years of the 14th century--29 travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, a plowman, a miller, a merchant, a clerk, and an oft-widowed wife from Bath. Travel is arduous and wearing; to maintain their spirits, this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later, people are still reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of the Franklin, the Pardoner, or the Squire because you never learned Middle English, take heart: this edition of the Tales has been translated into modern idiom.

From the heroic romance of "The Knight's Tale" to the low farce embodied in the stories of the Miller, the Reeve, and the Merchant, Chaucer treated such universal subjects as love, sex, and death in poetry that is simultaneously witty, insightful, and poignant. The Canterbury Tales is a grand tour of 14th-century English mores and morals--one that modern-day readers will enjoy.


The Knight’s Tale



1 The Knight’s Tale, which mostly takes place in ancient Athens, is the conflicted love story of two royal Theban cousins who love the same woman. Because “The Knight’s Tale” is by far the longest and most complex of the Canterbury Tales presented in this volume, a quick summary of the action of the four parts of the tale may help readers encountering it for the first time:

Part I. On his way back to Athens with his bride, Hypolita, and his sister-in-law, Emily, Duke Theseus responds to the pleas of some grieving widows by defeating Creon, the tyrant of Thebes. Among the bodies of the defeated army, he finds near death the royal cousins Palamon and Arcite. Rather than kill them, Theseus takes them back to Athens and places them in prison. From their barred prison window, the two young men see the lovely Emily and both fall in love with her. Arcite after a time is released but banished from Athens on pain of death, while Palamon remains in prison. The two are envious of each other’s condition.

Part II. Arcite disguises himself as a common laborer and comes back to Athens, where he gets a job working in Emily’s household. Meanwhile, Palamon escapes from prison, and the rival cousins chance to meet in a grove near Athens. While Palamon and Arcite are fighting a bloody duel, Theseus, Hypolita, and Emily, out hunting, by chance come upon them in a grove. At first angry, Theseus soon relents, sets both of his enemies free, and invites them to return in a year, each with a hundred knights, to take part in a glorious tournament, with Emily’s hand going to the winner.

Part III. Theseus builds a splendid amphitheater in preparation for the tournament and places on its west, east, and north borders elaborately decorated temples to Mars, Venus, and Diana. When the two troops of warriors come back for the tournament, the three principals each pray to one of the planetary deities. Palamon prays to Venus, not for victory but for the hand of Emily. Emily prays to Diana to be spared marriage to either Palamon or Arcite, praying instead to remain a maiden always. Arcite prays to Mars for victory in the tournament.

Part IV. Just before the tournament begins Theseus declares that he wants no lives to be lost and restricts the kinds of weapons that may be used. He sets out the rules of the game, the primary one being that the winning side will be the one that takes the loser to a stake at the end of the field. After vigorous fighting, Arcite’s men drag the wounded Palamon to the stake. No sooner is Arcite declared the winner than Saturn commands Pluto, god of the underworld, to send a diabolical fury to frighten Arcite’s horse. Arcite is thrown and crushed by his own saddle bow. After an elaborate funeral and the passage of some years, Theseus tells Palamon and Emily to marry, and they happily do so.

Arching over the story of the warriors and lovers down on the earth below is a heavenly conflict among the gods or, more precisely, among the planetary or astrological influences that were thought to control the affairs of men. Indeed, a key feature of “The Knight’s Tale” is the prayers of the three principal characters to these influences. Closely tied up with the question of whether Palamon or Arcite will get the young woman they both love is the question of how the powerful Saturn will settle the conflicting demands on him of Mars, Venus, and Diana.

Chaucer’s main source for “The Knight’s Tale” is Giovanni Boccaccio’s several-hundred-page-long Teseida. Readers who are upset at having to read Chaucer’s long and leisurely story of Palamon, Arcite, and Emily should thank Chaucer for streamlining a story that is less than a quarter the length of Boccaccio’s Italian story of Palemone, Arcita, and Emilia. Chaucer reduced the story in lots of ways, particularly by staying focused on the love story. He cut out, for example, Boccaccio’s long opening description of Theseus’s journey to the land of the Amazons, his defeat of them, and his acquiring as his bride the Amazonian queen Hypolita. But Chaucer did more than reduce the Teseida, which focuses on Arcite as the main character, who in Boccaccio is almost a tragic figure who makes the mistake of praying to the wrong deity. For Chaucer, Palamon is raised to equal importance, if not more importance, than his rival. And Chaucer transforms the vain and coquettish Emilia of his source into a more innocent object of the love of rival cousins.

One of Chaucer’s most important changes was to give the story a philosophical overlay by introducing into it the ideas of the ancient philosopher Boethius. One of Boethius’s key ideas was that there is a great God who designs a far better plan for human beings than they could possibly design for themselves. That design sometimes involves what looks like adversity, but the adversity is always (for Boethius) part of a design that leads to happiness. We should then, according to Boethius, not resist or fight against the troubles that come our way, but cheerfully accept them, trusting that in the end things will work out for the best. The ending of “The Knight’s Tale,” then, reflects this reassuring philosophy by showing that although the three principal characters all seem at first not to get what they want most, in the end all of them do get what they want, or perhaps something even better.

For this and the other tales in this volume, readers should reread the portrait of the teller given by Chaucer in the General Prologue. The portrait of the Knight (lines 43–78) shows him to be the idealized Christian soldier who fought with valor and honor at most of the important late-fourteenth-century battles against heathens. We know less of his marital than of his martial life, but he does have a son who is with him on this pilgrimage. The Knight seems, all in all, an ideal teller for the long tale of war, romance, honor, and philosophy that Chaucer assigns to him.


Part I

Femenye (line 8). A race of warlike women, led by Hypolita, who decided that they could live and protect themselves without the help of men. They are sometimes called Amazons, their land Scithia.

Saturne, Juno (470–71). Two forces that Palamon blames for the setbacks that Thebes has suffered. Saturn is the powerful planet. Juno is the jealous wife of Jupiter, who had made love to two Theban women.

Part II

Hereos (516). Eros, a sickness associated with the intense emotion of falling in love.

manye (516). A kind of melancholy madness or mania brought on by the frustration of his love for an inaccessible woman.

Argus (532). In classical mythology, the jealous Juno had set the hundred-eyed Argus as guard to Io, who was a lover of her husband, Jupiter. Argus was killed by Mercury (see line 527), who first sang all of Argus’s hundred eyes to sleep.

Cadme and Amphioun (688). Cadmus and Amphion are the legendary founders of the city of Thebes, home to Palamon and Arcite.

regne of Trace (780). The reference in this and the next lines is to the Thracian kingdom in which a hunter prepares himself at a mountain pass to meet a charging lion or bear.

Part III

Citheroun (1078). Venus’s supposed mountainous island of Cytherea, though Chaucer may have confused the name with the name of a different location.

Ydelnesse, Salamon, Hercules, Medea, Circes, Turnus, Cresus (1082–88). Various literary, historical, and classical allusions, most of them demonstrating the follies and miseries associated with the snares of love.

qualm (1156). Probably a reference to the “pestilence” or bubonic plague that killed millions in Europe during Chaucer’s lifetime. See also line 1611 below, where Saturn claims to have the power to send the plague. The reference to the bubonic plague here is anachronistic, since “The Knight’s Tale” is set in the classical pre-Christian era.

Julius, Nero, Antonius (1173–74). Three famous rulers slaughtered in time of war—exemplary of the mayhem and death caused by mighty Mars. The last is Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla, a Roman emperor murdered in AD 217.

Puella, Rubeus (1187). Two astrological references to Mars as cast by a complicated process called geomancy, a pseudoscience involving dots and lines.

Calistopee, Dane, Attheon, Atthalante, Meleagre (1198– 1213). Various classical and legendary allusions to hunters or the hunted whose unfortunate tales are depicted on the walls of the temple of Diana, goddess of the hunt.

griffon (1275). A griffin was in Greek mythology a fearsome beast with the head and wings of an eagle on the body of a lion.

in hir houre (1359). Palamon picks his hour of prayer carefully. The various planets were supposed to have special powers on certain hours of the day, hours in which it was particularly propitious to make prayers for their astrological influence. Venus would have had special strength on the twenty-third hour of Sunday night (see line 1351), when it was not yet two hours before dawn on Monday morning (line 1352).

the thridde houre inequal (1413). The medieval astrological day was divided into twenty-four “inequal” or planetary hours. In this system the time between dawn and dusk was divided equally into twelve hours, the time between dusk and the following dawn into twelve more. Except at the two equinoxes, when the daylight hours would have been exactly equal in length to the nighttime hours (that is, sixty minutes), the daylight hours would have been longer or shorter than the hours of darkness, depending on the time of the year—thus the inequality. Emily prays to Diana on the third inequal hour after Palamon prayed to Venus. That would have been the first hour of Monday (“moon day”), or the dawn hour, the hour at which Diana’s power would have been the greatest. Like Palamon, Emily picks her prayer time very carefully.

Stace of Thebes (1436). The Thebaid of Statius, though Chaucer’s more direct source was actually Boccaccio’s Teseida, which he does not mention by name here or elsewhere. Chaucer was often eager to claim an ancient source, not a contemporary one.

Attheon (1445). While hunting, Acteon accidentally saw Diana while she was bathing. In her anger she changed him into a stag, which Acteon’s hunting dogs then killed, not realizing that they were killing their master. See lines 1207–10 above, where Acteon’s unhappy story is artistically summarized on the walls of Diana’s temple.

thre formes (1455). As suggested in lines 1439–42 above, the goddess was imagined to have appeared in various forms. The three referred to here are probably Luna, the moon (in the heavens), the chaste Diana, the huntress (on earth), and Proserpina, the reluctant wife of Pluto (in the underworld).

the nexte houre of Mars (1509). Mars’s next hour, the hour that Arcite would have selected for his prayer to Mars, would have been the fourth hour of that Monday.

Part IV

al that Monday (1628). Monday is given over to partying and celebrations so that the tournament itself takes place the next day, on a Tuesday, or Mars’s day (“Mardi” in French). Since Tuesday is the day when the influence of Mars is strongest, it would not have surprised a medieval audience that Arcite, who had prayed to Mars, wins the tournament.

Galgopheye (1768). Probably a valley in another part of Greece, perhaps Gargaphia.

Belmarye (1772). Probably Benmarin in Morocco but, like the previous name, perhaps just meant to be an exotic place where wild animals were rampant and dangerous.

furie infernal (1826). A fury was an avenging spirit usually confined to the underworld but released from time to time to influence the affairs of men, sometimes to see that justice was done.

vertu expulsif (1891). This “virtue” involved the ability to expel certain harmful poisons from the body. This complex account of the mechanics of Arcite’s dying, the technical details of which are not important here, shows Chaucer’s awareness of the medical terminology of his day.

Firste Moevere (2129). This First Mover who creates the links in the great “chain of love,” though later in the passage identified as Jupiter, may perhaps be read as an anachronistic stand-in for the Judeo-Christian godhead, the all- loving deity who stands above and beyond the planetary gods and goddesses that seem to control the fates of men. This prime mover determines the number of years indi- vidual men and women get to live on earth and arranges things better for them than they could arrange them for themselves.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1801 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 788 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1479325066
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004E3XUHO
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  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°191.368 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Toute le monde devrez le connais ca vaut vraiment la peine/ laJWSDBGHSD WDHAWDF SDUJWD SC SDCJKS ZSCV;['Opio ujsd sduied dfj[;'phnv cv[aefvn cv[h
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Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 10 janvier 2006
Format: Broché
In Chaucer's work, 'The Canterbury Tales', perhaps the greatest of English literary works from the period of the language known as Middle English, there is one particular piece that have always stood out for me.
'A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also,'
This is perhaps my favourite character, as when I first read it, it seemed to epitomise what I hoped for in my own life.
'That unto logik hadde longe y-go.
For him was lever have at his beddes heed
Twenty bokes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophye,
Than robes riche, of fithele, or gay sautrye,
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre,
But al that he mighte of his freendes hente,
On bokes and on lerninge he it spente,
and bisily gan for the soules preye
Of hem that yaf him wherwith to scoleye.
...gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.'
Every now and then I cannot help but re-read this part of the Prologue, for a reminder of what I'm aiming for in my own life.
Chaucer was son of a wine merchant, something near and dear to my heart. Chaucer was well-read, well-phrased, well-mannered, industrious in literary and legal/administrative pursuits, as I trust I will become, if not already so qualified.
As one can see from the above examples, English has changed much over the past 600 years, but not so much as to make these passages unrecognisable. Compare for yourself with a modern translation, and see how much you can decipher.
Chaucer is one of the first great English authors of name; most (but not all) literary output in English prior to this time was anonymous.
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Pour les gens qui ne connaissent pas encore les contes de Cantorbéry mais qui lisent l'anglais couramment (vraiment couramment quand même), cet ouvrage est plus qu'une référence de la langue anglaise, ou même une référence historique de l'époque, c'est très marrant à lire. Il y a des passages moins drôles voire pénibles sur le moment dans une lecture rapide mais plus drôles à la relecture si on en prend le temps, pour les raisons ci-après - pas obligatoires cependant, et il y en a d'autres vraiment hilarants, en tout cas proches de notre humour actuel. (Je pense en particulier au conte du Sire Topaze).

L'auteur campe des personnages truculents en quelques coups de pinceau, et chacun de ces personnages doit dire un conte. Chacun de ces contes est une forme type de l'époque, ce qui nous donne un fameux panel car dans cette édition, on trouve douze contes en plus du prologue général, plus deux prologues et suites de deux contes qui n'ont par contre pas été édités faute d'intérêt (?).

La plupart des éditions des Contes de Canterbury en anglais sont des traductions en anglais moderne. Ici, les Contes de Canterbury sont en anglais médiéval, mais lisible car on peut les lire comme en anglais actuel. On trouve des renvois appropriés pour les mots difficiles, ainsi que des explications sur les différents contes. C'est à mon sens LA version que les francophones qui connaissent bien l'anglais doivent s'offrir (par rapport à d'autres éditions en langue anglaise moderne) pour les raisons ci-dessous.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.2 étoiles sur 5 419 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 But classics become classics for a reason and I have to say I was delightfully surprised with how much I enjoyed this book 19 août 2014
Par R. R. Costas Jr. - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have had a hard copy of this edition since 1986 and it's been screaming "Read Me!" from my bookshelves ever since then. For many reasons, I've neglected it....not having felt in the mood to read something just about 700 years old. It must have been stale and outdated by now, I kept thinking. But classics become classics for a reason and I have to say I was delightfully surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. It helps that each "tale" is different and from a different "speaker," which helps break up potential monotony.They are short enough that you can read one tale in one sitting and then take a break before picking up the next tale. I was also surprised at the relevance of so many of the tales even in today's world. Human relations, good and bad, are as much at the center of tales from 700 years as they are in today's world.

A couple of tales went on a little too long for me, but generally all very enjoyable.

So as not to carry the book around while traveling, I downloaded the Kindle version of my edition. It was probably even easier to read it on the Kindle with the way they spaced the lines and the font they used. I might have gotten a little more bogged down if I had only read the hard copy by Penguin.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 dirty, adventurous 29 octobre 2015
Par Randee Baty - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As with most people, my first exposure to Chaucer was in a Brit Lit class in college. This translation from Middle English to Modern English by Neville made it very accessible to our class. I had no idea of the breadth of story-telling included in Canterbury Tales. Clean, dirty, adventurous, domestic, you name it, one of the characters is telling a story about it. The basis, of course, is that a group of travelers are making a pilgrimage to Canterbury and as they travel, they have a story-telling competition. The initial prologue describes all the characters and then they each, in turn, tell their story. Even if you never fall in love with Chaucer, reading at least some of the tales gives a great idea of how English literature developed. Reading a good translation like this one may even help you fall in love with this book. Anyone with an interest in British literature needs to read Chaucer at least once.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 good value for a nice edition 4 mars 2011
Par J. Janssen - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you're looking for a fairly complete (includes The Parson's Tale) hardcover edition of Chaucer's unfinished masterpiece you could do far worse than this effort by Chartwell Books. The modern translation is by Frank Ernest Hill and is serviceable, if not considered particularly trendy by Chaucer buffs (try the Hackett Publishing edition w/ the Joseph Glaser translation if you want trendy). It includes a number of facsimile title pages (in B&W) from the exalted Kelmscott Chaucer published by William Morris in 1896. The woodblock prints were created by Edward Burne-Jones and add to the telling of each tale. Most include snippets of Chaucer's original middle english text.

This is a reader's edition in modern prose and should not be confused with the Riverside Chaucer or other academic publications. It's oversize, sturdily bound and very attractive to boot. At less than $19* it's highly recommended.

* As a point of info for prospective purchasers; this volume is readily available from a variety of sellers and amazon is very price competitive when the volume is in stock. However, when the book was out of stock for the last month or so a flurry of "marketplace vultures" swept in charging $50 & up for "new" copies. This is NOT the "Kelmscott Chaucer" that has been reintroduced; though it is a facsimile and a very nice edition. Don't be fooled and don't pay more than $20 for it. The reintroduced Kelmscott (monochrome) sells for about $40 and is still available.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Book lover's delight 21 février 2014
Par john hale - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Those who might think reading Shakespeare a tedious trip to an outgrown time must regard reading Chaucer as pointless antiquarian torture. But there's a reason the classics endure to be rediscovered by every generation. These stories may come dressed in the garb of an ancient time but tell timeless tales seen through a lens of genius. Of course, this is a library of short stories told by Chaucer in different voices. The first tale is "the knight's tale" which is ornate and erudite. The next story is "the miller's tale" which couldn't be more different. The miller is cautioned to tell his story later as he is drunk. The miller admits his drunken state but insists on continuing. His story is lewd, coarse, and quite funny. The funniest moments occur when the pilgrims use their tales to make malicious jabs at their fellow travelers. "The friar's tale" followed by a rebuttal in "the summoner's tale" is laugh-out-loud funny. Especially the description of a friar's place in hell. Some of these are deeply offensive to our sensibilities, and properly so, as for example : The prioress' tale. Others are as crude and randy as the latest teen movie ( complete with fart jokes.) Though, unlike teen movies, Chaucer does not shy away from explicit sex. I began Chaucer mostly with curiosity but left with the awe and respect due to a first-class magician of a storyteller. Understand though: this book is a (masterful) translation by J.U.Nicolson. I've read much of Chaucer in the original but this was easier and more fun.
The actual book itself is a thing of beauty. It is elegantly bound with decorative covers and magnificent illustrations. Though published in 1934 it has the pristine look of a book rarely touched by human hands. Too bad for those unknown owners: they had a treasure in their possession but never knew it.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Intro! 13 janvier 2011
Par A. Loften - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
What a great introduction to a normally intimidating classic book. If you are an adult looking for a modern English translation, this is not for you. This is abridged and translated for children so that they will enjoy the story itself. If you are a classical home educator, this is a great fit. I started reading this to my son for school and we both laughed out loud. He didn't want me to quit reading; he was even discussing it at the dinner table with us and by the way, he's 6. I'm sure it will be read over and over for years to come. And, when it comes time to read it for a course in high school or college, he will be so familiar with it that he won't be intimidated as many are.
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