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Word Count: 651
The most potent form of criticism that a writer can use is satire Satire is a form of irony wherein the speaker uses false praise in order to condemn an idea or event Chaucer was a pioneer in the realms of English and criticism He popularized the use of the satiric mask A satiric mask is when the writer has the speaker like or support something for trivial and unjustifiable reasons By having the speaker supporting things for all the wrong reasons the writer makes the situation absurd and it is this absurdity that is the satiric source For example the speaker Chaucer tends to like morally corrupt individuals for odd reasons He admires the monk because he is wealthy gregarious and popular among woman Needless to say these are not the characteristics of a good monk but by having the speaker Chaucer sing praise about him the writer Chaucer can specifically criticize these same flaws This makes it important to distinguish between the two Chaucers for if the reader gets the two switched they will be getting the exact opposite message that is intended As a result it becomes essential for the reader to take what the speaker Chaucer says with a grain of salt The speaker Chaucer meets several women that he admires for odd reasons He admires the nun for her exquisite etiquette Her states that her table manners are impeccable and her dress is beautiful Since we know that Chaucer is out to criticize we realize that this is not the lesson he wants us to learn These characteristics are what one would expect from a lady of an established house not a nun The nun is pretending to be something that she is not Chaucer contrasts this falseness with the near brutal honesty of the wife of bath The wife of Bath is a particularly amorous woman who has been married five times She also speaks openly
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