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Word Count: 847
In the General Prologue Chaucer presents an array of characters from the 1400s in order to paint portraits of human dishonesty and stupidity as well as virtue Out of these twenty-nine character portraits three of them are especially interesting because they deal with charity Charity during the 1400s was a virtue of both religious and human traits One character the Parson exemplifies Chaucers idea of charity and two characters Prioress and Friar to satirize the idea of charity and show that they are using charity for either devious reasons or out of convention or habit According to the definition from the Websters dictionary charity means giving to the needy and helping the poor In Chaucers time however charity meant much more It included a love of G-d and doing the will of G-d as well as the kind of person one is Thus Charity had two parts one human the other divine Two parts that mixed in different portions depending on a person Charity was a human virtue that the Church encouraged People believed that if one does something good he will be rewarded by G-d Many people did meaningful charitable things out the goodness of their hearts but others had done it for other reasons Those reasons included making money from peoples suffering and giving to charity because someone told them to do so rather than from the goodness of their hearts or to ease the suffering of others Chaucer plays off both of these parts of charity in his portraits to show how they can be combined differently in different people and to distinguish true charity from false charity Parson exemplifies Chaucers idea of true charity Even though Parson does not have any money he considers himself rich spiritually Going around the village he teaches the poor and those who cant go to church about what G-d is and how to be a religious person He gives
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