Censorship In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a very old piece of literature. Since it was written many things that society does and believes have changed, including certain ways we deal with the media. We define censorship as “the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts” (Google). Depending on the audience that will be reading them, books can be banned from school libraries or only allowed for certain audiences. The same premise can be applied to television and film; certain audiences can be banned from movies with “mature” language or themes and television shows may have swear words censored out, while both show peoples private areas as pixilated. This is all done for the sake of our cultural…show more content…
This makes the story inappropriate for younger readers, fifteen year olds and anyone younger shouldn’t be reading about graphic rape dreams and old men who “could barely get it up” for their young wife (Chaucer 235+ 253). The prologue is much more explicit than the actual tale. In the prologue, the wife tells the group about her five husbands and her time with each, for the older men she talks about the problems the men’s ages caused their sex and says, “Oh honey, Willy’s looking a bit limp tonight,” and, “why are you groaning like that? Is it because you want to come inside me?” or even “…some stud you are- can’t even get it up. You know my vagina would be a lot happier if I were sleeping with another man” (Chaucer 249). Those quotes are only from one paragraph of one page of the prologue, the rest of the prologue is filled with phrases similar to these, although this section was by far the most heavily laden with improper language and themes. The expressions and actions in the story are barely suitable for sixteen year old teens let alone anyone younger. In the actual tale there is only one mention of rape that is explicit, “ he wanted her so badly that he violently raped her” (Chaucer 275). Any other references to explicit themes are too vague for young readers to pick up

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