Based on the Chinese poems and excerpts from “The Canterbury Tales,” the driving forces of early and middle cultures are simple human desires- happiness and love. Characters in “The Canterbury Tales,” nevertheless, have different ideas of happiness and love. Chinese poems, in general, have their happiness hinged on honor, family, and nature. These differences in thinking of these ancient and middle-period authors lead them to make different decisions and have diverse experiences in life.
What aided or guided decision making in the middle age were honor and love. In “The Knight’s Tale,” Arcite and Palamon set aside their friendship, so that they can fight for love and honor. On the other hand, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and “The Clerk’s Tale” demonstrate opposite views of a wife’s role and position in the family. These stories underscore different ideas of love, wherein “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” defines love as gender quality, while “The Clerk’s Tale” interprets love, as a wife’s complete submission to her husband.
A number of stories also demonstrate happiness that comes from tricking the trickster, such as in “The Reeve’s Tale” and “The Pardoner’s Tale.” Several poems in early Chinese also describe the beauty of preserving honor and love. The family is presented ideally in early Chinese poetry, as a source of honor and happiness. Other poems illustrate Chinese reflection on nature. Tao Quian’s poems, for instance, are poems about nature. In one of “Returning to Live in the South,” he says: “My nature’s basic love was for the hills.”
Early Chinese literature remarks of honorable driving forces that concentrate on bliss and love. “The Canterbury Tales” also represent characters that have noble ideas of love and pleasure, although pervading senses of trickery and justice are also dominant themes. Hence, the middle-period literature adds a sarcastic and comic twist to the dignified pursuit of human happiness.
Quian, Tao. Returning to Live in the South. Web. 16 July 2010 <http://www.chinese-poems.com/young.html>.