Reflection: Staircase of Complexity The Prologue Continued....Irony - Section 4: Identifying Irony in The Prologue


Chaucer is a great place to have students delve into connotations and denotations and to really think about the impact multiple meanings have on words. Quite often students read a complicated story like The Canterbury Tales strictly for the plot and little else. And the stories are entertaining, speaking to modern audiences in wonderful and strange ways.  But there is much, much more to the stories than the actions and behaviors of a few dozen pilgrims and their fictional creations.  And this is where I want my students to pay close attention.  By looking at key words and phrases in the stories and thinking about their connotations students can pull even richer material from the text. They can go beyond the fantastic and morbid plots into the complexities that make us human.  They can question why events take place and why the stories are told the way they are told because they are looking at the multi-layers of the text. 


  Using Connotation and Denotation to Interpret Texts
  Staircase of Complexity: Using Connotation and Denotation to Interpret Texts
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The Prologue Continued....Irony

Unit 8: Canterbury Tales - A Knight's Tale
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: SWBAT analyze Chaucer's use of irony in the genre of estates satire, specifically in the Prologue.

Big Idea: What does a character's description tell us about them? How does irony add a richness and complexity to a character's description?

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