Middle English Literature
The term Middle English literature refers to literature written in the the English language known as Middle English, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 until the 1470s. There are three main categories of Middle English Literature: Religious, Courtly love, and Arthurian, though much of Geoffrey Chaucer's work stands outside these.
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales was Chaucer's magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of the characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, particularly of the Church.