Medieval Self-Fashioning: Identity Performances in Chaucer’S Canterbury Tales
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The fourteenth century was a period of transformation, in which the social, political, economic and cultural changes led to changes in the social hierarchy of medieval England. These changes also influenced the way medieval people conceived their identities and the people around them. Hence, medieval people started to question the limitations imposed on their identities by the three estate structure. The three estate structure, which dominated the structure of the medieval English society, required each person to behave in accordance with the requirements of her/his estate. Therefore, not only those who failed in conforming to the rules of her/his estate, but also those who transgressed their estate boundaries were severely criticised. However, due to certain reasons such as the decline in knighthood, the erosion in feudal values, the influences of the Hundred Years War, developments in trade, the Black Death and the rise of universities, people began rejecting the impositions ........