The Canterbury Tales, written in Middle English by Chaucer in the late 14th century (two of them are in prose, the rest in verse), is a collection of tales told by a group of pilgrims to pass the time on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Some make the journey out of a sense of piety, others for spiritual renewal, or just for the sheer fun of it.
The Canterbury Tales is considered one of the cornerstones of western drama. It draws on a rich tradition of classical Greek and Roman poetry and Medieval literature to produce a work of sublime storytelling that is poignant, hilarious, spiritually uplifting, wonderfully lewd yet thoroughly thought provoking. Some of the tales are serious and others comical. All are highly accurate in describing the traits and faults of human nature. Religious malpractice is a major theme. Most of the tales are interlinked with undercurrents of similar themes, and some are told in retaliation for other tales in the form of an argument. The work is sophisticated, visceral, and surprisingly challenging and entertaining for audiences of all ages.