Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

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Satiric or Parodic Views of Pilgrimage
(1,722 words)

Pilgrimage was primarily understood as a penitential practice: motivated by contrition, it was supposed to follow confession. Motivation, however, might be mixed (see also Motivations for Pilgrimage). Geoffrey Chaucer, amongst other authors, recognized this ambiguity of intent. Chaucer's concern with "entente" throughout The Canterbury Tales reflects suspicion about pilgrims' motivations - which could respond to commercial and recreational opportunities provided by pilgrimage rather than to a truly penitential impulse. The dubious reputat…

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Stella A. Singer, “Satiric or Parodic Views of Pilgrimage”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Consulted online on 27 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emp_SIM_00278>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004181298, 20091023

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