Foreign Currency

In: Business and Management

Submitted By BadSamantha
Words 689
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The Transformation of Language and The Pardoner’s Tale

Summary: The Pardoner’s Tale is a moral story of greed and treachery, in which three young hooligans go on a quest to find Death so they can kill him. Instead of finding Death, they find a golden treasure, and their scheming over the hoard leads them to murder each other, so that their original purpose is fulfilled. Although this is a solemn tale teaching that “greed is the root of all evil,” the Pardoner is a con artist of the highest degree, a rap artist who preaches morality strictly for his own profit, merchandising and scamming his way to a fortune at the expense of his poor fans.

Baba Brinkman’s solo performance, “The Rap Canterbury Tales,” first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004. It is a re-creation of Chaucer’s fourteenth century poem, in which a group of pilgrims traveling from London to Canterbury enter into a tale-telling contest. Every element of the performance closely parallels Chaucer’s original text, but in a contemporary setting. Baba Brinkman plays Chaucer, who is both the narrator and a participant in the pilgrimage. In this case, he is a hip-hop fan who goes to a rap concert and manages to stow away on the tour bus after the show. The rappers, to his surprise, decide to stage a storytelling battle to help pass time on the road between gigs, and each of the Tales is an exact retelling of one of the pilgrim stories. As the narrator, Brinkman/Chaucer attempts to recount the exact experience of the journey word for word, transforming into the various characters to tell their tales.

Web Resources:
http://aspirations.english.cam.ac.uk/converse/chaucer/audio.acds

http://www.babasword.com/

This table shows a passage from the original Middle English version of "The Pardoner's Tale" by Geoffrey Chaucer, contrasted with the rap that was adapted from it. The two columns…...

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