Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales represents every facet of medieval society by its unique satire of medieval people exhibiting various classes. Depicting his life-like pilgrims in accordance with the social, economic and political changes of the time, one of the focal points Chaucer highlights in his The Canterbury Tales is social mobility which moulds the portrait of his old landowner, the Franklin. Due to social mobility, as in the case of his real counterparts in history, the portrayal of the Franklin is shaped by in-betweenness since he is a social climber without a noble birth. The Franklin, a rich social climber of peasant origin, embraces the characteristics of both his previous and present social position and inhabits a medieval “third space.” Not entirely belonging to the nobility or to the commoners, parvenu Franklin is in an identity crisis and belongs to the medieval “middle grouping” of social climbers apart from the members of the traditional three estates: the clergy, the nobility and the commoners. Those people of “middle-grouping” develop their alternative identities on the borders of the acknowledged identities of the three medieval estates. Thereupon, the Franklin has to develop a hybrid identity by mimicking his social superiors, the members of the nobility, to be able to find a place for himself in society. Accordingly, this paper aims to discuss Chaucer’s Franklin in The Canterbury Tales as a Bhabhanian hybrid and mimic who is caught in between the medieval acknowledged identities of the commoners and the nobility, and searches for a recognisable identity in dynamic medieval society.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Chaucer’s Franklin; hybridity; medieval estates; mimicry; third space.

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