Although we can see some changes in types of characters, people today are relatively the same as they were during the Middle Ages. Some Chaucerian characters, such as the Parson, the Summoner, or even the Doctor, can relate characteristically to modern-day characters.
When compared with the Chaucerian Doctor, the stereotypical, modern-day witch doctor relates similarly. With few exceptions, such as types of clothing, the Doctor and witch doctor are different The brightly colored, expensively made clothes
(ll. 449-450) would be substituted for dark, black, flowing robes. The Doctor’s eyes full of strength and intellect. The witch, full of power and demon possession. Despite their differences, their likeness of their actions are greatly similar. They both make magic charms and effigies(l. 428) with their demon possessed hands. They create potions and supposed “magical” elixirs, manifested from cited chants passed down from other generations. They are perfect practicing physicians(l. 432), given that they know the cause of every malady and infliction the body can withstand(ll. 429,430). They appear to many as one to provide an extended hand to anyone in need. But there is a price to be paid for their services, and their eyes cannot oversee the wealth that is due to them. The Doctor then is the same as a witch doctor now, with their appearances different, but their intentions and thoughts the same.
Stereotypes are seen only in the imagination. And it is in the imagination from which a television evangelist is characteristically similar to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Summoner. The evangelist is a deceiver to many. He quotes scripture of Biblical content, to put forth an act or display that he might appear unto others as a “man of God.” The Summoner is much the same. When he is drunks, he babbles relentlessly of common Latin phrases that he had memorized from the Church services(ll. 655-659). The Summoner has been referred to be “as hot and lecherous as a sparrow(l. 640),” giving new meaning to the purpose of many great evangelists’ falling out from the ministry. Their reasons are those of lust and adultery. Both are deceivers of men in that they appear to be to many as being righteous men. It is only on the inside that reveals the evidence of deception. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”
A tree can be determined by the fruit that it bears. The Parson, according to Chaucer, is that tree of which bears much fruit. Much the same can be spoken about the pastor of the church of which I attend, Reverend Wayne Miller. A true man of God, one of righteousness, can be depicted by the fruit that is produced from the love in one’s heart for God. Pastor Miller can physically be drawn from extravagant, wool suit and tie. Suspenders tightly clamped to his matching dress pants. From his balding red hair, to his sparkling dress shoes, Wayne is full fledged, truth conveying minister of the Word of God. Although no physical descriptions apply to the Parson, it would be agreed that, “a good name would be rather to be chosen than great riches.” The Parson’s words could instigate thoughts of greatness: “If gold rusts, what then will iron do?(l. 510)” Bible practicing Christians are they both, for it can be accounted for that they practice what they preach, before they preach it(l. 507). The Parson is an educated man, but financially, he is poor. Pastor Miller is also an educated, but considers his wealth to be based on how close he can procure to God’s heart. Chaucer speaks of the Parson as an example to those he has taught and in his own words, “I think there never was a better priest (l. 534)” The praises and exaltations Pastor Miller has received, and also, how he has been acclaimed from every member, it can be pondered upon how much more praises would Chaucer conclude to this great Parson. Their response to such praises could conclude: “I do it all for the glory of God.”
Looking back, the changes can be seen in society, technology, as well as in general thought. However, the personalities are being relived time and time again. The style of clothing fades with each passing era, but the intensity of thought and personality combined, will regenerate in some individual with each passing generation.