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Hello ladies and gents, and welcome to this unit, "Telling Tales" by Patience Agbabi.

Today's lesson is on place in literature.

In this lesson, we're going to focus on the pilgrim's journey to Canterbury in both "Telling Tales" and "The Canterbury Tales".

For this lesson, you'll need a pen, a piece of paper, and you need to make sure that you clear away any distractions for the lesson today.

Make sure you turn off the notifications on this device so you're not distracted while watching the video.

As always, I'm going to disappear so we can appreciate the video in full.

So let's get started.

In this lesson, you will learn how "Telling Tales" is structured around place.

You'll also focus on why place is so important in "Telling Tales" and "The Canterbury Tales." Firstly, we're just going to consider how important storytelling is within our world.

Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do.

Think about when you're sat in the car, and some thing's happened during your day that might have frustrated you.

Something might've made you really happy.

You might be really excited about something.

The way that you tell the story to your audience, be that your mom, your dad, nan, granddad, or carers, you do many things to put your story across to them.

You change your voice.

You add pace if you're excited.

You speak clearly when you want to get your point across.

You add multiple layers and side stories to try and emphasise your points.

You might start at the beginning, you might start at the end.

So even just by telling about something that happened in your day, you're already telling a story.

Now, just because it might be written down on paper, doesn't mean that storytelling is any different.

For many writers, everything they do is purposeful for their audience.

Nothing just happens by accident.

So, for "Telling Tales" and "The Canterbury Tales", everything that the writer does for both of those poems is done on purpose.

We're just going to have a quick catch up on the knowledge that we need for today.

So, "The Canterbury Tales".

"The Canterbury Tales" is an epic poem, written by Chaucer, about some pilgrims sharing stories while going on a journey towards Canterbury.

"Telling Tales" focuses on "The Canterbury Tales" but re-voices the original story.

"Telling Tales" transports "The Canterbury Tales" into the 21st century.

It uses slang, text talk, and it changes the topics into modern topics that we can all relate to.

Then we have our character, Harry "Bells" Bailey.

He is from "Telling Tales" and he is our host during the pilgrimage.

He is the one who suggests that the pilgrims should share stories.

He is the real MC, the master of ceremonies.

He aids our travelling towards Canterbury.

He allows the process to run smoothly.

Then we have the key word of "prologue".

A prologue is an introduction to a poem, book, film, play.

It provides context, such as setting or character, and it prepares the reader for what will happen throughout the text.

For today's lesson, we need to learn a new word.

The new word is structure.

You would have heard structure used before.

The structure is how a text has been put together by a writer.

Everything is done for a purpose.

Again, nothing is an accident.

Structure is how a text has been put together by a writer.

What is it called when a writer puts their texts together in a specific way? Well that's called the structure.

In a moment, you are going to pause the video and you're going to write down the definition of structure on your piece of paper.

Make sure you fill in the words as you go.

You can pause the video in three, two, one.

So by now, you should have paused the video and filled in the missing words for this definition.

I'll fill them in as we go.

Check your answers and give yourself a tick if you got them correct.

Structure is how a text has been put together by a writer.

Everything is done for a purpose.

So the writer does everything for a purpose.

So you should have written "writer" and "purpose".

Give yourself a tick if you've managed to remember those.

In "The Canterbury Tales" and in "Telling Tales", both sets of pilgrims are on a pilgrimage, so, a journey to a sacred place, in order to travel towards Canterbury.

Both sets of pilgrims are going to Canterbury in order to attend Canterbury Cathedral.

They're going to Canterbury Cathedral in order to pay their respects to Thomas Beckett.

Now, Thomas Beckett was an archbishop.

An archbishop is similar to a priest.

Now, Thomas Beckett, in 1170, was brutally murdered at the cathedral.

As a result, the cathedral became more and more popular, with pilgrims wanting to attend to pay their respects.

However, it's significant to know, that by going on a pilgrimage, the pilgrims were able to take a day off work and essentially go on a mini holiday.

So in some cases, that pilgrims, especially "The Canterbury Tales" and "Telling Tales", seem to be enjoying themselves on their journey towards Canterbury.

However, the reason they are going is to pay their respect to Thomas Beckett, who was brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

Now we're just going to recap the plot of "The Canterbury Tales".

"The Canterbury Tales" begins with a general prologue.

Remember, a prologue is the introduction to our poem.

This tells us that it is April and our unnamed narrator is attending the Tabard Inn.

The narrator is thought to actually be Geoffrey Chaucer in his own poem.

The narrator is also heading to Canterbury when he meets a group of pilgrims. These pilgrims welcome him into the group.

The narrator in turn describes each pilgrim to the audience.

The host, Harry Bailly, B-A-I-L-L-Y, suggests a storytelling game in order for the pilgrims to entertain themselves on their journey towards Canterbury.

Remember, in "The Canterbury Tales", written by Geoffrey Chaucer, the pilgrims are walking to Canterbury.

The host decides to go along with them in order to make sure that the story telling game is well structured, well organised, and he wants to join in the fun.

The next day, the host is extremely excited and he goes round and he awakes all of the pilgrims. And when they begin, they all draw straws in order to decide who tells the first story.

The Knight begins the tale telling.

Then, one by one, we hear a tale from each Pilgrim.

Along the way, various places of interest are mentioned to us.

Within "Telling Tales", by Patience Agbabi, we are given a similar structure.

I'm just going to talk through the similarities of structure.

Within the prologue of "Telling Tales" we are too introduce to our host, Harry Bells Bailey.


So we have a very similar host.

Harry Bailey calls himself the MC, the master of ceremonies.

And he too takes control of the pilgrims. He too suggests that the pilgrims tell stories.

This time, the tales are a remix of the original tales told in "The Canterbury Tales".

This time it is likely that the pilgrims are not in the Tabard Inn.

Instead, they are boarding a bus outside of the Tabard Inn.

So still, we have the same starting location.

We have the same host.

We have the same suggestion of sharing tales.

We are based in the same month.

Harry Bells Bailey informs us that is too is April.

He personifies April as his mistress and says that this is where he gets his inspiration, similar to where Chaucer's narrator gained his inspiration.

Onboard the Routemaster bus, from the Tabard Inn to Canterbury Cathedral, the poet pilgrims began remixing the Chaucer tales.

In addition, we start with Robert Knightley, who is inspired by the Knight.

Here, we can see some structural similarities.

In both poems, the journey towards Canterbury can be mapped.

Even today, in 2020, people still walk the trail from the Tabard Inn to Canterbury Cathedral.

They call it the pilgrims walk.

This is because Chaucer inspired people to also walk the same route the pilgrims did.

It is also likely that people still share stories along their way.

In both texts, we begin in London at the Tabard Inn.

Within the "Telling Tales" book, each location is signposted for us at the beginning of each mini-section.

Firstly, we begin at Old Kent Road.

Then, we move to Shooter's Hill.

We go to Dartford.

We go to Stone.

Then we move on to Gravesend.

To Strewed.

To Rochester.

To Sittingbourne.

To Harbledown.

And then finally, to Canterbury.

Each time that there is a signpost, Agbabi then provides us with new tales.

It is as though she has signposted to provide us with sections of where the tales would have been told.

For example, between old Kent Road and Shooter's Hill, we are told four tales.

Between Shooter's Hill and Dartford, we can only squeeze in two tales.

Between each signpost is where we are told our tales.

Without asking Agbabi herself why she did this, it's likely to be signposting where the bus stops are along the journey.

Remember, the Routemaster bus must make some stops for those aboard the bus.

Here, the pilgrims tell these stories in between each bus stop.

By signposting in the way she does, Agbabi makes her text appear more authentic.

We believe that these pilgrims are going on a journey, that they are sharing stories between them.

And this is exciting.

The idea that a group of absolute strangers are willing to share stories in order to entertain each other on this very long journey.

So why is place so important? Well place is important within texts as it provides a structure to our stories.

We have three main reasons why place is important.

Number one, place provides structure to the journey.

So within both "The Canterbury Tales" and "Telling Tales", place provides structure to the journey.

By following each place, we then follow the journey along towards Canterbury.

In addition to this, it marks progress for the reader.

As we read through each tale, it reminds us that these pilgrims are going on a journey.

For the length, especially in "The Canterbury Tales", the length of the tales would actually cause us to sometimes forget why the pilgrim is telling this story.

It makes us forget that actually, there's lots of pilgrims going on this journey.

Without signposting and flagging to the reader that, oh, the pilgrims have just passed this place, if that didn't happen, then there would be no structure and we would quite easily forget that the pilgrims actually started their journey and need to end somewhere.

Number two.

Place is important as it provides visualisation for us.

Now what I mean is, by mentioning the places along the journey, Chaucer, and Agbabi, allow us to visualise, in our minds, the journey along the way.

We go with the pilgrims on their journey, we listen to their tales, and sometimes a place is mentioned as they pass through or pass by on their journey towards Canterbury.

This makes their stories authentic.

We believe that these pilgrims are going on a journey.

By passing through towns, or areas, by passing a signpost, the reader and audience are then aware that this is a real text.

The places that are mentioned are not made up.

They are not fictional.

These places are real.

And therefore, we become more invested in the story.

Number three.

Place provides an anchor within "Telling Tales" and "The Canterbury Tales".

It's very easy to become confused and it's easy to forget where the pilgrims are actually heading to.

You become so invested in each pilgrim story that the anchor of place brings us back to the idea that these pilgrims are travelling to a sacred place, for religious reasons, in order to visit Canterbury Cathedral.

So, place is important because it provides structure, and it marks our progress throughout the text, it allows us to visualise the story, and make it authentic in our minds.

We believe that these pilgrims are going on a journey.

It also provides an anchor so we are able to follow the journey and follow the tales along the way.

In a moment, you're going to pause the video and complete the task on the next slide.

Here you have three questions to answer on your sheets of paper for today's lesson.

Make sure you write in full sentences and concentrate on making sure your capital letters are relevant for place or persons.

Question one.

Why do both poets include place in their poems? Question two.

How does including place help the reader? Question three.

Why did the pilgrims travel to Canterbury? You can pause the video in three, two, one.

So by now you should have paused the video and answered those questions on your sheets.

We're going to go through some answers now.

Do not worry if your wording is slightly different to mine.

Question one.

Why do both poets include place in their poems? Both poets include place within their poems because it makes the story more authentic.

Don't worry if you said something different.

You could have said, because it makes this story have more structure.

You could have said, because it makes the story clear in progress.

Question two.

How does including place help the reader? Including place helps the reader to remember that the pilgrims are on a journey.

That's a perfect example of why place helps the reader.

Question three.

Why did the pilgrims travel to Canterbury? The pilgrims travelled to Canterbury because they wanted to visit Canterbury Cathedral, where Thomas Beckett died.

If you can remember the year that Thomas Beckett died, add that to the end of your answer.

I'll give you three seconds to do that.

One, two, three.

The year it was was 1170.

Well done if you managed to remember that it was 1170.

Thank you for your hard work today.

You have done extremely well and you've worked really hard.

Next lesson, we should be looking at the Knight's Tale, which is our smaller narrative that feeds into our larger narrative of "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer.

I hope you can join me on the journey towards Canterbury then.