When I was a student, I became good friends with the head of English at McGill university, Dr David Williams (d. 2015). He wrote an amazing and influential book called "Deformed Discourse" (I have one of the first signed copies!). We will be taking some of his notes next week.
One of the things that Dr Williams told me, which I have never forgotten, was his answer to a question, "What is the difference between modern people and medieval people?"
His answer: "Medieval people, just like modern people, committed sins. But the difference is, that the medieval person knew he was sinning."
I always think of this when I read Canterbury Tales!