> English, the other performed in the original Middle English.
> Why would they have done that if the two versions were so
> similar? I've seen the Middle English version. It didn't
> sound much like "modern American English" to me.
They probably started out by making the mistake of believing Chaucer's langauge was far removed form ours and that bizarre spelling entails bizarre pronunciation.
They do the same with Shakespeare. As if it wasn't convoluted and poetic enough already, "classic" Shakespearian acting over-dramatises everything and loses any sense of meter or inflection that would give away the underlying normality of the English.
Since I got all the words you highlighted in the thread above [with the possible exception of "hende" and the definite exception of gleed (although I could have looked it up in the dictionary). Even stree = straw came to me later on.] and I had not read any Chaucer before yestereday, I think the case is pretty well proven that he spoke (wrote) near enough plain English.