Traditionally, members of the House of Commons were commoners and members of the House of Lords were peers, although peers whose only titles are in the Peerage of Ireland have been able to stand for election to the House of Commons for centuries. Since the House of Lords Act 1999, which excluded most hereditary peers from the House of Lords, most hereditary peers can now stand for election to the House of Commons. For example, the 13th Marquess of Lothian (aka Michael Ancram), the 3rd Viscount Thurso (aka John Thurso) and the 3rd Viscount Hailsham (aka Douglas Hogg) are currently members of the House of Commons.
The General Prologue introduces "social organization" , which Chaucer demonstrates when depicting the Knight, Parson, and Ploughman to exemplify the most noble character from each estate. These three characters are chosen to "seem as governing ideals" . Each character has a certain role in society, and with their ideal moral lifestyles, they represent the most virtuous of the estates in which they belong. It is apparent that Medieval society values that class system as the main categories of hierarchical society. the set social division is evident, and with all three estates, the General Prologue examines the good and bad people in society. Chaucer's "representatives of the three estates are moral and social exemplars; the Knight, the Parson, and the Ploughman all strive but they do it selflessly rather than competitively".
Commoners can easily be forgotten for they are depicted as the lowest class in society. The ploughman, a commoner is a simple man, who is true to his faith, and pays his taxes on time. Commoners act as workers, who are clearly deriving their livelihood from land. They are defined by their manual labor, and have no other purpose but to feed the general population.