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Geoffrey Chaucer (History Presentation)
Transcript of Geoffrey Chaucer (History Presentation)
by Nitasha Khawaja
The Canterbury Tales
Born between 1340 and 1345 in London, England.
In 1357, Chaucer became a page (a public servant), to Countess Elizabeth of Ulster, who was married to Lionel, the Duke of Clarence and the second surviving son of Edward III.
Not much is known of his life after this.
Known as the Father of English Literature.
Some of most well-known works are:
The Book of the Duchess:
Collection of stories about the pilgrimage of a group of travelers from Southwark to Saint Thomas Becket's shrine at Canterbury Cathedral, participating in a story-telling contest in order to pass the time.
Buried in Westminster Abbey in London.
His family name derives from the French word "chausseur," which means "shoemaker."
His father and grandfather were both London vintners.
Broadly considered to be the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages.
An author, alchemist, astronomer, bureaucrat, courtier, diplomat, and philosopher.
The Book of Duchess
House of Fame
The Legend of Good Women
Parlement of Foules
Troilus and Criseyde
And most importantly, The Canterbury Tales.
South Transept of Westminster Abbey traditionally known as Poet's Corner, because of the good amount of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there.
Remains were moved to a more ornate and decorative tomb, erected by Nicolas Brigham, in 1556.
This made him the first writer interred in the area now called Poet's Corner.
Along with Chaucer, people such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Rudyard Kipling are buried there.
People memorialized include Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Robert Burns, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Shakespeare, Percy Shelley, and Oscar Wilde.
Chaucer’s family was financially secure and of the bourgeois class.
This position brought him into the close-knit court circle.
He worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as for the king.
Captured during The Hundred Years' War during the siege of Rheims in 1360.
Edward III paid £16 as his ransom and he was released.
Assumed to have traveled to France and Spain.
Around this time, married Philippa de Roet.
Started to travel abroad sometime around 1368.
When he visited Italy in 1372 and 1378, he is thought to have come across the works of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.
All three influenced his work greatly.
Known for his use of Middle English in his works.
This is important because at the time French and Latin were the leading languages in England.
Credited also for developing the vernacular, English.
Also known as The Deth of Blaunche.
Earliest of his most major poems.
Evidence suggests Chaucer wrote it as a commemoration for the death of the Blanche of Lanchester, the wife of John of Gaunt.
The Legend of Good Women:
Third longest of Chaucer's poems.
First noteworthy work in English to use the iambic pentameter or decasyllabic couplets. This form of the heroic couplet became the standard form of poetry.
Form of a dream vision.
Troilus and Criseyde:
Re-tells the story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde in Middle English with the Siege of Troy as the background.
Thought of as Chaucer's finest work by many scholars.
Written in Middle English.
Chaucer's magnum opus.
Through his characters, Chaucer portrays the English society under an ironic and analytical light.
Ultimate contribution to English literature.
Use of the vernacular, English.
Not known whether it is complete or not.
No historical record of him in 1400, presumed to have died soon after.
Cause of death not known, some even speculate it to be murder.
Thought to have died on the 25th of October, 1400.