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Geoffrey Chaucer

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on 16 October 2015

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Transcript of Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales and the Pilgrimage
Chaucer uses the pilgrimage to frame his tale
Chaucer and Royalty
The characters in the The Canterbury Tales are all on trip to the Cathedral of Canterbury
First great poet of England
Geoffrey Chaucer
Written by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
Son of a wine merchant
About: Geoffrey Chaucer
Born in London in 1118
Studied Law
Thomas Becket
Theobald - Archbishop, most powerful man of the Church
Henry 2nd & Thomas Becket
After his appointment to Chancellor - King Henry II and Thomas Becket become close
Structure of Canterbury Tales
Translated from Middle English
Iambic Pentameter
Characters in the Canterbury Tales
Knight
Squire
Yeoman (servant)
Prioress
[Nun]
[Nun's Priest]
Monk
Friar
Merchant
Clerk
Sergeant of Law
Franklin
[Five Guildsmen]
Cook
Shipman
Doctor
Wife of Bath
Parson
Plowman
Manciple
Reeve
Summoner
Pardoner
What is a Social Commentary?
Allegory- form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

How could an allegory make a comment about society?
What is a pilgrim?
Someone who travels to a holy place
Pilgrim:
King Henry II walks the pilgrimage to Canterbury to atone for his sin
Thomas Becket becomes a Saint (Saint Thomas of Canterbury)
Thomas Becket is murdered in the Cathedral
Their friendship ends with a feud
This leads to conflict over the role of King vs. Church
Thomas Becket becomes the next archbishop of Canterbury (1162 -1170)
Chaucer is 2 centuries before Shakespeare
Uses plot techniques and literary devices that Shakespeare uses later on
Sets the stage for Shakespeare
Middle English
Writes in the native tongue (not French)
Poets Corner (other writers get buried near him in tribute)
We do not actually know much about him
Buried at Westminster Abbey
Famous author
His father positions him well at early on in life to have successful employment
Works as a page then later a valet at a royal household
Made Famous by Thomas Becket
All on a pilgrimage to Canterbury
30 Travelers meet by chance
Tabard Inn
Setting is outside for London approximately 70 miles from Canterbury, England (their final destination)
Fictional
This the most important church in all of England
Assigned to work at the Canterbury Cathedral
Theobald suggests Becket
Asks Theobald for a recommendation for a chancellor
Henry II is King of England in 1154
Chaucer worked for the royal family under King Richard II
Chaucer had his own problems with the royalty of his own era
Popular pilgrimage to make
Dies approximately 1400
Each tale is connected to one another but we are unsure of the actual order of the tales
He only writes about 20 tales
He never finishes it
This is his most famous book
Translated for content only
Lost rhyme and poetic nature
Later used by William Shakespeare
He was the first author to be so committed to the structure and it became the "Gold Standard" for English poetry
Chaucer was not the first writer to use this but he uses it almost exclusively
Alternates Unstressed and Stressed syllables
10 Syllables per line
Rhyme Scheme - rhyming couplets
Structure:

1343(ish)
Full transcript