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Transcript of Geoffrey Chaucer
1343 - 1400 1327 Edward lll crowned king of England 1343 Probable birth of Geoffrey Chaucer Timeline of Chaucer Period 1348 The Black Plaque outbreaks in England 1357 First record of Geoffrey Chaucer; works as a page for Elizabeth de Burgh 1369 Chaucer begins "Book of the Duchess" 1337: The Hundred Years War begins. England and France fight for dominance of Western Europe 1380s Chaucer begins to write "The Canterbury Tales" 1382 The Bible was translated into English by
John Wycliffe 1383 Chaucer signs his first loan; first sign of financial troubles 1386 Chaucer begins work on "The Legend of
Good Women" 1400 October 25 Chaucer dies of unknown causes 1556 Chaucer's remains are moved to a more elaborate
tomb in a different location of Westminster Abbey; first
resident in Poet's Corner reserved for writers Geoffrey Chaucer Biography Geoffrey Chaucer was born to upper-middle class parents, John and Agnes Copton Chaucer, in London around 1343. Chaucer attended St. Paul's Cathedral School, where he got introduced to the writing of Virgil and Ovid In 1357, Chaucer became a page (public servant) to Elizabeth de Burgh where he met his future wife Chaucer left to fight the Hundred Years' War in France in 1359 only being in his teenage years During the war, Chaucer was captured, but fortunately King Edward lll paid his ransom In 1366, Chaucer married Phillipa Roet, which helped further his career in English court King Edward made Chaucer one of his esquires by 1368 and sent him on many diplomatic missions, where he became familiar with Italian poetry When he returned, he and Phillipa were well off With all his diplomatic duties, Chaucer had little time to spend on his true passion, writing poetry Phillipa passed away in 1387 causing him to suffer financial hardship One of the reasons Chaucer is so important in literature is because of his decision to write in English, not French Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" was one of the first major piece of literature to be written in English Chaucer is known as the "father" of modern English Literature. Famous Works The Book of
The Duchess The Canterbury Tales Troilus and Criseyde Earliest of Chaucers major poems Written between 1369 and 1372 Said to have been written at the request of John of Gaunt (Duke of Lancaster and Chaucer's patron) for the death of his wife, Blanche of Lancaster Summary It is the tragic story of Troilus and Criseyde, two lovers from an earlier French poem "Roman de Troie" Regarded as one of Chaucer's finest works a courtly romance Background Summary Written between 1381 and 1386 Chaucer changed it so much that it was essentially new The trojan prince Troilus falls in love with the lady Criseyde With the help of his uncle Pandarus, Troilus wins her love Their love prospers until Criseyde is taken by the Greeks and sent back to their camp, separating her from Troilus While she is at the Greek Camp, Criseyde is courted by Diomedes, a Greek warrior, who convinces her to forget about Troilus and the city of Troy She ends up falling for Diomedes, betraying Troilus, who eventually finds out While laying in bed, The poet reads a story about Ceyx and Alcyone and wanders around in his thoughts. The poet falls asleep & dreams that he wakes up in a beautiful chamber by the sound of hunters and hunting dogs. The poet follows a small hunting dog into the forrest and finds a knight dressed in black who mourns about losing a game of chess The poet asks the knight some questions and realizes at the end of the poem that the knight was talking symbolically instead of literally: the black knight has lost his love and lady. The poet awakes and decides that this wonderful dream should be saved in rhyme. Background Background Overview A story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims on their journey from Southwark to the shrine of saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral The person with the best story wins a meal at the Tabard Inn when they return There are 29 pilgrims Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Munk, Friar, Merchant, Clark, Man of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weever, Dyer, Tapestry Weever, Cook, Shipman, Physician, Wife, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Manciple, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, Host, Second Nun, Priest The Canterbury Tales seem to be unfinished due to the fact that each character did not tell all four of their stories as stated in the Prologue Chaucer used a wide variety of literary sources to write the Tales. The tales range from romance, to comedy, to fable, and end in homily. He served as a justice of the peace and a knight of the shire for the country of Kent His writings were all so diverse probably because of his exposure to so much literature across the continent French was still the fashionable language and literature of the English nobility or upper class The variety of characters is corresponding by the diversity of their tales When Chaucer wrote each of the tales is unknown but he probably wrote some of them early in his life and inserted them into the Canterbury Tales Resources http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chaucerbio.html http://www.shmoop.com/geoffrey-chaucer/timeline.html http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Histengl/emode.html http://www.librarius.com/duchessfs.htm http://www.librarius.com/troicris.htm