Biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, Father of English Literature

Geoffrey Chaucer was a famous English poet, prose writer, and philosopher. He opened new doors in the world

of literary influences in the English language. Geoffrey Chaucer is usually remembered as England’s foremost poet and the Canterbury Storyteller.

Geoffrey Chaucer’s birth name was Geoffrey Chaucer and the historical year of his birth is 1343. He was born in Austerton, near London. Much of Chaucer’s life is known through his literary works. His writings are based on poetry, prose, historical stories, and philosophical themes. His most famous work is “The Canterbury Tales” which is among his greatest achievements. His literary work marks a new stage in the greatness of the English language. His literary influence gave a new direction to English oral literature.

Though nothing is known about Chaucer’s early years, it is thought that he attended St. Paul’s Cathedral School, possibly for his excellent education. His exposure to Latin, French, and Italian literature throughout his studies had a significant impact on his subsequent works.
In 1357, Chaucer made his first known public appearance as a page for Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster, a married woman of King Edward III’s son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence. Later on in his career, this royal family link would be advantageous.

Chaucer enlisted in the English army in 1359 to fight in the Hundred Years’ War, but the French seized him. After being ransomed, he was finally sent back to England. His wartime experiences probably had an impact on his subsequent writings, including “The Canterbury Tales.”
Chaucer’s career at the royal court was thriving. He worked as a clerk of the king’s works, a justice of the peace, and an officer in customs. He was able to travel all throughout Europe and maintain financial stability thanks to these employment.

Chaucer’s oeuvre include not just “The Canterbury Tales,” but also “Troilus and Criseyde,” a protracted narrative poem inspired by the Trojan War, and “The Book of the Duchess,” an elegy composed in memory of John of Gaunt’s late wife, Blanche of Lancaster.
Chaucer left behind a vast literary legacy. Not only did his writings influence the evolution of the English language, but they also had a lasting impact on succeeding generations of authors. After his away on October 25, 1400, he was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey. Chaucer is regarded as one of the best poets of the English language today, and his writings are still studied and appreciated all over the world.

Major Works of Geoffery Chaucer

Chaucer’s writing style was affected by the various cultures, languages, and literary traditions he encountered while traveling. Italian literature, in notably the writings of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, had a unique impact on him.

1.The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales:

Chaucer wrote “The Canterbury Tales,” his most well-known work, in the latter half of the fourteenth century. It is a compilation of tales narrated by pilgrims on route to Canterbury Cathedral, the shrine of Thomas Becket. Love, morality, and social satire are just a few of the many themes and issues that are covered in these Middle English-language stories. Among the best pieces of English literature, “The Canterbury Tales” offers insightful perspectives into medieval civilization.

2. Troilus and Criseyde:

Chaucer’s longest and most comprehensive work, it was written in the middle of the 1380s. The sad love tale of Trojan prince Troilus and Trojan noblewoman Criseyde is the subject of this narrative poetry. The poem draws inspiration from ancient sources, especially Boccaccio’s “Il Filostrato,” but Chaucer gives the characters and their feelings more nuance and depth.
3. The Book of the Duchess: Written in the late 1370s or early 1380s, Chaucer’s elegy laments the passing of Blanche, the Duchess of Lancaster and the spouse of Gaunt, a patron of his. The poem displays Chaucer’s deft use of imagery and metaphor while examining issues of loss, comfort, and the essence of love.

4. The Parliament of Fowls:

This poem, which dates to circa 1380, is an allegorical dream vision in which the narrator finds himself in a lovely garden on St. Valentine’s Day, when birds congregate to select their lovers. The poem has aspects of political satire as it tackles issues of love, desire, and the nature of romantic relationships.

5. The House of Fame:

Composed in the late 1370s or early 1380s, this poem is another example of a dream vision in which the narrator is taken to a glass palace and sees firsthand how gossip and fame operate. The poem demonstrates Chaucer’s command of poetic form and language while examining topics of notoriety, reputation, and the essence of truth.

Though they only make up a small percentage of Chaucer’s total body of work, these pieces are some of his most important and enduring contributions to English literature. Chaucer is still regarded as one of the finest poets in the history of the English language because of his astute observations of human nature, his command of language and form, and his investigation of timeless subjects.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top