Aug - 3 - 2012

The French period: Chaucer's earliest poems were written in imitation of the French romances. Chaucer spoke French well and was fond of French poetry. It had taught him rhyme and rhythm. He liked the metric principle of French verse. He translated from French a famous allegorical poem of the 13th century, "The Romance of the Rose".

The Italian period: The second period of Chaucer's writings was that of the Italian influence. To this period belong the following poems: "The House of Fame", "The Parliament of Birds", and "The Legend of Wood Women". Chaucer was well read in the old Roman authors. Italian literature taught him the meaning of national literature. Chaucer is so justly called the last writer of the Middle ages and the first of the Renaissance.

The English period: the third period of Chaucer's creative work begins from the year 1384 when he left behind the Italian influence and became entirely English. It was at this time that he wrote his masterpiece, the "Canterbury Tales".

The "Canterbury Tales" are a series of stories written in verse. The framework which serves to connect them is a pilgrimage to Canterbury. The pilgrims agree to tell stories to shorten a tiresome for-days' trip. The distance from London to Canterbury is 60 miles, but in those days there was no straight road to go by.

Pilgrimages of every kind were extremely common in Chaucer's time. Such journeys were no doubt very valuable as a means to break up the monotony of life in days when there were no newspapers and no printed books nor any theatres. Many people looked forward to them as to pleasant holiday excursions. As you know, spring is the best season of the year in the British Isles, And no wonder April and May were the months for these pilgrimages. [12]

The most famous English pilgrimage was to Canterbury. Second to Canterbury was the town of Chester where people could see Bible stories performed in the churches. Pilgrimage towns were crowded with inns and churches. Bells were constantly ringing. Some churches had relics and people believed these had the miraculous power to cure diseases which physicians could not cure. Other people were attracted by the beautiful monuments.

Chaucer may have had the idea of a collection of stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron", but he borrowed little more than the initial idea. He keeps the whole poem alive by interspersing the tales themselves with the talk, the quarrels and the opinions of the pilgrims.

The "Canterbury Tales" sum up all types of stories that existed in the Middle Ages; some of these stories were known only in Norman-French before Chaucer. He also used the writings of his near contemporaries as well as the works of the writers of ancient times and distant lands.

Check yourself

1. When and where was Seof f rey Chaucer born?

2. Did he get his education in Oxford or Cambridge?

3. Where did he serve at 17-20?

4. What is to be ransomed?

5. When did Chaucer write his first poem?

6. What are the three periods in Chaucer's writing?

7. What are the "Canterbury Tales"?

8. What is Canterbury famous for?

9. Why were pilgrimages of every kind extremely common in Chaucer's time?

10. What did the 'Canterbury Tales" sum up? [13]


Related posts

  • English Literature Authors and Their Works Lesson Plan
  • Printer Friendly Version Grade Level High School Subject Literature Length of Time 1 hour Description This lesson is on English Literature Authors. It is a worksheet where students have to match the authors to the short story or book they wrote.
  • GEOFFREY CHAUCER 1340-1400
  • Modern poetry begins with Geoffrey Chaucer, a diplomat, a soldier, a scholar. He was a bourgeois who understood the court and had a keen eye for the ordinary man, and he was a reader who had studied most of literature
  • LITERATURE OF THE MIDDLE AGES
  • The enormous period of time from the fall of the Rome Empire (V century AD) till the beginning of the bourgeois revolution of the XVIII century is called the Middle Ages. In the history of literature and art of West Europe
  • This “Scary Story” lesson plan would be perfect around Halloween
  • Subject: Language Arts Grade: 12 Title - Scary Stories By - Dawn Pawlowski Primary Subject - Language Arts Grade Level - 6-12 Objectives: Students will… Utilize listening skills Identify scary story formula (what makes a scary story scary) Tell his/her own scary story Materials: Flashlight Suggested book list: Scary Stories to Tell
  • EDGAR ALLAN POE
  • Edgar Allan Рое was born in Boston. His mother, itinerant actress, died in 1811, and the boy was adopted by John Allan, a wealthy merchant. From 1815 to 1820 the Allans Jived in England, and the boy attended school there. When
  • ERNEST HEMINGWAY
  • Ernest Hemingway was one of the greatest American writers of his age. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in the family of a doctor. His father was fond of hunting and fishing and in his school days Ernest became
  • This lesson is on AP Spanish Literature
  • Subjects: Language Arts, Other Language Arts AP. Spanish Literature by Yolanda Morales OBJECTIVE: STUDENTS WILL CREATE A SPANISH LITERATURE BOOK TO BETTER UNDERSTAND STORIES TAUGHT IN AP. SPANISH LITERATURE COURSE. THE AUTHORS OF THE STORIES THEY WILL DEPICT IN A CONSTRUCTION
  • RSS
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Youtube
  • advertisement