Geoffrey Chaucer isknown is the father ofEnglish literature.Geoffrey Chaucer is thefirst great landmark inEnglish literature. *
*Chaucer was born in London , entered the services of the duchess of Clarence, served abroad as a soldier, was captured and ransomed and then entered the royal services. In succession , he served three kings - *
Chaucer lived in an age which was Epoch-making in religious, social and political planes. The victories of the English army in the continent made Calais an English colony and the nation prosperous . The disasters which came after the victories helped in ripening the English mind. Under these circumstances, Chaucer is the perfect exponent of his age. He has painted with great fidelity, the body and soul of the society of his time. His poetry reflects the14th century not in fragments but as a complete whole. *
He is the most comprehensive soul, andhe takes a full view of the wide andvariegated life of his times. As Compton-rickett remarks: “Chaucer symbolishes , asno other writer does, the middle ages. Hestand in much the same relation to the lifeof his time as pope does to the earlierphases of the eighteenth century, andTennyson to the Victorian Era ; and hisplace in English literature is even moreimportant than theirs………………..
Chaucer is considered the first poet of the middle ages , Like Dante , Chaucer is a bridge between the middle ages and renaissance . If the modern world had begun to assert itself , the medieval world had by no means passed away . Side by side they stood , the old and the new . Chaucer represent them both , He is romantic; He is realistic . He is modern among medieval and a medieval among modern . “He is a child of light not merely of twilight” . *
*The most important thing that Chaucer did for English poetry was to bring a healthy realism to it . He brought poetry to nature or reality . He was the first poet who revealed the truth about life as he saw it . Before him , the writer were dreaming and weaving allegories . He didn’t record the superficial view of the life of his own day . His acquaintance with life was wide and comprehensive.
Because of the catholic mind , he painted life as hesaw it ; and saw it minutely , that his epoch hasbecome a vivid epochs of history comparableeven to the age of Shakespeare .Chaucer was a man of the world , mixing freely with all types of mankind and he used his opportunities to observe the little peculiarities of human nature . He had the sharp eye, retentive memory, the judgment to select , and the capacity to expound. Thus his description is very real and brilliant.
Chaucer is one of the great painter in words. His aim in writing verse, one may say even his sole aim, was poetry for its own sake. He had no wish to influence his contemporaries, nor to reform morals, nor to evolve any system or philosophy. He had set before himself an artistic ideal, and knowing how crude were the attempts of his predecessors, He applied himself heart and soul to its fulfillment. *
Chaucer’s art of story telling has been praised by several critics. He has been called one of the there or four great story teller of the world. He use romance and adventure stories, or chivalric tales, beast fables, stories of saints and examplory stories with a moral. whatever type he chooses, he gives his own touch of genius to it. He transforms the old tales into something unique and fresh. *
**Chaucer is an English humor. It is notthe “wit” of Frenchman. Chaucer’shumor is born of a strong commonsense and a generous sympathy, andthese are the qualities of the greatEnglish humorist like Shakespear andfielding.
*The work of Chaucer areroughly divided into threeclasses, corresponding tothe three periods of hislife. *
** Which was of 30 years, include has youth and manhood in which time he was influenced almost exclusively by French literary models therefore this period is called French period.* In this period he made a translation of THE ROMANCE Of THE ROSE – from the famous very long poem LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE.* BOOK OF DUCHESS (dramatic and emotional power) , written after the death of Blaunche, wife of Chaucer patron, john of gaunt.* Other minor poem of Chaucer are* THE COMPLAINT UNTO PITY,* THE COMPLIANT OF MARS,* QUEEN ANELIDA AND* THE ABC.
* WHICH WAS OF 15 YEARS.* In this period he made his first official visit to Italy; to arrange a commercial treaty with genoa, and from this time is noticeable a rapid development in his literary power and the prominence of Italian literary influence.* The chief work of this period,* TROILUS AND CRESEYDE (8000 line poem),* PALAMON AND ARCITE, known is the KNIGHT’S TALE,* THE HOUSE OF FAME,* DANTE’s DIVINE COMEDY. *
*Chaucer’s master piece “THE CANTERBURY TALES” one of the most famous work in all literature fills the third or English period of his life.*Chaucer succeeded in his purpose so well that in the Canterbury tales, He has given us a picture of Contemprary English life, its work and play, its deeds and dreams, its fun and sympathy, and hearty joy of living, such as no other single work of literature ever * equaled.
*Now even if we consider Chaucer only as a humorist, he was in this very exact sense of great humorist……I mean a humorist in the grand style; a humorist whose broad outlook embraced the world as a whole, and saw even great humanity against a background of great things……..*
*Satire is a frequentweapon of Chaucer, but it is alwaysgentle, seldomsevere, and neversavage. *
* The year in which Chaucer was growing up were a critical period for the English for the English language…..it was surely his abstinence from this folly, not any idea that he had passed judgement in the spirit of philologist on the English of his own day that won for Chaucer, spencer’s praise of him as a “WELL OF ENGLISH UNDEFILED”. *