Geoffrey Chaucer • Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London c. 1343 into a prosperous wine merchant family. • At the age of 16, he took part in a military expedition to France, a part of the Hundred Years War. • He was held prisoner, captured by the French. • The English king and Chaucers friends paid thehttp://telasiado.suite101.com/geoffrey-chaucer-brief-bio-and-works-a131372
Geoffrey Chaucer• In his late 20s, between 1370 and 1387, Chaucer was sent on diplomatic missions throughout Europe.• For this, he gained status and wealth having been granted privileges and incomes by the king.• This was also the period of his greatest creativity as he produced most of his best poetry.
Chaucers Earlier Works of Poetry• During his first trip to Europe, he encountered French Romance literature. It prompted him to translate Romaunt of the Rose.• He wrote The Book of the Duchess and later, The House of Fame.• Before The Canterbury Tales, his best-known work was Troilus and Cressida, a long poem based on a love story told by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio.
Chaucers The Canterbury Tales• Chaucer did not begin The Canterbury Tales, regarded his greatest work, until he was in his early 40s. It was left unfinished when he died. The Canterbury Tales is made up of 24 stories told by a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral.
Chaucers The Canterbury Tales• The rhyming verse is written in what is called "Middle English." It is an old form of the language very different from the English used today.• The stories are thoughtful, humorous, sometime s rude and moralizing. Many of them were told by other writers of the time.• Chaucers versions have been enjoyed for centuries because of the lasting beauty of his poetry and the colorful depictions of his characters.
Geoffrey Chaucer• Geoffrey Chaucer, although considered the greatest of English Medieval poets, was greatly influenced by contemporaneous French and Italian writers.• His poems are remarkable for their narrative sense, humor, and the strength characterization.• He died on October 25, 1400, at the age of c. 57.
Works by Geoffrey Chaucer• The Book of the Duchess, c. 1369• The House of Fame, c. 1374-85• The Parliament of Fowls, c. 1380• Anelida and Arcite, c. 1380• Palamon, 1380-1386• Troilus and Cressida, c. 1385• The Canterbury Tales, c. 1386 onwards• The Legend of Good Women, c. 1387-94• Treatise on the Astrolabe
Language in The Canterbury Tales• The Canterbury Tales is written in Middle English, which bears a close visual resemblance to the English written and spoken today. In contrast, Old English (the language of Beowulf, for example) can be read only in modern translation or by students of Old English.• Students often read The Canterbury Tales in its original language, not only because of the similarity between Chaucer’s Middle English and our own, but because the beauty and humor of the poetry—all of its internal and external rhymes, and the sounds it produces—would be lost in translation.
Language in The Canterbury Tales• The best way for a beginner to approach Middle English is to read it out loud. When the words are pronounced, it is often much easier to recognize what they mean in modern English.• Most Middle English editions of the poem include a short pronunciation guide, which can help the reader to understand the language better.• For particularly difficult words or phrases, most editions also include notes in the margin giving the modern versions of the words, along with a full glossary in the back. Several online Chaucer glossaries exist, as well as a number of printed lexicons of Middle English.