Geoffrey Chaucer Slide


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School Presentation on Geoffrey Chaucer

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  • Insert Medieval Music in the BG for a couple of seconds
  • Geoffrey Chaucer was born in 1343 and died on October 25, 1400. He was born in London England into a family of wine makers and middle class merchants. Growing up, his family ended up sending him to live in a house around royalty with a countess and an earl. At the time, he lived through a period of war, plague, social revolt, with kings murdered. However at the time Chaucer changed literature into a different direction.
  • Chaucer grew up assisting in the service of Lionel Antwerp, the Duke of Clarence and his countess Elizabeth de Burgh in 1357. Lionel was created Earl of Ulster in 1346. Lionel was one of Edward the III’s sons.
  • Chaucer didn’t just assist the Duke of Clarence. He had other jobs that included being a soldier, a diplomat, a member of parliament, and appointed justice of peace. In addition he was an English author.
  • Chaucer fought in the Hundred Years War at age 16 then went to work for John Guant, another one of King Edward the III’s sons.
  • At age 24, Chaucer travelled to places like France, Italy, and Spain. Some journeys abroad he worked as diplomatic and commercial missions for both Edward and his successor Richard II.Chaucer was fluent in French, and knew a bit of Italian and Latin. During the time, he was always fascinated with the literature in each country. While in France Chaucer was able to translate French author, Eustache Deschamps poem Le Roman de la Rose in English. By age 42, he was appointed as Justice of Peace of Kent and elected to Parliament and started writing in September of 1369 at age 27
  • Chaucer’s first major work was the book of duchess written in September of 1369. it was written in memory of Blanchess, Duchess of Lancaster. Blanches was the second daughter of Henry, the first Duke of Lancaster. Chaucer wrote about her after her death because he was assigned to write about her beauty and admirable quality. She was also the first wife of John Guant, the third surviving son of King Henry III of England.
  • About the origin of Troilus and Criseyde:The story of Troilus and Criseyde was first told, in interwoven episodes, in a long French poem of the mid-twelfth century, the Roman de Troie of by Benoît de Sainte-Maure. The historical event underlying this poem was the Trojan war recorded by Homer in his Iliad. Beno&icirct's main sources were classical prose accounts in Latin. Giovanni Boccaccio freely depends on and alters Beno&icirct's material to compose his own poem Il Filostrato in the late 1330s.Il Filostrato is the source of Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer freely changes and alters his sources so much that his poem is essentially new. Troilus and Criseyde was written between 1381 and 1386.The story is about the Trojan prince Troilus, son of Priamus who is king of Troy, who falls in love with a lady called Criseyde. With the help of his friend Pandarus, who is Criseyde's uncle, Troilus wins Criseyde's love. A time of love and prosperity follows, which ends when the Greeks capture the Trojan warrior Antenor. Criseyde and Antenor are exchanged hence Troilus and Criseyde are separated. In the Greek camp Criseyde is courted by the Greek warrior and king Diomedes, who advises her to forget the city of Troy and her lover Troilus. After some hesitation, Criseyde falls for Diomedes and betrays Troilus. Troilus becomes acquainted with and subsequently suffers from the loss of his earthly love. After his death, Troilus learns about eternity and eternal love.he works which he translated or adapted. Now Chaucer does not inform his audience that Troilus and Criseyde (henceforth referred to as Troilus) is an adaptation of a lengthy narrative poem by Boccaccio, Il Filostrato, or that the Knight’s Tale is a radically shortened version of parts of Boccaccio’s Teseida; whereas the narrator of the Clerk’s Tale informs the pilgrims at the start that his tale is adapted from a Latin prose tale by Petrarch (we do not know if Chaucer realized that Petrarch was adapting the final story in Boccaccio’s Decameron).
  • Lady Philosophy who appears in Boethius’ prison cell, consoling him with “true comfort in philosophical inquiry”.While his translation is considered by scholars to be occasionally faulty and awkward, the importance of the Boethius's work on his own and other authors' works is profound.The Consolation of Philosohy appears in his poem Troilus and Crisede and The Knight's Tale in addition it was directly referred to in Dante's Divine Comedy.
  • While such explicit narrative sources are familiar, indirect and hidden influences are less easily recognized amd less often explored. This is particularly true of Chaucer’s echoes of Dante, that are particularly evident at certain points in his rewriting of Boccaccio’s Filostrato as Troilus and Criseyde.who hails him worthily in the "Monkes Tale", and refers his readers to him as "the gretepoete of Itaille that highteDant".and pages 125 – 137 of Barry Windeatt’s 1992 Troilus and Criseyde in the Oxford Guides to Chaucer. In 1998, Winthrop Wetherbee’s essay “Dante and the Poetics of Troilus and Crisede” was included in Critical Essays on Geoffrey Chaucer edited by Thomas C. Stillinger. Windeatt (1992 126‐7) provides a list of over 30 points in Troilus and Criseyde where Chaucer is directly translating from Dante’s Commedia. All the critics agree that Chaucer owes Dante much more than those details.
  • One of chaucers most famous work is the canterbury tales ranked as one of the greatest epic works of world literature. It is about a group of pilgrims of all different social classes who travel on a pilgrimage to Canterbury in search for the shrine of Sir Thomas a Becket.
  • List all parts of the tales
  • The Canterbury tales is a frame story that includes a general prologue and eclectic individual tales. As you can see right here (point to the slide)
  • So here is an attempt to read the first fourteen stanzas of The Clerk’s Tale.1 Ther is, at the west syde of Ytaille,2 Doun at the roote of Vesulus the colde,3 A lusty playne, habundant of vitaille,4 Where many a tour and toun thou maystbiholde5 That founded were in tyme of fadresolde,6 And many another delitablesighte,7 And Saluces this noble contreehighte.8 A markys whilom lord was of that lond,9 As were hise worthy eldreshymbifore,10 And obeisant and redy to his hond11 Were allehiseliges, bothelasse and moore.12 Thus in delit he lyveth, and hath doonyoore,13 Biloved and dradthurghfavour of Fortune,14 Bothe of hiselordes and of his commune.
  • The Clerks Tale
  • Chaucer was the first of English poets to use the iambic pentameter in his work.The iambic pentameter is poetry with 10-syllables of stressed and unstressed pattern that includes a rhyming couplet.The iambic pentameter was first seen in Chaucer’sThe Legend of Good Women.Chaucer also helped standardize the southern accent of the Middle English language. Since there is the Great Vowel Shift, Modern English is slightly different from the way Chaucer wrote which was in Middle English rather than Moddern. Chaucer was the first author to use many common English words with the exception of different irregular spelling of vocabulary
  • Thanks to Chaucer for initiating the first step in reforming the English Language because at the time Most poetry was written in Anglo-Norman or Latin.Many poets after Chaucer passed imitated his works. For example,John Lydgate, one of the earliest imitators, continued the Canterbury Tales. During the Middle Ages it’s thought to believe that literature always needs “justification” therefore writers would either pick up on the writing or imitate it.
  • Rumor has it that Chaucer was murdered. Whether he did or not didn’t change the fact that he was one of the greatest poets in history, way before William Shakespeare. Chaucer died on October 25, 1400 and was buried in WestminsterAbbey, now known as Poet’s Corner. A monument was built for him in 1555.Poet’s Corner, a place where William Shakespeare couldn’t claim.
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