Geoffrey Chaucer: The Founder of Our Language


The outstanding english poet Geoffrey
Chaucer, renown before shakespeare, is considered
the first finder of our english language. His Canterbury Tales ranks as one of the
greatest public works English literature. Renowned author, Chauser also contributed
importantly the second half of the fourteenth century to the management of public affairs as a
courtier, diplomat and civil servant. In a career that spanned three
successive kings Chaucer was praised and trusted. But it is his advocation, the writing of poetry, for which he is remembered. Geoffrey Chaucer was born around
1342, likely in London. His family name derives from the french
“Chaucier”, meaning shoemaker, though Chaucer’s father was a wine merchant. Chaucer’s his first appearance in historic
records is in 1357 as a member of the household of Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster, Wife of Lyonel
third son of King Edward III. Geoffery’s father presumably have been
able to place him among a group of young men and women serving in that royal household: a customary arrangement whereby families
provide their children with opportunity necessary and for courtly education and
connections to advance their careers. especially since Chaucer reportedly had
sixteen siblings, this was going to excel him in society. Though this ment Chaucer had to leave his
family when work is a page in service to a knight. He was only fifteen years old. bu age seventeen, Chaucer was a member of King Edward III’s
army in France, and was even captured during the unsuccessful siege
of Rhymes. The king himself contributed to Chaucer’s
ransom to save him in order to returned him to his
majesty’s service. Chaucer surfaces again in historic record
on February 22, 1366, when the King of Navare issued a certificate of safe conduct for Chaucer three companions and their servants to enter the country Spain. This occasion is the first of a number of
diplomatic missions to the continent of Europe over the succeeding ten years. At the age of t25, Chaucer had moved from a household servant, a soldier, to that of a trusted diplomat. So much responsibility and activity in public matters appears to have left Chaucer with little time
for writing. However, his time traveling did expose
Chaucer to the works of Dante, Partouche, and Boccaccio. Which was later to the profound
influence on his own writing. No information exists concerning Chaucer’s
early education, although doubtless he would have been
fluent in French, as was the Middle English of the time, he also became competent in Latin
and Italian. His rank showed that he is closely familiar
with many important books this time. In1366, Chaucer had married his
longtime friend, Filippa Pann, a lady-in-waiting to the queen of England,
and continued his work for his Majesty as a diplomat. With Chaucer’s career prospering, and his first
important poem, Book of the Duchess, becoming popular, Chaucer continued to connect to himself
with persons in high places. This first poem was more than thirteen hundred lines long, probably written in late 1369 or early 1370, it was written for the funeral of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, Wife of John of Gaunt – who died of plagued in September, 1369. John of Gaunt was Chaucer’s his best friend. “Lord, but my heart is maketh light, when I think on that sweetest right, a commonly one to see and wish to God it might so be that she would hold me for her knight, my Lady fair and bright.” When RIchard II ascended the throne, Chaucer
was appointed Clerk of the King’s Work. His pay raises more than thirty pounds a
year and a pitcher of the wine daily. He became responsible for the construction
at Westminster, the Tower of London, and several castles and manors, but times were still hard for Chaucer. It is during this same time that Chaucer was
caught up in illegal scandal. The charges were dropped an Chaucer was found not guilty. But regardless, Chaucer’s place in society great
changed. He resigned, or was removed, it is not
clear, but Chaucer left the court and moved to Kent: after which is wife, Philippa died due to poor health, leaving Chaucer with two sons and two daughters. Between the years of 1387 and 1400, Chaucer devoted much of his time writing
his most famous work, Canterbury Tales. The humor of the work is sometimes very
subtle but is often broad and outspoken when
compared to other works written at the same time. Chaucer’s original plan for the Canterbury
Tales called for two tales each through over twenty pilgrims making the
journey from Southport England to the Shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett of
Canterbury England. He later modified the plan to write only
one tale for each pilgram on the road to
Canterbury, but he only finished twenty-four tales
out of the one hundred and twenty stories it is believed he had been planning. Chaucer introduces each of these pilgrims
as vivid, brief sketches, a lively mix of a variety of genres told by the travelers of all
aspects of society. The tale survives in groups connected by a
prologues, or introductions, and epilogues, conclusions. But the proper arrangement of these
groups is not altogether clear. At this time in Medieval England, literature was separated into very distinct styles, focused more on audience – the lower middle, and upper classes – than its characters. Chaucer, however, moves freely between
all of these styles showing favoritism to none. He not only considers the reader of his
work as his intended audience, but the other pilgrims within the story as
well, creating a multi-layer rhetorical puzzle of ambiguities. Chaucer’s work thus far surpasses the
ability of any single Medieval theory to
uncover. Chaucer avoid targeting any specific
audience or social class of reader, focusing instead on the characters of the story. The characters are written with a skill proportional to their
social status and learning. Chaucer draws on his own unique
background, knowledge, literary influences, and life experiences. The characters are all divided into
three distinct classes. The classes begin with those who prayed, the clergy, the highest of all of the classes in
Medieval England, Those who fight, the nobility, and those who work, the
communist and the peasantry. Chaucer also breathes new life into his
female characters, giving them, for a first time, a voice as narrator. Until now, Medieval literature only classified
women as wives, virgins, and prostitutes. They were never given a primary role in
a story. When Henry IV takes the throne Chaucer hoped to find a new job under
a new king. And while Chaucer’s reputation for loyalty
earned him a small pension Chaucer went months without pay and was near penniless. Nevertheless, on the strength of his
expectations, on the fourth of December 1399 he released a tenement in the garden St. Mary’s Chapel at Westminster, and it is probably hear and that he died
on the 25 of the following October. He was buried in Westminster Abbey
and his tomb a nucleus of what is now known as Poet’s Corner. It is unclear how he died, and some have even speculated that he may
have been murdered. Little is known about this great man’s end. Even with such a unique and varied life, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales praises the poet as the greatest
English Poet of all time, and the first to truly show what the language was capable of becoming. His work has influenced all to come after him. The work of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and even author JK Rowling credits
Chaucer as a strong influence. A very modest plaque was placed at
Geoffery Chaucer’s tomb when he died; however, one hundred and fifty years
later, in 1556, as a testament to his great poetic works, poet Nicholas Burnham constructed a more magnificent tomb in honor of the father and finder of our English language. Today Chaucer’s tomb still stands and
hundreds of visitors pay him homage each day. His works in his unconventional creativity
in the fourteenth century credit him with not only found in the English
language for capturing the voice of kings and
commoners alike.

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