The life history of geoffrey chaucer and his canterbury tales and wife of bath novels

Origins[ edit ] Chaucer as a pilgrim from the Ellesmere manuscript Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London sometime aroundthough the precise date and location of his birth remain unknown. His father and grandfather were both London vintners ; several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich. His family name derives from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". Career[ edit ] While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poetare practically non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.

The life history of geoffrey chaucer and his canterbury tales and wife of bath novels

Recording in reconstructed Middle English pronunciation Problems playing this file? Chaucer wrote in late Middle English, which has clear differences from Modern English.

From philological research, we know certain facts about the pronunciation of English during the time of Chaucer. In some cases, vowel letters in Middle English were pronounced very differently from Modern English, because the Great Vowel Shift had not yet happened.

The life history of geoffrey chaucer and his canterbury tales and wife of bath novels

It is obvious, however, that Chaucer borrowed portions, sometimes very large portions, of his stories from earlier stories, and that his work was influenced by the general state of the literary world in which he lived.

Storytelling was the main entertainment in England at the time, and storytelling contests had been around for hundreds of years. In 14th-century England the English Pui was a group with an appointed leader who would judge the songs of the group.

The winner received a crown and, as with the winner of The Canterbury Tales, a free dinner.

The life history of geoffrey chaucer and his canterbury tales and wife of bath novels

It was common for pilgrims on a pilgrimage to have a chosen "master of ceremonies" to guide them and organise the journey. Like the Tales, it features a number of narrators who tell stories along a journey they have undertaken to flee from the Black Death.

A quarter of the tales in The Canterbury Tales parallel a tale in the Decameron, although most of them have closer parallels in other stories. Some scholars thus find it unlikely that Chaucer had a copy of the work on hand, surmising instead that he must have merely read the Decameron at some point, [22] while a new study claims he had a copy of the Decameron and used it extensively as he began work on his own collection.

They include poetry by Ovidthe Bible in one of the many vulgate versions in which it was available at the time the exact one is difficult to determineand the works of Petrarch and Dante. Chaucer was the first author to use the work of these last two, both Italians.

Gower was a known friend to Chaucer.

The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Even in the Decameron, storytellers are encouraged to stick to the theme decided on for the day. The idea of a pilgrimage to get such a diverse collection of people together for literary purposes was also unprecedented, though "the association of pilgrims and storytelling was a familiar one".

In the General Prologue, Chaucer describes not the tales to be told, but the people who will tell them, making it clear that structure will depend on the characters rather than a general theme or moral. This idea is reinforced when the Miller interrupts to tell his tale after the Knight has finished his.

Having the Knight go first gives one the idea that all will tell their stories by class, with the Monk following the Knight. General themes and points of view arise as the characters tell their tales, which are responded to by other characters in their own tales, sometimes after a long lapse in which the theme has not been addressed.

His writing of the story seems focused primarily on the stories being told, and not on the pilgrimage itself. Medieval schools of rhetoric at the time encouraged such diversity, dividing literature as Virgil suggests into high, middle, and low styles as measured by the density of rhetorical forms and vocabulary.

Another popular method of division came from St. Augustinewho focused more on audience response and less on subject matter a Virgilian concern.

Who was Chaucer? | Books | The Guardian

Augustine divided literature into "majestic persuades", "temperate pleases", and "subdued teaches". Writers were encouraged to write in a way that kept in mind the speaker, subject, audience, purpose, manner, and occasion.

Chaucer moves freely between all of these styles, showing favouritism to none. However, even the lowest characters, such as the Miller, show surprising rhetorical ability, although their subject matter is more lowbrow. Vocabulary also plays an important part, as those of the higher classes refer to a woman as a "lady", while the lower classes use the word "wenche", with no exceptions.

At times the same word will mean entirely different things between classes. It is a decasyllable line, probably borrowed from French and Italian forms, with riding rhyme and, occasionally, a caesura in the middle of a line.

His meter would later develop into the heroic meter of the 15th and 16th centuries and is an ancestor of iambic pentameter. The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, although it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, it was the subject of heavy controversy.

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Lollardyan early English religious movement led by John Wycliffeis mentioned in the Tales, which also mention a specific incident involving pardoners sellers of indulgenceswhich were believed to relieve the temporal punishment due for sins that were already forgiven in the Sacrament of Confession who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St.

Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention that allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England.

Many of his close friends were executed and he himself moved to Kent to get away from events in London. It is unclear whether Chaucer would intend for the reader to link his characters with actual persons.

Instead, it appears that Chaucer creates fictional characters to be general representations of people in such fields of work. With an understanding of medieval society, one can detect subtle satire at work.English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the unfinished work, The Canterbury Tales.

It is considered one of the greatest poetic works in English. The Life and Writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, award-winning Professor Seth Lerer's masterful course on one of Western literature's most enduring poets, is a fascinating look at Chaucer's life, his world, and the language in which he wrote.

The Canterbury Tales - Ebook written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices.

Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer (c. – October 25, ?) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat.

Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury monstermanfilm.commes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the /5(K).

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Apr 04,  · Canterbury Tales The Woman of Bath The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a collection of stories in a frame story, between and It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Thomas Beckett.

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17, lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer.

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: The Life of Chaucer