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The “Skinny” on Geoffrey Chaucer. 1343-1400 (approx). Bridged Medieval and Renaissance periods Traveled extensively in Italy; exposed to continental poetry Considered the Father of English poetry First “modern” author. Historical-Cultural Context. The Three Estates:

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The skinny on geoffrey chaucer

The “Skinny” on Geoffrey Chaucer


1343 1400 approx
1343-1400 (approx)

  • Bridged Medieval and Renaissance periods

  • Traveled extensively in Italy; exposed to continental poetry

  • Considered the Father of English poetry

  • First “modern” author


Historical cultural context
Historical-Cultural Context

  • The Three Estates:

    • Estate of Temporal Rulers: King, Prince, Duke (Chivalry)

    • Estate of Spiritual Rulers: Clergy

    • Estate of Providers (Plowmen, for example)


Role of church
Role of Church

  • No secular society as we understand it today

  • Pre-Reformation (no Protestants)

  • Literacy rates low (rote learning, oral tradition, pictures-icons-visuals)

  • Church dominated all aspects of life

  • No sense of separation of church and state


The canterbury tales
The Canterbury Tales

  • Chaucer adopts persona of pilgrim: differentiate between Chaucer the Pilgrim and Chaucer the Poet

  • Chaucer himself slightly noble, if you will; discreet, subtle

  • 30 Pilgrims journey to Canterbury (includes Chaucer and 29 others)



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