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Author: Geoffrey Chaucer. Serious . Well known poet even before Canterbury Tales Serious writing of the day was in Latin or French; but Chaucer wrote in English, making it respectable once again .

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author geoffrey chaucer
Author: Geoffrey Chaucer

Serious

Well known poet even before Canterbury Tales

Serious writing of the day was in Latin or French; but Chaucer wrote in English, making it respectable once again.

known as the father of english poetry first poet to be buried in poet s corner of westminster abbey
Known as the “Father of English poetry”∙First poet to be buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey
the canterbury tales
The Canterbury Tales
  • A collection of stories united by a “frame story” (an outer story that unites several short stories)
  • Considered a masterpiece though never completed
  • Uses different literature genres popular at the time (romance, poetry, ribaldry & religious stories)
  • Provides a picture of what life and people were like in the Middle Ages
slide5
Written in Middle English in ten-syllable lines of couplets (the poetic qualities are often lost when translating to modern English).
setting
Setting
  • The story begins in April of 1380.
  • This was a common time for pilgrimages (trips made to a shrine or sacred place).
slide7
The Prologue: Introduces and describes 29 pilgrims (plus the narrator) who are traveling together from London to Canterbury.
slide8

The Tabard Inn-just outside of London-where Chaucermeets the pilgrims on their way to Canterbury-the Host of the inn decides to join them

canterbury cathedral the pilgrims are going to visit the holy shrine of st thomas 55 miles away
Canterbury Cathedral: The pilgrims are going to visit the holy shrine of St. Thomas, 55 miles away.
slide10

The Host suggests they tell stories to pass the time on the trip. Whoever tells the best story will win a meal when they return to the Tabard Inn.

the tales
The “Tales”
  • At the end of the Prologue, the characters begin to tell their “tales.
  • Each character was to tell two stories on the trip to Canterbury and two on the way home.
slide14

The characters represent the four social classes

  • in European feudal society
    • Peasant: work (agricultural labor)
    • Clergy: instruct and pray
    • Feudal: own, protect, or manage the land
    • Merchant: support themselves outside
    • the feudal system
slide15
The Unfinished Tales: Chaucer planned to write 120 stories but had finished only 24 before his death in 1400.