Geoffrey Chaucer (The Father of English poetry)


Geoffrey Chaucer was the most famous poet of English literature, he was considered the father of English literature, John Dryden called him the father of English poetry. Geoffrey Chaucer was born about 1343- 44 in London (England) in a merchant family his father John Chaucer had a relation to the royal family, so he easily entered at the age of 17 in royal court and worked as counters ulster. His name Chaucer is derived from French word `Chaussier` means-`shoemaker`. Geoffrey Chaucer in his time, saw king like; Edward III, Richard II and Henry IV. Geoffrey Chaucer was the poet of medieval age.

Before working on his poetry, he served Edward III and Joined his English Army. There was 100- year war was going between England and France. France Army captured him in 1360, Edward III released him by paying 16 pound fine. When Geoffrey Chaucer returned, he became member of royal court and worked for king Edward III. In 1366 he got married to Phillipa who was an employee of royal court and daughter of Payne Roet, but had no record of how many children they had.

Geoffrey Chaucer was really influenced by French poets like Deschamps and Froissart, therefore his early work is often referred to as his `French` period. His Italian period begins with The House of Fame then he enters in English period begins with the work like; Troilus and Cressida and The Canterbury Tales. Also, he translated one of the most famous French work `Roman de la Rose`, but could not complete it, because of his friend`s wife sudden demise, so Geoffrey Chaucer first wrote `The Book of Duchess` for his friend John Gaunt in 1369 which was an elegy.

Later he traveled to many European Countries and gathered ideas. But when he visited Italy for the first time in 1372- 73 he influenced by Italian language and wrote some notable work like Parliament of Fowls, The House of fame, Legend of Good women. Legend of Good Women made him popular in the field of literature. By the time some contemporary poets like; John Gower, William Langland and John Wycliffe were also working.  In 1388 Geoffrey Chaucer began his most famous work The Canterbury Tales, he wanted to write 120 stories but due to his sudden demise in about 1400, only 24 stories completed. The Canterbury Tales is the most famous work of Geoffrey Chaucer.

Notable Work:

  • Parliament of Fowls
  • House of Fame
  • Anelida and Arcite
  • Legend of Good Women
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • The Book of Duchess
  • The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer was the first poet who introduced Rhyme Royal in his poetry, which is a seven- line stanza poem and used Iambic pentameter which is a five- line stanza poem. He was the first poet who wrote generally became well- known in common audience- in medieval English, he made English popular in medieval period.

Geoffrey Chaucer saw many ups and downs during his career but he also made huge contribution to English literature. Many poets of his time admire his work and called him the father of English poetry.

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