Chaucer Essay Research Paper Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer Essay, Research Paper

Geoffrey Chaucer | & # 8230 ; I think some of Chaucer belongs to his clip and that much of that clip is dead, nonextant, and ne’er to be made alive once more. What was alive in it, lives through him & # 8230 ; X Geoffrey Chaucer+s universe was the Europe of the 14th century. It was neither rich or hapless, happy nor sad. Rather, it was the intermingling of these, a mixture of luster and poorness, exposing both worldly desire and religious pureness. Chaucer+s travels through it, largely on |the King+s concern, X or civil service, shaped his authorship, offering the readers of today a brief glance into the universe in which he lived. Chaucer lived from about AD 1340 to 1400. The universe in which he lived was non one of peace or stableness. Born the boy of a London wine merchant, he remained a Londoner for most of the remainder of his life, go forthing the metropolis merely on |the King+s businessX. The metropolis of London was therefore Chaucer+s environment for most of his life. Aside from brief visits into other states or countries of England, he remained in the metropolis, and it+s affects on his authorship was huge. London of that clip was non the London of today. It was a walled metropolis, guarded against invasion, but long adequate clip had passed since such a menace had approached that the defences had loosened. Houses perched upon the walls, and Chaucer in fact, lived for a clip in a house built over Aldgate, ( one of the Gatess of the metropolis ) . London was a metropolis less than three-fourthss of a square stat mi in size: It ran east and west along the Thames less than one and a half stat mis, and extended due norths less than half a stat mi. Over 20,000 people were packed into this little country ; the diverseness of the dwellers was overpowering. Londoners ranged from affluent to impoverished, from little to big, from cobbler to blacksmith to minstrel to priest. The metropolis was therefore reasonably near. Rock edifice mingled with tile, wood, and thatch. While the major streets were reasonably broad, little stores and bases frequently spread out into the route, efficaciously contracting it by up to half it+s breadth. London Bridge ( the merely span in the metropolis ) was home to a battalion of places and stores, perched on top of the span to conserve infinite. Waste was disposed of merely. It was emptied out the Windowss into the back street or street and slaughtering was done in he streets every bit good, with garbages being tossed underfoot. Hogs were frequently used to maintain the streets clean, but were assisted by wild Canis familiariss and scavenger birds. Open cloacas ran through the streets and into the Thames. Most of the remainder of Chaucer+s life was unfastened at the tribunals of the male monarch of England. Here a startling alteration was evident. The crud of the streets disappeared, to be replaced by the luster so frequently associated with royalty. The royal tribunal of England was home to many in Chaucer+s clip. Courtiers, pages, knights, Lords, princes, and of class the King and Queen. Chaucer rose through the ranks of the king+s work forces, sing all facets of tribunal life. He was a page, squire, court-bard, counsellor and eventually courtier to assorted sovereigns. Many male monarchs rose an fell in his life-time. Chaucer began his life in the king+s service in the reign of Edward III, and performed his service a long piece. He was of import plenty to Edward that he was personally ransomed after being captured by the Gallic in the war between Edward and Charles, an award normally reserved for Lords. By 1378 Edward III had died, and Chaucer was the adult male of Richard II. The state was caught up in a political conflict between the Lords of Gloucester and Lancaster. The actions of these two Lords sent Chaucer reeling, his universe invariably altering about him. The lone stable point in Chaucer+s universe was faith. The establishment of faith, the church, was rather outstanding and seeable. Cathedrals dotted the metropoliss of the universe, and even the smallest town had a church. The glorification of the Church may even hold outshone that of the royal tribunal. Cathedrals were superb with brilliant carvings, statues of cherished metals wall paintings, holy artefacts, and many other glittering hoarded wealths. Even the smallest church was place to some luster. The glorification of the church, and the power it put away over the population made it a major political power of the clip. Chaucer was born in the early 1340+s. Very small is known about the first phase of his life. However, two points are reasonably certain. It appears that Chaucer was the boy of a London wine merchant and comparatively strong grounds supports that he attended one of three grammar-schools: either St.Paul+s, St. Mary-le-Bow+s or St. Martin-le-Grand+s. Aside from this slender spot of information inside informations of Chaucer+s early life are few. The following dependable spot of information topographic points him at around the age of 14, a page in the family of the married woman of Prince Lionel, the 2nd boy of Edward III. He held this place for some clip. Chaucer+s first visual aspect into the king+s concern appeared in

October of 1360, when he carried letters from Calais to Englan

d during peace negotiations there. For this service he held the official title of clerk of the king attached to the person of Prince Lionel. In this way, Chaucer began his life of service to his king. In 1368, Chaucer was awarded a royal reward for a long and valued service to his job. His actual duties during this period were apparently fairly hazy. He served as a sort of jack of all trades. The only thing we know about Chaucer+s life between 1358 and 1367 is that he was imprisoned in France, during the hundred years war, and was ransomed in March of 1360, for a rather large sum. In this time Chaucer also married Philippa Roet, lady in waiting to the Queen. She bore at least two children, Thomas and |Lyte Lowys,X a child who was delighted in arithmetic. Between 1368 and 1387, Chaucer undertook nearly a dozen diplomatic missions to Flanders, France, and Italy. Most were important, many were so secret that they were not mentioned in the histories of the time at all. In 1381, Chaucer was sent to deal with marriage negotiations between Richard II and the daughter of the French King. While Chaucer was not on diplomatic missions, he was performing his duties in the position for which he is best known, the Kings Custom Service. From 1374 to 1386, he was the comptroller of London. When he was removed from the post in 1386 he was instead granted the title |Knight of the ShireX, an important Parliament post, and later was placed as the Clerk of the King+s works at Westminster, the Tower, and other royal property in South England. Chaucer+s final post in the King+s service was that of the keeper of the small royal forest of North Pertherton. He held this post twice, from 1390 to 1391, and from 1397 to 1398. In 1399, he settled in Westminster. On Christmas Eve he leased, for fifty-three years, the garden of the monks of Westminster, to live in. However, he did not live long to enjoy his retirement. Geoffrey Chaucer died in October 25, 1400. In a time when literacy was a luxury affordable only by the very wealthy and powerful, Chaucer+s writings stand out as unique. The main language of literature of the time was Latin. Literacy and fluency in Latin were taught as early as literacy in English. In fact, many people could read Latin yet had treat difficulty figuring out the simplest English sentences. What little literature was not written in Latin was written in French. Latin and French poetry was widely recognized as being the only real literature of any worth. This of course, makes Chaucer+s works even more unusual. Unlike most of the other writers of the time, Chaucer wrote his works in English. It was read in English to the Royal Court upon completion. Chaucer+s writing career was not completely original nor free of influences. His first works borrowed heavily form French and Latin poems, and it was only later that some of his works became more original. For example, Chaucer+s first recorded poem (the Book of the Duchess) the opening lines are simply translations of the openings of Froissart+s Paradys d+Amour. While this is the most obvious use of the French poem, other instances reminiscent of the work appear throughout Chaucer+s poem. In the first part of Chaucer+s career as a writer, it can be seen that his writing is restricted by a style made popular at the time by French poetry. As in the prominent French poetry of the time, the Book demonstrates a love for detail and description. Chaucer never quite escapes the French influences in his writing but escapes some areas of French style. It was not until Chaucer began writing his most well-known work The Canterbury Tales, that he did this. Until this work, his writings were simply translations of old myths, or barely original poems written to fit the standards of French style. Chaucer wished to write something more ambitious, original, and memorable. The Canterbury Tales was the result. Chaucer+s style of writing in The Canterbury Tales is quite different from his earlier works. Hidden within the stories of the Pilgrims are sermons and scoldings about the world he knew, and the evils he saw within it. The Canterbury Tales have no single style throughout, to which each shorter story is fit. Rather, Chaucer gives each section of the poem it+s own style. In fact, the over-ruling style of Chaucer+s last work seems to be no style at all, each work is written to fit the subject. Chaucer worked throughout his life to break away from the molds which society had set about poetry in general, and his work in specific. Instead of forging beautifully crafted lies and tales about society, his poetry held up a mirror to reflect reality as he saw it. Chaucer+s growth out of the mold imposed by tradition is illustrated by the steady departure of it in his writings. And his final works, escaping at last form the accepted style, set the stage for the beginnings of English literature. Bibliography Chute, Marchette. Geoffrey Chaucer of England. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1946. ——————————————————————————–