Chaucer 2 Essay

1058 words - 4 pages

The Effects of Geoffrey Chaucer's Education on the Canterbury Tales The Medieval period was one of transformation. The great religious pilgrimages that occurred effected the course of history. Social set-ups were believed to be ordained by God and were not to be changed (www.aol/barrons 1). Thus, Geoffrey Chaucer introduces each of the characters in the prologue of The Canterbury Tales and establishes their role in society. The church hierarchy was thought to be of equal importance (http://www.virginia.edu/literature/ chaucer/defense 2). The church in some cases fulfilled the function of an educational system (http://virginia.edu/literature/chaucer 2). Both of these rankings generally dictated the opportunities available to people. Therefore, education was not always readily available. Instead, people relied on life experiences and common sense to guide them. This was no exception with writer and poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Though he lacked a formal education (http://www.virginia.edu/literature/chaucer /defense 2), Chaucer rose to a prominent government position (Anderson 84). In addition, his literary works show that he was extremely well read (Williams 1). The effects of Chaucer's education can be seen through his ability to write work that would appeal to its readers, his utilization of various writing techniques, and his vast knowledge of the society in which he lived.McKinley 2 By the end of the Middle Ages, a new confidence in the English language was apparent. Thus, with this confidence came a higher status for English literature. This was illustrated in 1399 when Henry IV laid claim to the British throne (Williams 4). He did not perform the ceremony in French, as had been done in the past, but in English. Geoffrey Chaucer played a major role in establishing the English language as a medium capable of the utmost artistic expression (Williams 4).Chaucer wrote in a style which appealed to his audience. Often called the Father of English poetry (Anderson 84), Chaucer draws on his own experiences in the Tales (www.aol/barrons 1). These experiences often colored his work (http://www.virginia.edu/literature/chaucer/defense 3). In addition, his use of class structure (http://www.virginia.edu/ literature/chaucer 2) coupled with his clear and concise comments make the Tales more readable (Anderson 85). Chaucer also occasionally touched his work with nuance (Anderson 85).Chaucer was influenced in several ways throughout his life. Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the early 1340's, approximately 1343, to John Chaucer, a prosperous wine merchant (Williams ix). He was a member of the middle class and learned about human nature while serving as a royal page (www.aol/barrons 1). Chaucer draws on all of these experiences throughout The Canterbury Tales. He also dealt with issues important to society (Anderson 84). While making the unheard of rise from middle class to government official, Chaucer dealt with many problems in the McKinley 3 British government. In...

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