Born and raised in London in the 1340s, Geoffrey Chaucer became one of the most important authors in English literature. Throughout his lifetime, he worked as a public servant for Countess Elizabeth and then the British court. He was paid a small stipend, just enough to pay for his food and clothing (Geoffrey Chaucer). Chaucer was born into a wealthy, wine trade family. They were in the bourgeois class and it is to be believed that his father carried on the family wine business. Chaucer attended the St. Paul’s Cathedral School. It is there where he was introduced to the writing of Virgil and Ovid, some influences for his writings. Chaucer fought in The Hundred Years’ War in France and was captured for ransom. Because Chaucer worked as a public servant, he had royal connections. King Edward III assisted in paying his ransom (Geoffrey Chaucer). In 1366, Chaucer was married to Philippa Roet. By marrying Philippa, his career in the English court was advanced.
Examples through Works of Literature
In 1380, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote Parliament of Fouls. Chaucer wrote this poem during the marriage negotiations between Richard and Anne of Bohemia (Geoffrey Chaucer). J.A.W. Bennet interpreted the poem Parliament of Fouls and decided it was a study of the Christian love. Poets Cicero and Jean De Meun were the main two inspirations for Parliament of Fouls. There were multiple elements in the poem that supported J.A.W Bennet’s interpretation of the poem. The poem uses allegory, irony and satire, and talks about the inauthentic quality of courtly love (Geoffrey Chaucer).
In the mid-1380s, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the poem Troilus and Criseyde (Geoffrey Chaucer). Troilus and Criseyde explains a tragic love story from the Trojan War. Rime royal, a technique he originated, was first introduced in this narrative poem. The definition of rime royal is, “a stanza of seven lines in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ababbcc” (Rhyme royal.). The use of rime royal is considered to be one of Chaucer’s greatest works other than The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer).
When writing The Legend of Good Women, a poem abandoned before it was completed, Geoffrey Chaucer came up with a new, creative format for poetry (Geoffrey Chaucer). The poem The Legend of Good Women is made up of multiple shorter narratives. Another example of this format is The Canterbury Tales. The idea behind The Canterbury Tales was for each character to tell two stories on the way to Canterbury and two stories on the way home, giving a total of 120 narratives in the poem (Geoffrey Chaucer). In reality, The Canterbury Tales ended before the characters even arrived at Canterbury and only 24 stories were included (Geoffrey...