The Age of Chaucer (1350-1400)
The fourteenth century was a period of great political, social, religious, and literary activity. Politically it was a period of the hundred year’s was which released and strengthened the feelings of national consciousness and patriotism in England, people began to realize that they were English men and the idea of a holy empire evaporated from their thoughts, from the point of view it is called “The Age of Chaucer”, the golden age of English poetry, the age produced five writers of note, one of whom, Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the greatest of English writers. Chaucer is known as the father of English poetry that doesn’t mean that there was no poetry or poets in England before him.
But before Chaucer; there was no national language; there were merely a number of regional languages Chaucer used one of their languages. The East Midland- and by the force of his genius raised it to the level of the national language of England. He was, therefore, both the father of English poetry as well as the father of the English language. Chaucer is the first national poet of England. There were other poets also as- John Gower, William Langland but their poetry is little read and enjoyed today, while Chaucer continues to be as fresh and enjoyable as when he lived and wrote.
Chaucer was born in London in 1340. His father was a dealer in wine. At the age of seventeen, he became a servant in the house of John Gaunt, the Duke of Lanchester. In this way, he began his connection with the court.
He went several times to Europe on one diplomatic mission and acquired a wide knowledge of man and his life. Though he never got the benefit of any university education, in later life he worked as controller of customs and justice of the peace. He died in the year 1400. His chief works are – The book of the Duchess; The parliament of Fowls; The house of fame Troilus and Criseyde; Legend of good women; and the Canterbury tales.
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