Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer

Biography of Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer ((born c. 1342/43, London?, England—died October 25, 1400) was a medieval English poet, writer, and philosopher best known for his work The Canterbury Tales, a masterpiece of world literature. The Canterbury Tales is a work of poetry featuring a group of pilgrims from different social classes on a journey to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury who agree to tell each other stories to pass the time. Chaucer was well acquainted with people from all classes, and this is evident in the details he chooses as well as the accents employed, how the people dress, and even their hairstyles. The Canterbury Tales have therefore been invaluable to later scholars as a kind of snapshot of medieval life.

haucer was a prolific writer, creating many other fine works which have been overshadowed by The Canterbury Tales. None of his pieces were technically published during his lifetime as that concept had not yet been invented. His works were hand-copied by scribes who admired them and either sold or shared them. Chaucer did not make a living from his writing, as his occupations and salaries from court records attest, but was honored for his poetry by noble patrons in other ways.

Chaucer was multilingual, fluent in Italian, French, and Latin and translated works from French and Latin to English (The Romance of the Rose from Old French to Middle English c. 1368-1372 and Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy from Latin in the 1380s CE). He also established Middle English as a respectable medium for medieval literature (previously, works were written in either French or Latin) and coined many English words used in the present day (such as amble, bribe, femininity, plumage, and twitter, among numerous others) as well as inventing the poetic form of the Rime Royal. He was praised by contemporaries for his lyrical skill and imaginative power, and his style and choice of subject matter influenced the writers of his time and all those who came after him. He is commonly regarded as the Father of English Literature.

Poems by Geoffrey Chaucer

  1. Chapter
  2. Preces de Chaucer
  3. Prologue (to The Canterbury Tales)
  4. Tale of Meliboe
  5. Tale of Sir Tho
  6. The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
  7. The Clerk's Tale
  8. The Cook's Tale
  9. The Doctor's Tale
  10. The Franklin's Tale
  11. The Friar's Tale
  12. The Knight's Tale
  13. The Man of Law's Tale
  14. The Manciple's Tale
  15. The Miller's Tale
  16. The Monk's Tale
  17. The Nun's Priest's Tale
  18. The Pardoner's Tale
  19. The Parson's Tale
  20. The Prioress' Tale
  21. The Reeve's Tale
  22. The Second Nun's Tale
  23. The Shipman's Tale
  24. The Sompnour's Tale
  25. The Squire's Tale
  26. The Wife of Bath's Tale