Geoffery Chaucer.ppt.lindsayfranchezca12.11.2012

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Geoffrey Chaucer:

Geoffrey Chaucer Britain’s First Author English 12 December 11, 2012 SOL: 12.1-7

Early Years:

Early Years Chaucer was believed to be born in 1343 He may have attended Oxford or Cambridge Official records give some biographical details Captured in France (1359) during war King paid sixteen-pound ransom for release


Family Married Philippa Pan in 1366 or 1368 Wife was a lady-in-waiting to the queen Had two sons, possibly a daughter


Career Made a comfortable living as a civil servant A dozen diplomatic missions to Flanders, France and Italy (1368-87) Negotiated marriage between Richard II and daughter of the French King Also served as customs official, “Knight of the Shire” and keeper of the Royal Forest - this spot was an important post in Parliament.

Early Poet:

Early Poet Began writing in his twenties Based early works using style of other European poets Was one of Britain’s first poets to publish in English Considered the “People’s Poet”

Chaucer’s Legacy:

Chaucer’s Legacy Considered the Father of English poetry in his lifetime Even 600 years later, his works are still in print Chaucer is buried in Westminster Abbey Chaucer’s tomb is the centerpiece of “Poet’s Corner”

The Canterbury Tales:

The Canterbury Tales Written in his later years Intended to write 124 tales before his death The 24 tales stand as a complete work Considered one of Britain’s literary treasures The Yeoman

British Society in the Tales:

British Society in the Tales Story centers around pilgrimage to Canterbury. The church was the center of religion for Britain Sacred ground after the assassination of Thomas Becket in 1170


Manuscript Ellesmere Manuscript 240 pages of parchment leaves The most famous manuscript in the English language

Complexities of the Tales:

Complexities of the Tales Different genres have different views of the world, different vocabularies, and different images for truth Romance- deals with human emotions and relationships Fabliau- deals with the basic human needs of food, sex, or money Saint’s Life- deals with the operations of God Sermons and Ethical Treatises- deals with spiritual matters

What the Tales Provide:

What the Tales Provide A cross-section of British life Almost all walks of life represented Chaucer’s contempt for church is apparent

Literary Terms:

Literary Terms satire: characterization frame narrative/story prologue hyperbole Stereotype


Satire A literary mode based on criticism of people and society through ridicule. The satirist aims to reduce the practices attacked by laughing scornfully at them--and being witty enough to allow the reader to laugh, also.  Ridicule, irony, exaggeration, and several other techniques are almost always present.

Frame Narrative (Frame Story):

Frame Narrative (Frame Story) The result of inserting one or more small stories within the body of a larger story that encompasses the smaller ones. Often this term is used interchangeably with both the literary technique and the larger story itself that contains the smaller ones, which are called "framed narratives" or "embedded narratives." The most famous example is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in which the overarching frame narrative is the story of a band of pilgrims traveling to the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The band passes the time in a storytelling contest. The framed narratives are the individual stories told by the pilgrims who participate.


Characterization The method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes (1) showing the character's appearance, (2) displaying the character's actions, (3) revealing the character's thoughts, (4) letting the character speak, and (5) getting the reactions of others.


Prologue An introductory section of a literary work. It often contains information establishing the situation of the characters or presents information about the setting, time period, or action. In the "General Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer describes the main characters and establishes the setting and purpose of the work.


Stereotype 1. A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image. 2. One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.


Hyperbole Exaggeration or overstatement. Example: I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. He's as big as a house.



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