If I walked up to you on the street and asked you who Geoffrey Chaucer was, would you know? The answer is probably no and yes. Chaucer is known as “the Father of English Poetry” and this is true, for he paved the way for such men as Shakespeare. But you probably heard this name sometime in your life if not by reading one of his works, but a teacher talking to you about him. Chaucer was well renowned in Europe in the mid 1300’s and held many political jobs, he was known as a very kind and loving man, and his work The Canterbury Tales show us his many emotions.
Chaucer lived a good life in the early and mid 1300’s and he even had great political careers but, his late years would be a little bit grimmer than his early years. First, Chaucer was born in the early 1340’s in London England to his mother and father Agnes and John Chaucer. He was really known well for his writings, “Widely known as the “Father of English Poetry,” Chaucer is considered the foremost representative of middle English literature” (Disc. Auth. Chaucer). He was married to Philippa de Rout on Sept. 12,1366.
Chaucer was known as a great political figure. He was a customs agent, a justice of the peace, and to highlight his career he even was apart of the British Parliament. That changed in the late 1300’s, after serving three kings: Edward III, Richard II, and Henry IV, when aristocracy took over. He was kicked out of the Parliament and his Justice of the Peace job (Disc. Auth.). When he died he was given a burial at Westminster Abby, at this time only royalty were given this burial, and they named the corner he was buried in “Poet’s Corner.”
Chaucer was a poet and a great one at that. He was the first to write poetry in his language but certainly not the last. Some of his great works include: The Canterbury Tales, the Book of the Duchess, the House of Fame, the Parliament of birds, and Troilus and Criseyde. The Book of the Duchess was made after and because of the death of his friend John of Gaunt’s first wife. They were good friends. That was his second work. The Canterbury Tales his greatest work was never finished. The book is about the voyages of pilgrims trying to reach Canterbury but, sadly he never finished this great work of art. He worked on this from 1386 to 1400 when he died (Traversi). This Verse from The Canterbury Tales is one that reminds of Chaucer:
“There was a good man of religion, too, A county parson, poor, I warrant you; But rich he was in holy thought and work, He was a learned man
also, a clerk, who Christ’s own gospel truly sung out to preach; Devoutly his parishioners would he teach.”(Chaucer PP.15)
Chaucer was the greatest writer of this time. This verse he was not rich with money but rich in his work. You could only wonder what Chaucer would have written the end about in The Canterbury Tales.