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Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343

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Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343 1400 Wrote the great Canterbury Tales AKA The Father of English Literature Penned with great satirical tone. His characters were likely ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343


1
Geoffrey Chaucer c. 13431400 Wrote the great
Canterbury Tales
AKA The Father of English Literature
Penned with great satirical tone. His characters
were likely based upon real people. He revealed
them through seemingly unimportant details and
showing what they are by showing what they are
not.
He influenced Shakespeare in his use of Middle
English, which was the common mans
language-rather than Latin.
2
We begin his lifes brief documentation in the
household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the
Countess of Ulster, when he became the
noblewoman's page through his father's
connections. He was from a middle class family
his father was a wine merchant.
3
In 1360 Chaucer is captured during the Hundred
Years War (between England and France) when he
travels to France with Elizabeths husband as
part of the English army. John, Elizabeths
husband, helped pay the ransom, Chaucer was
released, and returned to England.
4
The story begins with a man who becomes a saint
5
St. Thomas a Beckett
  • advisor to King Henry II
  • Henry made Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury
    in 1162 chief church leader in England. When
    this happened, Beckett changed his total
    allegiance from the King to the Pope and the
    Church, which is not what Henry expected. Henry
    expected full support from Beckett.
  • there were many conflicts between Henry and
    Beckett
  • history has it the four knights overheard Henry
    rage and took seriously his shout of Who will
    rid me of this meddlesome priest?

6
  • December 29, 1170, the four knights found
    Beckett kneeling at the alter. According to monk
    who witnessed it, Beckett refused to absolve the
    Bishops, ones Beckett had excommunicated, and
    told the knights that for the name of Jesus and
    the protection of the Church, I am ready to
    embrace death. The knights welded their swords
    and ministered three blows to Beckett.
  • Three days after Becketts death, there began a
    series of miracles attached to his martyrdom.

7
  • In 1173, Pope Alexander III made Beckett a saint.
    Pilgrims began to flock to the cathedral. In
    1174, dressed in sackcloth and walking barefoot,
    Henry II was among them. (Guilt?) Imagine the
    monk procession in Monty Pythons Holy Grail.
  • In 1538, Becketts shrine was destroyed by Henry
    VIII.
  • In 1220, Becketts remains were moved from the
    crypt to Trinity Chapel

8
Chaucers Plan
  • written sometime in the 1380s first selection
    of short stories in English
  • language is in the vernacular Middle English
  • a frame story story within a story (Chaucer
    not the first to do this)
  • group of pilgrims who agree to tell stories as
    they travel together to Canterbury, site of
    shrine dedicated to Thomas a Beckett, martyred
    for his faith

9
  • travel from Londons southside to Canterbury
    about 70 miles
  • each pilgrim was to tell two stories going and
    two stories on the return
  • total of 124 stories only 24 because Chaucer
    died before finishing
  • cross section of medieval society feudal,
    ecclesiastical, urban (inspired Monty Python)
  • Chaucers interest in middle class characters
    e.g. cook, lawyer, miller, merchant etc, reflects
    the rise of the middle class in the 14th century

10
General comments about C.T.
  • Those tales written are realistic and vivid. His
    descriptions of pilgrims in the Prologue is
    considered the best picture of life in 14th
    century England by historians
  • Chaucer, a man of the world, had a keen insight
    into human nature.
  • shows a profound understanding of human
    motivation comments on his characters and some
    of social problems of the day
  • Tone comic to ironic to satirical but always
    warmhearted person who has sympathy for his
    fellow man
  • Written in verse, not prose, use of heroic
    couplet poems constructed from a sequence of
    rhyming pairs of lines in iambic pentameter.
    Google Iambic Pentameter and know what it means.

11
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12
Bifel that in that seson on a day,   In Southwerk
at the Tabard as I lay   Redy to wenden on my
pilgrymage   To Caunterbury with ful devout
corage,   At nyght was come into that
hostelrye   Wel nyne and twenty in a
compaignye   Of sondry folk, by aventure
yfalle   In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they
alle,   That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.   GP
I.20-27
13
cities and areas mentioned in Canterbury Tales
14
THE CANTERBURY TALES
15
Canterbury Cathedral
16
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17
Sketch of an alter at cathedral
18
Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?
19
(No Transcript)
20
Stain glass window of pilgrimage
21
Bible window from Canterbury Cathedral
22
Pilgrims' badges were inexpensive souvenirs
purchased by the faithful at holy sites as
evidence of their journeys. This one is from the
shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury
Cathedral. His murder in the cathedral in 1170
transformed him into one of the most venerated
saints in Western Christendom, and his shrine
instantly became a pilgrimage site. This badge
shows the shrine before its plunder by Henry
VIII's commissioners in 1538. The tomb, supported
on four bays, contained an effigy of Thomas
Becket in ecclesiastical vestments. Here, raised
above, is the gable shrine, encrusted with jewels
on a trellislike ground and surmounted by two
ship models, one of which is damaged. To the
right, another figure raises the cover of the
shrine with ropes and a pulley.
23
The following slides are visual examples of a
hand-written copy of the various tales about
different characters in Chaucers Canterbury
Tales.
24
  • page from Ellesmere Chaucer
  • most beautiful manuscript of C.T.
  • Produced soon after 1400
  • 232 parchment leaves of C.T.
  • text written by 1 scribe in English style script
  • 16 x 11, very decorated

25
from Ellesmere Chaucer page with the Cook
26
KNIGHT
27
Miller
28
Reeve
29
Cook
30
Man of Law
31
Wife of Bath
32
Friar
33
Summoner
34
Clerk of Oxford
35
Merchant
36
Squire
37
Franklin
38
Physician
39
Pardoner
40
Shipman
41
Prioress
42
Chaucer
43
Monk
44
Nuns Priest
45
Second Nun
46
Canons Yeoman
47
Manciple
48
Parson
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