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Geoffrey Chaucer and his work: The Canterbury Tales.

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Presentation on theme: "Geoffrey Chaucer and his work: The Canterbury Tales."— Presentation transcript:


2 Geoffrey Chaucer and his work: The Canterbury Tales

3 The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer The father of English Poetry The First Great Writer in English

4 1340 Born in London 1356 Became a page in the household of one of the King ’ s daughters-in-law 1359 Served as a soldier in the war in France (taken prisoner but released) During the 1360 ’ s Worked in the King ’ s household Married Philippa,a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Connected to the powerful family of the Dule of Lancaster

5 1372 Visited Italia,came into contact with the works of Dante Boccaccio and Petrarch, realised the importance of creating literature in the vernacular In the 1370 ’ s and 80 ’ s Occupied various important positions in the court About in the 80 ’ s Began the Canterbury Tales Oct.25, 1400 Died and buried in Westminster Abbey (as Poet ’ s Corner)

6 What was Chaucer like? (described himself as ) a fat man with a modest,simple personality Deeply interested in religion But also enjoyed earthy humour

7 Chaucer ’ s World and Time Three Kings: Edward Ⅲ Richard Ⅱ Henry Ⅳ Dangerous Time 1. a long,continuing war against France 2. disagreements between the English King and the Pope 3. The “ Black Death ” or Plague (infection)

8 “ God is deaf ” Religion continued to be a powerful force People believed That the Plague was God ’ s punishedment for human beings Believed in Hell and were afraid that if they didn ’ t follow religion, they would burn in everlasting fires Results Pilgrimages were popular

9 The most famous pilgrimage in England to Canterbury Why? Thomas Becket, who had been murdered in Canterbury Cathedral,could help the sick and answer prayers Some people 1.Became pilgrims for authentic religious reasons 2.Treated it as a holiday

10 Summary When Where who what why how The middle of the fourteenth century London---Canterbury A group of pilgrims tell stories Spend time Each traveller should tell a story

11 Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote The droghte os March hath perced to the rote … Than longen folk to go on pilgrimages When ……….. With its sweet showers replaces the dry period of ……. Then people desire to go on ………. The Difference between Medieval and Modern Literature

12 Written sometime in the 1380s, The Canterbury Tales -- the first selection of short stories in English -- is about a group of pilgrims who agree to tell stories while they travel together to Canterbury, the seat of the English Church (still Catholic) and the site of the shrine dedicated to Thomas a Beckett, who was martyred for his faith. The language of Chaucer -- Middle English -- is closer to Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons, and Norman French, the language of William the Conqueror (invasion, 1066). The idea of a frame story (story within a story) comes from a long tradition: The Arabian Nights and The Decameron. Chaucer read The Decameron when he visited Italy. Originally, he proposed 124 stories; he actually wrote 24.

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