Chaucer’s Contribution to the Development of English Literary Tradition Essay

August 13, 2017 English Literature

Chaucer is normally hailed as “the male parent of English poetry” who in such plants as his chef-d’oeuvre. The Canterbury Tales. significantly contributed to the development of English as a literary linguistic communication. The “General Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales has frequently been praised as “the most perfect verse form in the English linguistic communication. ” The Canterbury Tales and his other noteworthy plants reflect Chaucer’s acquaintance with French. English. Italian. and Latin literature. and show his consummate command of a assortment of literary genres. manners. and techniques.

His verse forms continue to pull the involvement and congratulations of readers centuries after his decease and are among the most acclaimed plants of the English-speaking universe. The originality of his linguistic communication and manner. the vivacity of his wit. and the deepness of his apprehension are continually cited as grounds for the permanency of his plants. Chaucer’s determination to compose in his country’s linguistic communication. English. instead than in the was something of a hazard. and a large interruption with erudite tradition.

The hazard paid away. The Canterbury Tales were tremendously popular because so many more manuscripts of the narratives survive than of about any other work of this clip period. The Canterbury Tales were still traveling strong when the first pressmans made their manner to England. William Caxton published the first printed version of The Canterbury Tales in 1476. One of the things that makes The Canterbury Tales so fun to read is the great item with which the storyteller describes each of the pilgrims.

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We learn. for illustration. that the cook has a pustule on his leg that really much resembles one of the sweets he cooks. or that the Miller has a immense. pug nose. For many of his portrayals. Chaucer is trusting on a mediaeval tradition of “estates satire. ” a aggregation of stereotypes about people based on what business they had or what societal category they belonged to.

Another medieval thought his portrayals draw upon is “anticlericalism. ” a tradition that got its start in reaction to a batch of maltreatments by clergy in the mediaeval church. but which fundamentally became a aggregation of stereotypes about mendicants. monastics. nuns. priests. and the similar. Since The Canterbury Tales is a narrative about a storytelling competition. many of the inquiries it asks are about narratives. As the pilgrims tell their narratives. though. they turn out to be speaking non merely about fairytale people in faraway lands. but besides about themselves and their society.

This leads to a batch of struggle in a group of pilgrims formed by members of that same society. It is sometimes argued that the greatest part that this work made to English literature was in popularizing the literary usage of the slang. English. instead than Gallic or Latin. English had. nevertheless. been used as a literary linguistic communication for centuries before Chaucer’s life. and several of Chaucer’s coevalss besides wrote major literary plants in English. It is ill-defined to what extent Chaucer was responsible for get downing a tendency instead than merely being portion of it.


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