Geoffrey Chaucer was born about 1343 from a rich merchant in London. He took part in a war in France with Edward III’s son so he was taken prisoner and then he was ransomed by a king in 1360.
He was a trusty man of the king. Between 1368 and 1378 he went in Italy where he studied Boccaccio, Dante and Petrarca in Latin of Virgil. In 1374 was nominated to the Office of Controller of Customs on Wool and Hides in Part of London also he was a Member of Parliament and he brought a substantial income when he married a wealthy lady.
In 1389 he became a Clerk of king’s works at Westminster Abbey and when he died he was buried(as fist poet) in Poets’ corner in Westminster Abbey .
Chaucer was considered the father of English literature. His language(the “dialect”) became the standard English and take the basis of modern English. His poem is divided into 3 period: French, Italian and English.
French Period are characterized by a poems inspired by a French romance style and subjects:
• the Romaunt of the Rose: talks about a courtly love in medieval court;
• the Boke of the Duchesse: in first person talks about a fear (grief) to a loss of his wife and generally about the grief of all man for the death of a wife;
Italian period shows a new vision of perception more mature:
• the parliament of Foules (medieval literature, ballad)
• the house of fame, comic fantasy (contemplation of the vanity of the human wishes)
• the legend of good women: woman who suffered for a love
• troylus and Criseyde: a long poem inspirited by Decameron of Boccaccio.
English period are characterized by a marked realism that includes his masterpiece: Canterbury Tales.