Saturday, 27 August 2016

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND :THE SOCIAL , POLITICAL , ECONOMIC AND RELIGIOUS STATE IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER

Chaucer belonged to the middle of the fourteenth century . And that was the latter past of the middle Ages . The designation of the dark ages for the period was then on the wane . Of course,calmities and upheavals were not all over . Periodic famines , after the Great famine and the dreadful Black Death , definitely affected much the quietude of the age . A good many people , particularly of the crowded towns , were killed by that deadlist epidemic black plague . As a result , he social state of the time was not all satisfactory . The curse of the fatal epidemic haunted all , rich and poor,and made life insecure everywhere . The political condition of the period was not all sound , too ,at that time . The hundred years'war , fought between England and France , still continued . That war , constituted of a series of conflicts , had two specific phases at this age . The Edwardian War (1337-1360) and the Caroline War (1369-1389).Of course , the English hold in France was in decline only to be completely washed away some years after by the emergence of Joan of arc.

Moreover,after the glorious conquest of Edward,there came the troublesome reign of Richard II , which was an unfortunate time for the English nation . In the religious matters , the age had the bitter taste of some unfortunate controversy within the Church . The mighty authority of the Catholic Church had dissension within and resulted in the rise of Protestantism in the earliest form , that was a prelude to the separation between Catholicism and Lutheranism and a definitive end to the unified Church of the Middle Ages . But the happy indication was there that despotism and corruption of the Catholic Church would not continue much longer .

Nevertheless,all was not wrong in England . The social condition of England in particular immensely changed from what it had been during the couple of centuries after the Conquest . The arrogant victorious Normans did no more consider themselves foreigners . They were merged,under the stress of changing political situations,with the English nation . There was a strong awakening of national pride and confidence in the formation of one nation by the Normans and the English . Moreover , the economic condition , particularly of the peasantry definitely improved . with better production and higher prices , a healthier living could be possible for the much subdued and oppressed peasant class before the peasants'Revolt.

Moreover , there was the rise of the strong , royalty-based nation-state-the Kingdom of England.The King began to be more assertive , free from the undue intervention of the haughty peers.Of course , the royal oppression remained , but much more confined . indiscriminate tyranny by the greedy lords and their followers were curbed to a great ectent . The right of the commons began to push itself forward. Their power came to be counted . But,what was of greater interest was the flourish of literature in England,so much needed for the emergence of the Renaissance,soon to follow . The great awakening of English literature in the second half of the fourteenth century , was particularly due to a great master . He multiplicity of occupations endowed him with wide experiences . His great literature was the direct result of his unique and varied experiences of life as a page , esquire , diplomat , soldier , official and courtier and of his wide acquaintances with great foreign literary masters of France and Italy.

Indeed , in the developed of English literature, Chaucer is a great name . The gradual advancement of English literature , from the Old English period to the Middle English , reched the height of excellence, in the age of Chaucer by his literary magnificence . Chaucer's uniqueness and significance in English literature are particularly borne out in the very designation given to his age as the age of Chaucer.

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