Sunday, 25 September 2016


With Chaucer is perceived the beginning of an era- a new epoch - in the history of English literature . He is , indeed , the greatest name among the English men of letters before Shakespeare . But this is not all , for he had the credit to introduce the modern note into English literature.

Chaucer's achievement , as a poet and creative artist , as the maker of a literary tradition , can hardly be exaggerated . When examined against the background of Anglo-Saxon literature and Anglo-Norman , his uniqueness and anplitude , as a literary master , become clearly evident . In him is found a great innovator who brought into English poetry a light that had never been seen before , who raised English literature to a height that it had never attained before . In fact , in various ways and diverse forms , Chaucer is found to have erected an edifice of all gold over the hard stone of Anglo-Saxon literature and the barren field of Anglo-Saxon . 

But this is not all . Chaucer is a medieval poet , not simply a modern one , and he represents fully the medieval spirit that was dominant in the literature of his time . He belonged to the medieval world , in action and spirit , and knew medieval life in its various aspects . His multiplicity of occupation enabled him to grasp the numerous experiences , connected with medieval life and activities . His literary art is found to transmit much his experience and knowledge of medieval life and literature. 

One of the primary notes of medieval literature is found in its story-telling aspect . Under the French influence and the Italian , the medieval English poets displayed more or less too much proneness to story-telling . This is found perfectly expressed in Chaucer who has remained one of the finest story -tellers in verse in English literature . His numberous works , inspired under different influences , bear out his power as a story-teller . The Knightes Tale and Troilus and Criseyde , his notable works in the Italian period , are rich in the gifts of story - telling . Drawn from the sources of Boccaccio , these texts present the stories of a chivalrous and adventurous life , and the tenderness of warm and devoted love . Here they seem to bear the tradition of medieval romances , although they are made of a better literary stuff . Chaucer is found , no doubt indebted to Boccaccio  for the plots of his poems , yet his originality is well demonstrated all through , and the mere adventurous events of Boccaccio tales are found transformed into the highly impulsive love - poems by Chauces sheer poetic genius . In The Legende of Good Women , Chaucer's great gift of story telling also remarkably comes out . But the crowning piece of Chaucer’s literary genius is The canterbury Tales , in which the tales told are no less admirable and effective . These tales are the expressions of Chaucer's genius and profile in story-telling . This is definitely a medieval strand in literature , much perfected and embellished on Chaucer. 


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