Saturday, 1 October 2016


Chaucer's  most criginal and truly English work is The Canterbury Tales , Which is the product of his sufficient maturity as a story-teller in verse . In this very ambitious project , Chaucer is found to turn to England and the English society of this time . The work ,breathing the spirt of genuine poetry , is a laudable effort to capture the spirit of England in the fourteenth century , and may well be taken as an emblem of truly national poetry , as a national social epic of fourteenth century England .

Chaucer began to work on The Canterbury Tales about 1387 , in which his wife philippa Chaucer , as far as known , died . He continued to work on it till his own death , some thirteen years after . Obviously , the work was left unfinished by him .

The formulation of the scheme of The Canterbury Tales was certainly activated by the practice of a large number of pilgrims to visit the holy tomb of St. Thomas at Canterbury . It was common for such pilgrims to move in groups for security and to entertain themselves with  various stories for relaxation during their journey from London which generally lasted for three days or more .

Chaucer planned a comprehensive portrait of his contemporary society from the conventional pilgrimage to Canterbury . He brought together several pilgrims , belonging to different stations and occupations and geared up his creative genius to enliven them all .

The Canterbury Tales , as already asserted , to Chaucer English period . His main inspiration is , no doubt , the English society of his own time . Yet , the influence of foreign masters mights well be traced in the work . The subtle dwployment of realistic details in Dante's Divina Commedia appears to have an influence on his description of the pilgrims in the General prologue to the Tales . Again , Boccaccio mechanic contrivance of the collection of stories ib the Decameron might have provided Chaucer with the plan to attribute different tales to different pilgrims . Of course , Chaucer literary genius is found to have transmuted Boccaccio metal into gold.

Chaucer's plan in The Canterbury Tales , as noted already , is quite extensive. There are thirty pilgrims , including the author himself , who are to visit Canterbury . Those pilgrims  are selected from different walks of life . There are tge friar , the monk , the priest , the pardoner , the summoner , the parson , the knight , the squire , tge frankin , the merchant , the doctor of medicine , the cook and so on .


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