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Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer Geoffrey)

( most prominent of the English poets of the Middle Ages, a major figure of English literature.)

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Biography Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer Geoffrey)
photo Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer Geoffrey)
(1344? -1400)
It is believed that he was born between 1340 and 1344 and that was the birthplace of London. John Chaucer, Geoffrey's father, a successful vintner, served as assistant to the royal kravchego in Southampton.
The first record relating to Jeffrey (1357), found in the ledger Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster, wife of Prince Lionel (one of the sons of Edward III). About Jeffrey mentioned as Paget, which was bought new clothes. Perhaps in the pages to determine the boy went to school in London: he was supposed to be able to read and perform simple calculations, as well as have some knowledge of Latin, and even, perhaps, the French. At the service of Prince Lionel systematic education of boys should be able to continue on a more aristocratic manners: now he should pay special attention to the arts, . thorough study French and Latin, . and improved in the noble classes,

In 1359-1360 Chaucer served in the British army in France (the Hundred Years War continued intermittently throughout his life). He was captured not far from the modern Reims, in early 1360 for it was paid a considerable ransom, and he was able to return to England. In the same year, Chaucer again went to France, while still in the service of Prince Lionel, but now as a courier, it was the first of his many diplomatic missions. Then his name about seven years, disappears from the chronicles. Very likely, . that during this time Chaucer had married Philip Roth, . which was part of the retinue of Countess Ulster, . and at the time of the wedding - at Queen's retinue, and her sister Catherine Suinford was the most famous mistress, . and then the third wife of John of Gaunt, . fourth son of Edward III,

In 1367 the name of Chaucer again appears in the documents, this time he is mentioned as a royal valet, also mentioned that he received a pension from the crown. After that, the name of Chaucer begins to occur frequently: the royal gifts he and his wife, regular allowances, new appointments, the diplomatic mission. Fixed and extremely important for the history of literature instruction Chaucer in 1372 to negotiate with the Duke of Genoa. This appointment dates from the poet's first trip to Italy (more precisely, the first in which we can be sure), who, along with the second, in 1378, a huge influence on the work of Chaucer

. In 1374 Chaucer was a gratuitous use house Oldgeyte and was appointed Inspector of Customs Port of London (later, . 1382, . Chaucer was appointed as inspector of customs Minor.) In 1375 he was granted oversight of the county of Kent, listing in its favor various fines, . imposed by Customs,
. From 1376 to 1381 Chaucer was permitted to leave at the time Deputy absences from London, which indicates the importance of his or her position. Philip continued to enjoy royal favor, and, presumably, Jeffrey shared her good fortune until her death around 1387.

However, there are clear indications that even before the death of Philippa Chaucer had suddenly found himself in straitened circumstances. In 1386 he lost his house in Oldgeyte and the two supervisory positions, in addition, in 1387-1389 there are no records of grants paid to the poet, but has repeatedly documented orders for payment of debts.

In 1389 Chaucer was appointed as overseer of royal works and remained in that position for two years. Most likely, Chaucer himself had requested the resignation, as the service required constant trips, and the poet was no longer young. There is no reason to suppose, . that he was dismissed, . unable to cope with the work: the poet immediately received his last appointment - Assistant Forester of the Royal Forest in North Pitertone (in the Middle Ages, a forester named person, . oversee the hunting reserves),
. On the subsequent years of life of Chaucer we know a little bit less. A record of irregular payment of salaries, so that is probably why it was necessary to borrow money in the Treasury. Nevertheless, in 1399 he was able to rent a 53, the house near Westminster Abbey. In this house, and Geoffrey Chaucer died on October 25, 1400.

The works of Chaucer's difficult to date precisely. Earlier work has a future skill, but they also are traditional, and largely experimental, style and content borrowed from the exquisite French writers who were then in vogue at the English Court. Poems of love dreams, allegorical paintings, dreams (visions) in the 14. French were the favorite genre. Usual story: spring, the poet complains of insomnia, then falls asleep with a book in a dream composes his own tale of love with allegorical paintings - and wakes.

Poem Book of the Duchess (The Book of the Duchess, 1369) was written in memory of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, first wife of John of Gaunt, is a work considered the first long poem of Chaucer. By carefully imitated French models, . but his special gift is manifested, . despite adherence to the traditional manner: clarity and freshness of the decorative background, . realism of hunting scenes, together with an abstract picture-sleep, . transition from stylized romantic dreams to heartfelt elegy,

Written some 10 years later poem House of Fame (House of Fame) - the product of a transitional. In general terms, this French romantic 'vision', as the poem describes a dream and announced the intention to learn 'to love' from the houses of Fame and Rumors. However, the style of House of Fame - especially 2 nd book - realistic, distinctive voices in the poem of Dante, the medieval Latin poets and prose writers, and finally - juicy style of the Chaucerian.

Bird Parliament (Parliament of Fowls), written, apparently, in early 1380-ies, to the traditional French style to a greater extent than the House of Fame. However, the description of sleep (where the birds, . Meeting in Valentine's Day, . looking for a pair) consistently realistic, . there is even a political satire, . when the 'noble' birds discuss their п╦п╥п╠я─п╟п╫п╫п╦я├, . consistent with the rules of courtesy, . and birds'muzhlany 'openly and flagrantly mock masters,

Unfinished Legend of famous women (Legend of Good Women) - the last of the poems 'romantic visions', in some ways, it presages Canterbury Tales. Visions are placed in the 'Prologue' - in all respects the best part of the poem. May Day, the garden, the poet offered up a prayer charming spring daisies. He falls asleep, he dreamed that God came and the goddess of love and impose on him a penance for what he wrote about the infidels in love women. In atonement poet told to write about the faithful ( 'nice') wives, he agrees, and this ends the prologue. Basic nine stories legends too uniform on and is now interesting mainly to the fact that anticipate the structure of the Canterbury Tales.

Poem Troilus and Hrizeida (Troilus and Criseyde) written before about the legends of the glorious women, but this poem is quite independent and strong beyond the genre of romantic visions. The plot works to a large extent borrowed from Boccaccio Filostrato (or, perhaps, of a similar novel about the French text of Troilus and Hrizeide).

Is unknown when Chaucer conceived composition Canterbury Tales (Cantenbury Tales). Chaucer, with his distinctive talent, found a single story - a pilgrimage to the tomb of St.. Thomas Becket in Canterbury. Here is a list of all the characters of the late Middle Ages (except the king and the nobility - they would be out of place in such a journey).

In this work, Chaucer of all kinds of literature 14.: Knights and kurtuaznyh novels, folk tales, Fabliau (stories with rough humor), Brittany LE, fable with characters, animals, lives of saints, allegory, sermon. Sometimes the poet included previously written stories, sometimes - adding new.

The list of poetic works of Chaucer's poem, now including 21 but 5 of them usually come with a note 'authorship is doubtful'. Some database. ABC (ABC), religious poetry, glorifying the Holy Virgin, be attributed to the early period of the writer's life, because they were written 'at the request of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster'. Humorous and topical poems can be dated to the content - such as Sorrow of Chaucer to his purse (The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse) was addressed ascended the throne of Henry VI, and therefore dates back to 1399 year. Love poems (some 10) can not be dated with certainty, although the traditional style can be attributed to the early period. Philosophical poems for the most part tend to Boethius, to suggest that they were written when Chaucer lived in Oldgeyte.

Chaucer himself says that has translated novel about Rosa. Extant translation (Romaunt of the Rose) is composed of three segments, the first is usually attributed to Chaucer, the other two, judging by the language and style, he does not belong.

Boethius (Boece) - translated from Latin treatise by the Italian writer 6. Boethius Consolation philosophy. Translation of Chaucer dry and pedantic, in the opinion of most critics, Chaucer's prose is not nearly as brilliant as his poetry. Moreover we know that besides the Latin, he used the original French text, so the meaning is lost in some places. Another prose work, A Treatise on the astrolabe (Treatise on the Astrolabe), - the scientific work, not a philosophical. It is adapted for children Latin version of the book of the Arab astronomer 8. Poet, prose writer, and became a teacher here, simple and accessible words explains the initial concept of medieval astronomy.

The language of Chaucer was a London dialect of his time. Chaucerian lines flow naturally, they are diverse, so brilliantly mastered and rhythm and rhyme. In early works he sometimes applied octosyllabic stanza, but later used a more flexible decasyllabic verse and strophic 'rhyme royal'.

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