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Paper Topic:

Geoffrey Chaucer

5

Geoffrey Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer

When it is said that Chaucer is the father of English poetry , and even the father of English literature (Brewer , 1978 ) we broadly mean that his contribution to the evolution of English poetry or literature is much more significant than that of his contemporaries and predecessors , and to be similarly rated is his introduction of so many novel features into it . That Chaucer was a pioneer in many respects should be readily granted . With him is born our real poetry 'says Mathew Arnold

. He has been acclaimed as the first realist , the first humorist , the first narrative artist , the first great character-painter , and the first great metrical artist in English literature . Further he has been credited not only with the fatherhood ' of English poetry but has also been hailed as the father of English drama before the drama was born , and the father of English novel before the novel was born . And , what is more , his importance is not due to precedence alone , but due to excellence . He is not only the first English poet , but a great poet in his own right Justly has he been called the fountain-source of the vast stream of English literature

We may justly say that Chaucer found the English language brick and left it marble . When Chaucer started his literary career , the English speech and still less , the English of writing was confusingly fluid and unsettled . The English language was divided into a number of dialects which were employed in different parts of the country . Chaucer employed in his work the East Midland dialect , and by casting the enormous weight of his genius in the balance decided once for all which dialect was going to be the standard literary language of the whole of the country for all times to come . after him thought of using any dialect other than the East Midland for any literary work of consequence . Chaucer chose English which was a despised language , and as the legendary king did to the beggar maid , raised her from the dust , draped her in royal robes , and conducted her coronation . That queen is ruling even now

Chaucer 's contribution to English versification is no less striking than to the English language . He sounded the death-knell of the Old Saxon alliterative measure and firmly established the modern one . After Chaucer no important poet ever thought of reverting to the old measure Thus Chaucer may be designated the father of modern English versification

Chaucer seems to be the first Englishman who realized and brought out the latent music of his language . To read Chaucer 's verse ' observes a critic is like listening to a clear stream , in a meadow full of sunshine , rippling over its bed of pebbles

Chaucer made English a pliant and vigorous medium of poetic utterance His astonishingly easy mastery of the language is indeed remarkable With one step the writing of Chaucer carry us into a new era in which the language...

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