• The greatest poets of the Middle Ages. His most famous literary works include The Canterbury Tales, A Treatise on the Astrolabe, the Book of the Duchess, the Legend of Good Women, the Parliament of Fouls, the House of Fame, and Troilus and Criseyde. 
  •  An author, astronomer and philosopher.
  •  He married the daughter of Sir Gilles de Roet, Philippa Roet, in September 1366.
  •  He had close connection with Queen Philippa and King Edward III. This gave Chaucer a financial security. they had four; two sons and two daughters. The names of Elizabeth Chaucer and Thomas Chaucer are documented.
  •  The Canterbury Tales is Geoffrey Chaucer’s longest literary works. It is written mainly in verse, in Middle English and consists of more than 17,000 lines.
  •  The earliest major poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer was The Deth of Blaunche also known as ‘The Book of the Duchess’. It is thought that John of Gaunt asked Geoffrey Chaucer to write the poem following the death of his wife, Blanche of Lancaster.
  •  ‘The House of Fame’ was most likely written around 1379-1380. The poem consists of more than 2000 lines and is based upon a dream vision which the poet entails when he falls asleep and dreams of a glass temple where he is guided by an eagle. The poem is written in three books.
  •  He wrote one of his finest pieces of literary works in the form of a long poem based on two lovers called ‘Troilus and Criseyde’. The story is set during the Siege of Troy.
  •  Pioneer of heroic couplet.
  •  Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem about love called the ‘Palement of Foules’. It consists of approximately 700 lines and is written in rhyme royal stanza. Geoffrey Chaucer was the first poet to introduce the rhyme royal style.
  •  Geoffrey Chaucer was the first poet to be buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. 


  •  Prologue to Canterbury Tale known as the frame story of the poem Canterbury Tales
  •  It contains 858 lines in Middle English.
  •  Chaucer is the narrator. He meets a group of “sundry folk”, who are all on the way to Canterbury, the site of the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket.
  •  Saint Thomas Becket is said to be a Martyr with in the Christian faith, who has the power of healing those who found themselves to the sinful in nature.
  •  Thomas Becket (21st Dec  1119 – 29th Dec  1170) was an Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170.
  •  He was canonized by Pop Alexander III.
  •  Becket was murdered by the Knight of king Henry II.
  •  Setting of the prologue is in April.
  •  The goal of such pilgrimage mentions here is Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket.
  •  The pilgrims include Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Nun, Nun’s Priest, Monk, Priest, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk, Sergient of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Cook, Shipman, Doctor of Physique, Wife of Bath, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, Host, Chaucer.
  •  Name of the host is Harry Bailly.
  •  Characters are introduced according to rank.
  •  Harry Bailly introduces each pilgrim.
  •  Noblest of pilgrims- Knight.
  •  Knight’s son Squire is about 20 years old.
  •  Professionals- Clerk, Man of law, Gildsmen, Physician, Shipman.
  •  Laborers- Cook, Plowman.
  •  Stewards- Miller, Manciple, Reeve.
  •  Church officers- Summoner, Pardoner.   
  •  Canterbury tales is a collection of 24 tales.


  • Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late 1380s and early 1390s.
  • He wrote this poem after his retirement from life as a civil servant.
  • The Canterbury Tales  is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines.
  • It is written in a combination of verse and prose.
  • The Canterbury Tales is also a comment on English society at the time.
  • It tells the story of 29 pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.
  • The Canterbury Tales is generally thought to have been incomplete at the end of Chaucer’s life.
  • Chaucer mixes satire and realism in main characterisations of each of the pilgrims.
  • Chaucer’s original plan was for over 100 stories, but only 24 were completed.
  •  Each of the characters express different views of reality.
  • The original copies of Canterbury Tales were printed in 1477.
  •  The Canterbury Tales tells of the meeting of a group at an inn in Southwark.
  • Southwark is a village south of the Thames River and now making up part of London.
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