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Father of English Essay

There is a conflict regarding the Father of English Language, as according to the records, famous English Poet Geoffrey Chaucer was titled the "Father of English" for the first time in the era of 1400 as he found more than 2000 words in English. Still, after a while "William Shakespear" found many other new words and got the title of "Father of Modern English Language" many believe that Alan Turing is the man who deserves this status due to his efforts during the second world war, whereas few goes for Lindley Murray. But in the end, we can say that it is really hard to give this title to anyone. As it is said that the one who started is always the "Influencer" and all others are his followers, we are moving forward with Geoffrey Chaucer.

Geoffrey Chaucer - The Father of English?

Father of English Essay

Geoffrey Chaucer is regarded as the father of English and contributed substantially to its development. The author, poet, and diplomat referred to as the father of English was raised in London. English is the most frequently acquired language in all subjects, so there are numerous reasons to study it. This is particularly true for students from other countries who want to study abroad. Considering that English is crucial for beginning education and increasing one's job after graduation. The four most critical components of the English language-reading, writing, talking, and listening-will inspire confidence in their ability to use the language in future studies and in their daily lives.

The author Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with initiating current English literature. Despite producing a wealth of poetry in the early Mediaeval Period, Old English quickly came to an end after the Norman conquest of 1066. From that point forward, the aristocratic and skilled classes spoke French or Anglo-Norman. Chaucer is recognised as the "father of English literature" because he was one of the first writers to employ the language when it first attained literary status in the 14th century.

He was the first author to be laid to rest in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, which is now known as such. As a philosophy and astronomy person who wrote the academic A Book on the Abacus for his 10-year-old child Lewis, Chaucer also gained a following. He continued his public service career as a lawyer, nobleman, diplomat, and lawmaker.

The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, and Troilus and Criseyde are only a few of Chaucer's numerous other works. When Anglo-Norman French and Latin were still the two most widely used literary languages in England, he is credited with being vital in establishing the legitimacy of the use of Middle English in literature.

Early Life

It is said that the Great Men are great because of the life they live, but the early life of the Father of English does not anyhow seem such. Chaucer was most likely born in London in the early 1340s, however, some sources, including his tomb, claim he was born in 1343. The exact time and place of his birth are still unknown. The Chaucer family provides a remarkable illustration of upward mobility. His father, John Chaucer, advanced to become a prominent vintner with a monarch appointment, while his grandfather worked as a wine distributor.

His great-grandfather was a barkeeper. The Geoffrey Chaucer family had a long history in Ipswich as vintners and merchants. The French word that was initially assumed to mean "shoemaker" but is now understood to signify a manufacturer of tights or pants is the source of his family name. His name first appears in writing in 1357 in the diary of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster and spouse of future Emperor Lionel of Antwerp. King Edward III's son Lionel served as one of the French invasion's commanders in 1359. In 1360, Chaucer participated in it as a warrior and was briefly held captive by the French in Paris before being rebought for £16.

He was a messenger in Lionel's employ during the peace talks that were started in Calais shortly after. After then, there is no more historical evidence of him until 1366. Navarre King Charles II offered Chaucer and his friend free passage through his realm up towards the Castilian border in a letter of protection that has been handed down since this year. Chaucer frequently represented the English king on diplomatic missions in the years that followed.

He wed Philippa Roet in 1366, a courtesan of the queen Philippa of Hainaut as well as a descendant of Sir Gilles, also known as "Paon de Roet," who had immigrated to England after the king's spouse. From 1367 onward, Geoffrey Chaucer was identified as a part of the royal court, certainly as a part of a group of nearly 40 men that were to be used frequently at court. He was sometimes identified as a valettus (valet) and other times as an esquire (squire). He most likely attended the School of Law's Inns of Court in London as well. By royal decree, he was dispatched four times between 1366 and 1370, visiting France, Flanders, and possibly Italy. His Middle English translation of the French novella La Rose is likely his first literary accomplishment. The Duchess's Book, a tribute to Blanche of Lancaster, which passed away in 1368, is regarded as his debut poetry. He traveled to Genoa and Florence in 1372-1373 as part of a royal commission. The Canterbury Tales were based on works by Boccaccio and Dante, which he first encountered on this tour at the earliest. He probably acquired Italian however at the time.

His Career

Geoffrey Chaucer had many ups and downs in his career. Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple (an Inn of Court) at this time. He became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks. His wife also received a pension for court employment. He traveled abroad many times, at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Jean Froissart and Petrarch. Chaucer is thought to have penned The Book of the Duchess about this period in memory of Blanche of Lancaster, the deceased John of Gaunt's wife who passed away from the plague in 1369.

The following year, Chaucer traveled to Picardy as a member of a military excursion; in 1373, he went to Genoa and Florence. Many academics have hypothesised that he met Petrarch or Boccaccio during this Italian tour, including Skeat, Boitani, & Rowland. They exposed him to the styles and narratives of mediaeval Italian poetry, which he would later use. The reasons for an expedition in 1377 are unclear because the historical record contains contradictory information.

According to later records, Jean Froissart and others were sent on a mission to set up the union of the new King Richard II as well as a French heiress in order to put an end to the 100 Years' War. They appear to prove unfortunate, assuming that this was the reason for their journey because there was no marriage ceremony.

He was appointed a tax inspector for the leather, fur, and wool exports in 1374. At the time, wool was the most significant export from England. Edward III's gift of Chaucer, "a barrel of alcohol every day for the duration of his life," for an unexplained work may have been a sign that his writing career was valued.

Presented during a day of festivity, St. George's Day in 1374, when creative endeavors were customarily acknowledged, this grant was unique, although it is presumed to have been yet earlier lyrical composition. It is unknown what, if any, of Chaucer's surviving writings served as inspiration for the award, but the notion that he served as a poet to a royal position him as an early example of poet laureates.

Before Richard II seized power, Chaucer continued to receive the liquid stipend; but on April 18, 1378, it was changed to a cash gift.

A court document from the year 1380 has been passed down, wherein Chaucer is cleared of the charge of having committed rapture on a baker's daughter. This act can be interpreted as "rape" or "kidnapping" and is still up for debate among scholars. After 1382, he started giving his assistants more and more responsibility at the customs office, and in 1385, he relocated to Kent. A year later, he was elected to represent this county in the English House of Representatives.

But in 1386, when the parliamentary opposition overthrew King Richard II and John of Gaunt, his intimate ties to the royal court proved to be his undoing, and all of his positions were removed. Chaucer's wife passed away in 1387, and with his prior comfortable income, he was suddenly drowning in debt. He was named secretary of the works by Richard II in 1390, which meant that he oversaw all royal construction initiatives.

In September of that year, while performing this job, Brigands stole his item; some scholars believe Chaucer fabricated the theft in order to pay off his obligations with the reportedly stolen money. He lost his office after just one year. Instead, he was given the position of forest supervisor for the royal woodlands in North Petherton, Somerset District, and over the years, he stayed in touch with the royal court. The majority of the tales were also written around this time.

Chaucer received a 20-pound annual stipend from Richard II in 1394, but as immediately after Richard was ousted in 1399, Chaucer's name vanished from the books of history. His stipend was extended first by the new monarch, according to his final few records, and on December 24, 1399, he signed a lease for a home near Westminster Abbey. Richard's grants were renewed by Henry IV, but The Petition of Chaucer for his Treasury raises the possibility that they weren't paid. On June 5, 1400, when certain unpaid debts to Chaucer were settled, he was last mentioned.

The only source of information regarding Chaucer's date of death is the inscription on his tomb, which was built over a century after he passed away. Chaucer passed away on October 25, 1400, of unclear circumstances. There is little suspicion that he was killed by Richard II's opponents or possibly at the direction of his heir, Henry IV. However, there is no solid evidence to support either theory. As was his privilege as a resident of Abbey's cloister, Chaucer was entombed in Westminster Abbey in London. His ashes were moved into a more elaborate monument in 1556, giving him the title of very first author buried in the location that is now recognised as Poets' Corner.

Lancaster is also likely to be mentioned in Chaucer's little poem Fortune, which is thought to have been composed in the 1390s. The narrator of "Chaucer as narrator" boldly confronts Fortune, saying that she has taught him who his foes are. He also declares "my sufficiency" and that "over him possesses the maystry."

Fortune, on the other hand, finds Chaucer's criticism of her offensive because she considers herself to have treated him well, says he doesn't know what she has in mind for him in the future, and most crucially, says, "And eek thou possesses thy beste frend alyve." "My friend may store nat reven, blind goddesse," Chaucer responds, ordering her to remove people who are just acting as his pals.

Fortune then turns her focus to three princes, imploring them to ease Chaucer's suffering as "Preyeth his beste frend of his seigneur to som better estat he may atteyne" (Preyeth his beste frend of his noblesse) (78-79). A part of line 76 ("as 3 of you or tweyne") is likely to refer to the ordinance of 1390, which stated that no sovereign present could be authorised without the agreement of at minimum two out of the three dukes. The three princes are thought to stand in for the nobles of Lancaster, York, and Gloucester.

The quantity of allusions to Chaucer's "beste frend" stands the most in this brief poetry. Luck references Chaucer's "beste frend" in the despatch while pleading for his "noblesse" to elevate him to a better estate, saying, "And also, you even have your best friend living" 3 times in her reply to the plaintiff. When the author berates Fortune, demanding that she not steal his companion from him, he makes a fifth allusion.

English Literature's Father

The author Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with starting modern English literature. Despite producing a wealth of poetry in the early Mediaeval Period, Old English quickly came to an end after the Norman conquest of 1066.

From that point forward, the aristocratic and skilled classes spoke French or Anglo-Norman. Chaucer is recognised as the "father of English literature" because he was one of the very first writers to use the language when it first managed to gain literary status in the 14th century.

His writing is largely inspired by classical, French, and Italian traditions, but it also includes improvements in grammar, style, and substance that laid the groundwork for early English literature's individuality. In Chaucer's "English" phase, which began after 1388, the majority of the Canterbury Tales were written. However, Boccaccio's Decamerone serves as his creative inspiration (1353). Chaucer borrowed many ideas from this anthology of 100 novellas, but the framework storyline was the most important one. Chaucer wrote original stories.

Chaucer's Religious Believes

It is important to distinguish Chaucer's views on the Church from his views on Christianity. In the Canterbury Tales, he wrote, "Now I beg all those that pay any attention to this small disquisition, or interpret it, that if there be something in it that delights people, they applaud our Saviour Jesus Christ for it, from whom proceeds all knowledge and kindness. He appears to have treated with respect and praised Christians and that it has been one himself.


Thomas Hoccleve, a well-known poet who might have known Chaucer and regarded him as such an inspiration, referred to him as "the firste fyndere of our correct langage." In The Fall of Princes, John Lydgate described Chaucer as the "lodesterre (leading element) off our English." About two hundred years later, in his personal Defence of Poesie, Sir Philip Sidney complimented Troilus and Criseyde highly. Chaucer gained national attention as a representative of the country's poetic legacy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

According to G. K. Chesterton, "of the major classical English writers, Chaucer and Dickens have the greatest amount of similarities." Dickens included Luke from Troilus and Criseyde in his 1850 novel David Copperfield, echoing Chaucer's use of the passage. Dickens also had additional Chaucer writings in his collection.

The vast number of Chaucer's writings still in existence attests to the poetry's continuing popularity before the printing press was developed. There are 83 whole or partial copies of the Canterbury Tales still in existence, together with 16 copies of Troilus and Criseyde, plus Henry IV's copy. It is possible that these remaining writings reflect hundreds that have been lost due to the effects of age.

Chaucer's first readers were courtiers, which would have included both men and women from the highest social groups. Chaucer's audiences had already started to also include those from the middle class, wealthy, and the newly educated before the time he died in 1400. Numerous Lollard supporters were involved in this, and some of them may have been tempted to identify Chaucer as being one of them.

Chaucer's scathing works on friars, monks, as well as other church officials especially appealed to Lollards. John Baron, a peasant farmer in Amersham in Buckinghamshire, was accused of being a Lollard sinner and brought by John Chatsworth, the Diocese of Lincoln, in 1464. He admitted to possessing a "book of the Stories of Canterbury", among many other dubious books.

Despite the fact that Chaucer's writings had long been respected, genuine academic study of his corpus did not start before Thomas Tyrwhitt published The Canterbury Tales in the mid-18th century, and it wasn't until the 19th century that it was recognised as a distinct academic field.

Researchers like Frederick James Furnivall, the person who established the Chaucer Association in 1868, were among the first to publish official copies of Chaucer's most important works, as well as in-depth analyses of his language and phonation. With his edition, released by Oxford University Press, Walter William Skeat created the standard text for all of Chaucer's writings. Like Furnivall, Skeat was frequently affiliated with the Oxford English Dictionary. Additional improvements were included in later versions via John H. Fisher & Larry D. Benson, along with critical analysis and bibliographies.

Chaucer's ideas, structure, and readership were discussed after the textual concerns had been large, if not entirely, addressed. Since its founding in 1966, The Chaucer Review has remained the leading journal for Chaucer research. Harold Bloom, a literary critic, listed Chaucer among some of the finest Western authors of all time in 1994, and he elaborated on William Shakespeare's obligation to the writer in 1997.


The author Geoffrey Chaucer is believed to have begun modern English literature. Not only did he produce a wealth of literature within the early Mediaeval Period, but also Old English quickly ceased to exist in the current world after the Norman conquest of 1066. From that point, the aristocratic and skilled classes that spoke French or Anglo-Norman started being used. Chaucer is recognized as the "father of English literature" since he was one of the first writers to employ the language when it first attained literary status in the 14th century.

The way he gave his contributions to English, no doubt he holds a specific place in the History of English Literature and this is why even after many changes in the current world, he still keeps the place of being "Father of English"

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