Geoffrey Chaucer1340? - 1400 Ms. N. Croney
Born in London Middle ages was coming to a close Family was well off Family made wine and leather trade The name Chaucer comes from the French word for shoemaker (surname) Was an attendant to Prince Lionel (son of King Edward III) Facts
With Prince Lionel, Chaucer learned the customs of the upper-class As a teenager he joined the king’s army. Fought in the Hundred Years’ War He became a diplomat He was influenced by Dante, Petrarch, and a few of the other French and Italian writers while traveling. More Facts
As a Writer • Last two decades of his life were his best for writing • The Canterbury Tales is the most famous • A collection of verse and prose tales of many different kinds • Began organizing in 1387 • Was unfinished at the time of his death (20,000 lines)
Honored in death • Buried in London’s Westminster Abbey • 1566 marble tomb for his remains
What’s the big deal • During his time the educated spoke French. • Chaucer was one of the first writers to show that English could be a respectable literary language. • Cornerstone of English literature
Symbolism • A symbol is a person, place, object, or activity that stands for something beyond itself.
Now your turn • Think of something that is symbolic to you. • Show your symbol to someone else without telling them what it is. • What does it mean to them before they know what it means? • Explain what it means to them.
Isn’t if ironic? • Irony is the contrast between what you expect and reality (what you get) • Ex. “Traffic jam when you’re already late” • Ex. “A No Smoking sign on your cigarette break” • Ex. “Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife” • Ex. “It’s like meeting the man of your dream, and then meeting his beautiful wife.” • (All quotations are from Alanis Morissette)
Tone • The tone of a work expresses the writer’s attitude toward the work’s subject or characters • Can be formal or informal • Can be amused or impatient
Characterization • The means by which a writer develops a character’s personality. • Description of physical appearance • Presentation of speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions • Presentation of other characters’ speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions