The Canterbury Tales: The English Language’s First Masterpiece | Literary Classic | Absolute History

History Documentaries

Geoffrey Chaucer, a poet living in the late 1300s, witnessed significant societal changes in England during the transition from feudalism to a more mercantile system. Chaucer began writing the Canterbury Tales around 1387 during a period when the Catholic Church still held extreme power and the Black Death and the 100 Years War were still having profound impacts on England. Chaucer employs satire, irony, and humor throughout the tales, making readers laugh at first and then revealing the seriousness and tragedy beneath. His innovative use of the five-stress line in Middle English enhances the complexity of his mature poetry, setting him apart as a groundbreaking writer.

Credit Absolute History

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