An Introduction to Major English Authors in English
TOPICS DISCUSSED TODAY:
“Tales of best sentence and most solas”: Chaucer and Tale-Telling
Chaucer and Language
Chaucer’s Ironic Speaker
The pilgrimage as Frame Tale
Humors and More
Chaucer is the first of Major authors
His visuality, graphic quality, realism, ambiguity.
Use of humour asking questions about life death and spirituality
His irony, obsession with se, violence and fart-jokes.
Language is written in a different form of English known as
The vernacular in England from about 1100 to 1500
The descendant of old English language
The ancestor of modern language
Literary culture of middle ages was more international than
Latin was language of church or language of scholars.
After 11 century, french dominant language of European
There is a startling different between Middle English and our
Writers that came after Chaucer made Chaucer renowned as the
major English author of the time.
In the “General Prologue,” a group of 30 pilgrims gather at the Tabard Inn in
Southwark, across the Thames of London.
TWO SPEAKERS IN THE “GENERAL PROLOGUE”: A first person pronoun or a speaking eye ( Geffray) and the post of the
tavern (Harry Bailly)
Harry Bailly is the Master of ceremonies for story telling context
Geffray, speaking “I” is and is not Chaucer himself, makes his first
appearance in line 20. He is very Ironic and says one thing but always
Lines 35 to 42 is where the first person speaker sets out his purpose in
the “General Prologue,” here he promises to introduce us to all the
pilgrims, and tell us how they seemed and who they are and what
social realm they came from.
The first person Chaucer said he will disclose is the knight.
IRONY: A SUBTLY HUMOROUS PERCEPTION OF INCONSISTENCY, IN WHICH AN
APPARANTLEY STRAIGHTFORWARD STATEMENT IS UNDERMINED BY ITS
CONTEXT SO AS TO GIVE IT A VERY DIFFERENT SIGNIFICANCE.
For example an Irony in between line 118 to 141 Madame Eglantine:
She spoke French very nicely, and English
Has good manners
She is trying to be even more proper than it fits her nature.
Her French is not completely perfect its learned in England
She has a really big heart
Line 118 we encounter a prioress, which is known as the house of the
Shy, sings beautifully, she nicely dabs at her upper lip after every
meal, and makes sure she doesn’t drop any grease as she’s eating to
maintain proper behaviour at the court.
Up to this point Chaucer does no more than picture a portrait of
Line 141 onwards Madame Eglantine the woman of the church.
Seems uncommonly gentle
She seems to baby her pets, her hams.
She’s all unconscious and tender to the heart.
Chaucer’s Prioress is one of his most unique portraits.
Mother superior Sings beautifully, well schooled in her French speaking, and has
Wide for head
Motto: “Love conquers all “?!