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Course Study Material

Poet Geoffrey Chaucer

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  • Geoffrey was born:


    Rationale: It is believed that the poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, was born in the year 1343 in London, England, though the exact date and location are unknown.

  • Chaucer was married to

    a woman named Philippa

    Rationale: By the year 1368, Chaucer was married to Philippa Chaucer, the daughter of Sir Payne Roet and possibly kin to John of Gaunt, who showed Chaucer great favor.

  • The first work Chaucer is believed to have published is:

    The Book of the Duchesse

    Rationale: The first work that we know to be undoubtedly written by Chaucer is a poem entitled ‘The Book of the Duchesse,’ written in 1369 in honor of Blanche of Lancaster, the wife of John of Gaunt, after her untimely death.

  • In addition to writing, Chaucer pursued:

    Business for the king

    Rationale: Records indicate that Chaucer was held in high esteem by King Edward III. He was captured and held prisoner in France but his ransom was paid, and by 1368 he had become one of the king’s esquires. His offices remained confirmed upon the ascension of Richard II to the throne. In addition, he was a courtier, civil servant, and diplomat.

  • Chaucer's most popular work is

    Canterbury Tales

    Rationale: To this day, the ‘Canterbury Tales’ remains Geoffrey Chaucer’s most popular and studied work.

  • Chaucer’s literary influence includes

    Use of satire and humor

    Rationale: Chaucer played an important role as a satirist, which would go on to influence literature later on. In addition, he first used regional dialects as a humorous device in storytelling.

  • Most of Chaucer’s work is written in

    Middle English

    Rationale: Much of Chaucer’s work is written in Middle English, making it difficult though not impossible to be understood and appreciated by the modern reader.

  • Chaucer’s work may have had linguistic influence in

    Middle English dialect

    Rationale: Many credit Chaucer’s work with having an influence on the standardization of Middle English. While this may be true to an extent, it is also suggested that his influence is overestimated and that the influence of the court may have had more of an impact on standardizing the English language.

  • Geoffery Chaucer died in


    Rationale: Chaucer is thought to have passed away from unknown causes in October of the year 1400. There is some speculation that he may have been murdered, though little if any evidence exists to support this theory.

  • Chaucer is buried in

    Westminster Abbey

    Rationale: Chaucer is buried in Westminster Abbey, in an area that is known today as the Poet’s Corner.

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