Geoffrey Chaucer is widely known as 'the Father of English Literature.'
Not only is he the first poet buried in Westminster Abbey, Chaucer remains the proven favorite poet of the Middle Ages. His best known collective work, The Canterbury Tales, serve as inspiration for countless English writers and poets to come.
The most influential reason why Chaucer would be considered the father of English literature is the fact that he wrote in the vernacular (his audience's spoken language) rather than Latin, which was the accepted standard for written works at the time. The popularity of The Canterbury Tales, coupled by the fact that it was written in the vernacular, goes a long way to establishing a trend toward acceptance for vernacular works.