Describe in detail the Age of Chaucer: background events/social/political/literary work.
It was during the Middle Ages when The Age of Chaucer was important (the 14th Century). During this period, the people of England found themselves unhappy with many religious, political, and social ideologies.
Chaucer was important in literature, especially poetry, given his dissent from alliterative poetry and, instead, using the heroic couplet. His works were renowned for their vivacity and color.
Here are a few characteristics of the times during The Age of Chaucer:
1. The Black Death- Killed a third of the population.
2. The Catholic Church- turned from trying to convert followers to simply maintaining power over the followers they already had.
3. Secular governments began to exert more power (prior the Catholic church had maintained most power).
4. Heresy in England- As people began to question the power of the Catholic Church, accusations of heresy began to grow.
5. Wars became more devastating and costly.
6. The advancement of technology began to slow given much had been taken as far as it possibly could for the time.
7. Famous works in Medieval Period: Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (The Pearl Poet), Beowulf (Unknown),
The Age of Chaucer was the 14th century. During this time, English became the law of the courts, and Chaucer (c. 1340-1400) developed new forms of English poetry such as the heroic couplet. His works such as The Canterbury Tales, as well as those of other English poets, helped English gain eventual dominance over French in England.
During this century, there was a great deal of social unrest, in part resulting from the Black Plague. Approximately 30%-60% of the European population perished from the plague, and the overcrowding and malnutrition that had characterized Europe declined. As peasants now had more economic opportunities because there were fewer people, many left the countryside of England and went to urban areas, thereby weakening feudalism. The feudal system never recovered. There was also political unrest, including the Hundred Years' War, which lasted in spurts over the period 1137 to 1453 between England and France over the successor to the French throne. Under Edward III (1327-1377), Parliament became more powerful, and no law or tax could be passed without the consent of both Houses of Parliament. Edward III had to submit to parliamentary laws to gain the financing he needed to fight the Hundred Years' War.