Describe in detail the age of Chaucer, including background events as well as social, political, and literary works.

The age of Chaucer was the fourteenth century, a time of great religious, political, and social upheaval. The bubonic plague wiped out a significant portion of Europe's population during this period, and the plague, along with the Hundred Years' War, began to erode the longstanding system of European feudalism. Chaucer's works, like The Canterbury Tales, offer a glimpse of what life was like for a variety of individuals during this tumultuous time period.

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Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales during a time of great societal change in England as well as the rest of western Europe. This was a time of extreme religious devotion. One of the most significant ways to express one's faith was to undertake a pilgrimage. Going on a pilgrimage was...

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Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales during a time of great societal change in England as well as the rest of western Europe. This was a time of extreme religious devotion. One of the most significant ways to express one's faith was to undertake a pilgrimage. Going on a pilgrimage was no small achievement. The roads could be dangerous and the journey difficult. That is why many pilgrims banded together for mutual safety, just as the group in Chaucer's story does.

The fourteenth century was a time of upheaval. For one thing, the bubonic plague devastated Europe. It is thought that as much as half the English population succumbed to this disease. This brought trade and commerce to a virtual halt. One other thing it did was weaken the nobility and the institution of feudalism. With fewer peasants alive to work the fields, the survivors were able to band together to demand more rights. Many left the manors and went to towns, becoming craftsmen, merchants, and artisans. We can see this mix of professions among the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales.

Feudalism was also weakening as a result of the Hundred Years War. This war shifted power away from the nobility and into the hands of monarchs and commoners. During the war, kings in England and France began directly taxing the populace in order to raise and support their armies. This cut the nobility out of the loop, thereby eroding much of their power. It also led to a rise in nationalist sentiments. These feelings of national unity led to commoners siding with each other despite being parts of different fiefdoms. We can see in Chaucer's work how a diverse crowd of pilgrims could unite under a shared national identity.

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The Age of Chaucer was a very interesting time period and you can see it reflected in his works. On the one hand, it was a time of extreme unrest and uncertainty. The plague had wiped out a large percentage of the European population, there was much political upheaval, and people were generally uneasy.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church held a stranglehold over the entirety of western civilization, and they were largely unquestioned and held in high esteem. So while people were extremely distrustful and uneasy, they took deep comfort in religious iconography and looked to Catholic ceremony and tradition to free them from their frightening lives.

This is clear in The Canterbury Tales as a great mass of diverse individuals congregates to make the pilgrimage to Canterbury in hopes that it will improve their lives, even though they are all from radically different backgrounds.

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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.

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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),

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