What is Geoffrey Chaucer's influence on English and English literature?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Chaucer's influence is enormous, but in your question you have correctly broken it down into two basic parts: the English language and English literature.

As in all European countries, England had and has regional dialects, different forms of the language that are spoken locally in different parts of the country. Like French, German, Italian, and so on, it also has a standard form which originally was merely one of these dialects and then, for various reasons, gained great prestige and became the variety of the language spoken throughout the whole country, taught in schools, and used in literature. Chaucer wrote in what was then the London dialect ; this, of course, became standard English. Since the Norman conquest of England three hundred years before, the language had gone through a period of great change; a large number of loan words from Norman French, Latin, and Greek were introduced into English. Chaucer's work was of such high quality that it basically enshrined his Middle English...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 744 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team