What are some ideas for an essay on 'The Age of Chaucer?' 

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The 'Age of Chaucer' (1340s - 1400) was a time of great social and political upheaval, therefore providing lots of topics and ideas for an essay.

Politically, for example, this period was dominated by the Hundred Years' War, a series of territorial conflicts between England and France. This war produced some of the era's most infamous battles, including Crecy (1346) and Agincourt (1415). Chaucer himself worked briefly as a soldier, though he was captured by the enemy and returned to England one year after his arrival, in 1360.

Socially, this era is also notable for the Black Death, a plague which spread across Europe and arrived in England in 1348, decimating between one-third and one-half of the population. In the aftermath of the plague, society was changed considerably: surviving peasants, for instance, demanded better wages and working conditions while the clergy suffered from a national shortage of trained priests.

This era also witnessed the Great Schism, a split in the papacy in which three different men claimed to be pope. The papacy not only lost authority and prestige during this time: the Schism also caused instability across Europe as governments were forced to back one of the claimants. This situation was not resolved until 1417, almost two decades after Chaucer's death.

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