Chaucer as the father of English poetry or literature

Chaucer as the father of English poetry or literature

Question: Discuss Chaucer as the father of English poetry or literature.


Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) was a poet, scientific thinker, author, philosopher, and diplomat. He made a huge contribution to the development of English literature and language. His three stages of literary career make him not only famous but also recognizable. According to John Dryden, Chaucer is the father of English poetry. He is given this title for a number of reasons.

Existed by name

He is one of the first English poets that we know by name. During the time period, it was not common to know the name of the author. It was anonymous largely due to the tradition of passing stories along orally from one generation to the next generation. According to the critics and historians, he exists by name which is why he is recognized as the inaugurator of English poetry.

Because of his accomplishments

We give him the title of the father because of his accomplishments. His largest and best-known work is “The Canterbury Tales”. In this work, Chaucer creates a frame story with his poetry. This is an unfinished book because of his death. The outer story is the pilgrimage that the group is going to pay homage to Thomas Becket at Canterbury. The inside story is a collection of short stories focusing on individual travelers. Thus, his “The Canterbury Tales” published in 1387 until his death in 1400 makes him the father of English poetry.

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Poetic beauty and poetic truth

Chaucer is able to give us a picture of the life of all levels of society of his time through his own life experience. His tales depict the knight and the plowman. It means that he sketches the lifestyle of all people of his contemporary time. Many writers have not even been able to do this well, and even a few hundred years before Shakespeare’s arrival (1564-1616), he was able to successfully represent all members of society in a straightforward and truthful way. So, the designation of the father of English poetry or literature goes to none other than Geoffrey Chaucer.

Use of literary devices

Chaucer is the teacher for the poets of English literature as he has successfully used different types of literary devices in his works. He is most prominent for his wit and humor. He represents his contemporary society from a satirical point of view, but he is not a satirist like Addison and Steele. But rather he is witty and humorist. He shows his versatile genius in the field of literature which paves the way for the potential of English literature which is why he is called the father of English literature or poetry.

Inaugurator of English language in literature

Geoffrey Chaucer is called the father of English literature because he was the first to write what became well known and was recognized poems and stories in the language of the common people of his time. Until Chaucer’s attempt, the language of the educated and writers in England was French and Latin. He wrote a great many works which were well received during his lifetime and all of his works have been recognized as masterpieces. Since Chaucer creates a landmark for English literature and language, he is the father.


In termination, we can say that it was no easy to violate the bilingual tradition of Latin and French and to establish a new language for literature. But Chaucer could do that by his creative genius and using wit and humor.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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