Geoffrey Chaucer  

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"And yet, I say, Chaucer is not one of the great classics. He has not their accent. What is wanting to him is suggested by the mere mention of the name of the first great classic of Christendom, the immortal poet who died eighty years before Chaucer, — Dante. The accent of such verse as

"E'n la sua volontade è nostra pace . . ."

is altogether beyond Chaucer's reach ; we praise him, but we feel that this accent is out of the question for him."--Essays in Criticism (1865, 1888) by Matthew Arnold

"A voice from the slums of Paris, [...], the voice of poor Villon out of his life of riot and crime, has at its happy moments (as, for instance, in the last stanza of La Belle Heaulmière) more of this important poetic virtue of seriousness than all the productions of Chaucer."--Essays in Criticism (1865, 1888) by Matthew Arnold

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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – 1400) was an English poet best known for The Canterbury Tales.

While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, alchemist and astronomer, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat.

Chaucer is a crucial figure in developing the legitimacy of the vernacular, Middle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin.

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