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Has anyone read works by Chaucer before?


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Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the fathers of English Literature, and he is credited for being one of the first persons to publish his writings in English when it was unpopular to do so. Latin and French were spoken by the aristocrats and the clergy, but English was the language of the poorer classes during the Middle Ages. Has anyone read any of Chaucer's works?

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I did read Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"  but that is the only work of his that I have read.  I just happened to mention it the other day in the "hardest English book" thread the other day. 

Yes, I did finish it, and I did find it challenging but yet very rewarding. This was when I was in college, although in high school I also read some of it.  But I got much more out of it at the college level.  The language is so different, but at the same time, that's part of what drew me in.  It was really fascinating to see the early beginning of the contemporary English that's so familiar to us.  Kind of like traveling back in time, and becoming immerse in an entirely different culture and society. 

I think it's great that the work has survived all these many centuries for us to be able to read it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've managed to read quite a chunk of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I read it as part of my English Major's course and even had to write a paper on it. I'll admit I didn't really enjoy it. I don't think it's only because of the language, which is cumbersome, no doubt. But being so used to reading modern novels, the fable-like stories of Chaucer don't really appeal much. I think it's unfair to be biased but, oh well.

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  • 2 months later...


I have also read Chaucer at college. By the looks of it, it is a popular author who is a part of the English curriculum in many countries and in many high schools and universities around the world.

Though it now has been 30 years since I last read some of the stories, they did make me more aware of what life was like during the time the tales were first written. At the time I read the stories, I thought they were worthwhile reading and even conveyed a sense of humour.

However, I would not exactly define them as light reading ;) I had to read them as a part of a subject called 'Old English Literature' at university, and I am convinced that I actually liked them because the professor that taught that subject, had a great sense of humour.

Apart from the Canterbury Tales, we were also taught in another subject about the 'Decamerone' which is the Italian counterpart of the Canterbury Tales. In fact, I think I remember that Chaucer's work was based upon that.

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"Try" definitely is the right word to use. I did attempt to read some of Chaucer's work but had to give up because I just didn't like the way he wrote. He may have been a great writer but just as Shakespeare was a great playwright, I don't read his any of his work either.

It's just. . .a matter of taste.

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