Age of Chaucer as an Age of Transition [Explanation]

Age of Chaucer as Age of Transition

The fourteenth century or Age of Chaucer is a remarkable period for not only English Literature but to the England and livelihood of common people. First of all this period produced some great writers of all time, and they’re respectively Wyclif and Geoffrey Chaucer. Wyclif and Geoffrey Chaucer’s interests were very different from other contemporary writers. Their subject matter and writing techniques may appropriately be said to close Middle age and creates new path for Modern History. In simple word, the fourteenth century is (Popularly known as) a transition period between Middle age to Modern time, midway between literary giant like Dante and Michael. 

Read : Four Kind Of Meaning

Age of Chaucer & Parliament

In the midst of popular agitations, aggressive and needles wars, public miseries and calamities and reviving taste for literature and art, Geoffrey Chaucer arose.  His remarkable career extended over the last half of the fourteenth century, when public events were of considerable historical importance.

It was then that Parliamentary history became interesting. Until then the banons, clergy, Knights of the shirc and burgesses of the town summoned to assist the Royal councils, but in the reign of Edward III the representatives of the Knights of the shircs and burgesses united their interest and formed a body strong enough to check Royal encroachments and became known henceforth as the House of Commons. Edward II was compelled to grant twenty parliamentary confirmations of Magna Charta. At the close of his region, it was conceded that taxes could be raised only by consent of the Commons, and they had sufficient power also to prevent the collection of the tax which the Pope had levied on the country since the time of Peter’s pence.

Age Of Chaucer & Black Death

With the assertions of political rights, commercial enterprise and manufacturing industry began. A colony of Flemish weavers was established in England. The fourteenth century or age of Chaucer brightly opened for industrial England but the glory was overtaken by Plague, the Black Death. The prestige of the Church was, in truth, beginning to decline and then came the birth of Parliament. The literary movement of the age clearly reflected the contemporary social conditions in the writing of five writers. In writing of Langland, there was the voice of Social discontent preaching the equality of men and dignity of labour. Wyclif gave the Gospel to the people people in their own tongue.

Grower criticised the vigorous life and plainly afraid of its consequences. Mandeville spoke about the wonders to be seen abroad. Chaucer, sharing in the all the stirring life of the time reflected it in literature. The greatest gist of the age was ‘The Heroic Couplet Chaucer introduced into English Verse, the rhyme royal he invented ‘. In Chaucer age, for the first time the major poets wrote poetry in the native language and made it a rival to the dominant French. As a result, literature came to be written which was read alike by all the classes of literate.


In conclusion, in the age of Transition English Language had shaken down to a kind of coverage to a standard of the East Midland Speech, the language of the capital city and of the Universities. A curious note began with a shaper spirit criticism, interest in man’s affairs, a less childhood faith and an established order opening a window to a modern world. 

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