The world knows Geoffrey Chaucer as one of the greatest English poets whose contribution to English literature is matchless. He is, for sure, the first English poet who brought a healthy realism to English poetry. It is his pioneering dynamism as an author to bring poetry closer to both nature and reality.
Chaucer started his journey as a poet by following his contemporaries. In the beginning, he chose to pen “allegorical works” consisting of “dream visions.” But within a short period, he realized that nothing could be more interesting as ‘Nature’ itself. His growing minute association with the world of man left an urge in him to look upon things more realistically. And his realization got shaped in his works. Gradually, Chaucer “became a painter of life in words.”
His true-to-life vision about nature and human life helped him portray the human entity on earth more vividly. Also, he never got depressed by the undeniable variety of the world. His genuine association with life made him liberal to all variable aspects, be it virtuous or vicious. The words in his poetry show how every feature of the world beckoned him all the time. And this is probably the reason why he always remained respectful to good things and felt amused by the vicious.
His works show he shares his thoughts, views, or visions with the readers. An outlook to sympathize with human follies is crystal clear in Chaucer’s writings. In addition, his unbiased and different observation opened a unique dramatic approach in his famous poetry. In other words, the viewpoint defines the arrival of a healthy realism to English poetry. One can easily say that this unique approach represents one thing that it is his choice to allow his characters to speak for themselves. In a word, he is the pioneer of those people who wants to gaze with an amused, indulgent, and tolerant eye. At the same time, contrasts between different hues of humanity unfold the poet’s philosophy of human life.
For his readers, Geoffrey Chaucer is a great poet and author who perceived nature and life in a naturalistic way. In addition, no evidence of acting like a social reformer or staunch moralist is evident in him. He never dealt with various burning issues of his time, like the Peasant’s Revolt. His concern was more identical with universal problems and perspectives. According to many English literature experts, Chaucer’s observation and portrayal of human characters are still unparalleled.
His poetry demonstrates a valuable and essential modern point of view on life. In his works, an inquiring spirit is also visible. As an author, he brought “the art of characterization” to a stunning height. And, since then, his interest and portrayal of human character have been the hallmark of good literature. He is even the pioneer in turning mere narrative way into characterization. Furthermore, his effort in the “dramatic method of characterization” is significant and notable. Critics say that Chaucer is the “forerunner of English drama” because he was dramatic long before the drama actually emerged.
Being a genius, Geoffrey Chaucer’s most outstanding contribution to English literature centered on the specialty of language. First, he chose his native tongue, English, to produce his work. There is no denying that the said preference revealed the poet’s apt judgment. Then his effort in converting an unshaped dialect into a language perfectly suitable for poetry was a matchless and noteworthy achievement.
Chaucer was the first to show that alliteration was not mandatory in poetry. In truth, the use of alliteration was widespread in poetry before his emergence. However, he replaced it perfectly with rhyme. The eloquence in diction and melody in verse is still considered the signature style of the poet.
He is ever fresh and very much alive in his words. Almost all his works specify polished, cultivated, and masterly pieces. It is beyond any doubt that he is one of the most significant figures of English literature. His everlasting fame in introducing a healthy realism to English poetry defines an infinite boundary line that no one can cross.