THE ENGLISH CHAUCERIANS
The English Chaucerians were a group of writers who were heavily influenced by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, particularly his famous work The Canterbury Tales. This group of poets emerged in the late 14th and early 15th centuries mainly based in London and in their writings they followed the writing style and footsteps of the great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer’s legacy inspired a generation of poets to continue his work in English.
The English Chaucerians used Middle English language, instead of Latin and French used by earlier writers. They wrote in a variety of genres, including poetry, drama, and prose, and their works often explored themes such as love, politics, and religion.
Chaucer’s greatest work, The Canterbury Tales which is a collection of stories told by a diverse group of pilgrims traveling to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The tales showcase Chaucer’s skill at crafting compelling characters and his mastery of a variety of literary forms, including the romance, the fabliau, and the sermon. The Canterbury Tales also established the use of Middle English as a literary language, paving the way for the English Chaucerians to delve deeper and use it in their writing styles.
the most notable of the English Chaucerians and their works are : –
John Lydgate ( 1370-1451 )
● The Temple of Glass
● The Assembly of Gods
● Pilgrimage of the Life of the Man
● The Falls of Princes
● The Complaint of the Black Knight
● London Lickpenny
● stories of thebes
● Reason and Sensuality
● Troy Book
Thomas Hoccleve (1368-1450)
● Hoccleve’s Complaints
● The Regiment of Princes
● Letter of Cupid
John Skelton (1460-1529)
● The Book of Colin Clout
● The Book of Philip Sparrow
Stephen Hawes (1475-1530)
● The Conversion of Swerers
● The Pastime of Pleasure
● The Example of Virtue
Alexander Barclay (1475-1552 )
● The Ship of Fools
The English Chaucerians shared a common admiration for Chaucer and his writing style and a desire to continue his legacy. They also shared a commitment to writing in English, rather than in the then famously used Latin or French. This commitment helped to establish English as a legitimate literary language, and it paved the way for the future writers to excel in their literary field by using the middle English as medium of expression.
In addition to their contributions to English literature, the English Chaucerians played an important role in the development of the English language itself. They helped to establish Middle English as a distinct language, separate from the Old English that preceded it and the Early Modern English that would follow. They also helped to introduce new words and phrases into the English language, many of which are still in use today.
The legacy of the English Chaucerians continues to influence English literature and language today. Their commitment to writing in the vernacular and their dedication to exploring a wide range of literary forms and themes paved the way for the great English writers who followed, from Shakespeare to Austen to Eliot. And their contributions to the development of the English language have helped to make it one of the most widely spoken and influential languages in the world.
THE SCOTTISH CHAUCERIANS
The Scottish Chaucerian who are also known as the Makars were a group of poets primarily based in Scotland and who wrote in Middle English Scots; spoken in parts of Scotland during the 15th and 16th centuries. Like their English counterparts, the Scottish Chaucerians were heavily influenced by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer
but they also took inspiration from Scottish folklore and cultural traditions. They wrote in a variety of genres, including poetry, drama, and prose, and their works often explored themes such as chivalry, romance, and national identity. Their work had a significant impact on Scottish literature.
List of the notable Scottish Chaucerians and their works are : –
King James (1394- 1437)
● The King’s Quair
Sir David Lyndsay (1490-1555)
● The Dreme
● The Testament and Complaints of the Papyngo
Robert Henryson (1429-1508)
● The Testament of Cresseide
● Moral Fables of Esope
William Dunbar (1460-1530)
(He was the chief poet of the Scottish Chaucerians group and he was also known as Chaucer of Scotland).
● Golden Targe
● The Lament for the Makaris
● Dance of Seven Deadly Sins
● Thrissil and the Rose
● The Married woman and the Widow
Gavin Douglas (1474-1522)
● The Palace of Honour
● Translated version of Virgil’s poem Aenied
The Scottish Chaucerian were not limited to male poets, as there were also several notable female poets who were considered as part of the group. One of these poets was Christine de Pizan, who was born in Venice but spent most of her life in France. She wrote in French and is considered one of the earliest feminist writers. Her most famous work is “The Book of the City of Ladies,” which is a defense of women against the misogyny prevalent in her time.
The work of the Scottish Chaucerian had a significant impact on Scottish literature and helped to establish Middle Scots as a literary language. Their work was also important in the development of the Scots language and influenced later writers such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.
Difference between English chaucerians and Scottish Chaucerians
While both the English Chaucerians and Scottish Chaucerians were heavily influenced by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, there are notable differences between the two groups. The English Chaucerians were primarily based in London and wrote in Middle English, while the Scottish Chaucerians were based in Scotland and wrote in Middle Scots. The English Chaucerians were known for their exploration of themes such as love, politics, and religion, while the Scottish Chaucerians often explored themes of chivalry, romance, and national identity.
The English Chaucerians and Scottish Chaucerians were two groups of writers who emerged during the medieval period and made significant contributions to the development of literature. While both groups were influenced by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer they had unique characteristics and explored different themes in their works. By examining the similarities and differences between these two groups we gain a better understanding of the rich literary tradition that emerged during this period.