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Joined: November 17, 2010
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Comments posted: 1
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Amy,I hate to be pedantic, but as a student of Chaucer I can't help putting in my two cents. I don't think it's accurate to say that Chaucer "intentionally wrote as the uneducated folk of his English town spoke." Chaucer lived in London and, though he came from a middle class background, moved in aristocratic and courtly circles (to the point that his granddaughter ended up marrying an earl and then a duke). He did portray some uneducated folk in the Canterbury Tales, but the majority of his work was intended to be refined and elegant and to appeal to the upper classes (that's why some of his major influences were courtly French poets like Machaut and Froissart who were in vogue among English aristocrats). True, the fact that he wrote in English made his work accessible to a more "common" audience, but you have to remember that he was writing in a period when English was gaining authority as a literary language, and in fact Chaucer was regarded by his contemporaries and immediate successors as the poet who had infused English with the elegance and rhetorical stylishness of French or Latin. No one would have considered his writing akin to the speech of the uneducated.
I still wouldn't be caught dead saying "on tomorrow," but not for any reason having to do with Chaucer!
November 17, 2010, 10:24pm
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