Why has Chaucer been called ‘Earliest of the Great Moderns’ ?

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Chaucer’s poetry reflects the medieval spirit as well as that of the Italian Renaissance which was making its first influence felt in England in his age.

There can be no greater tribute to his genius than the fact that, for the next one hundred and fifty years, there was none to match him and that he is enjoyed with the same enthusiasm today, despite the lapse of five centuries during which time the English language has undergone radical changes. He stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries and successors. That is way he has been called the earliest of the great moderns and the morning star of the renaissance.

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