LOVE, COURTLY AND OTHERWISE            

[Cross-references includedat the bottom of the page]

 

232. COLLINS, MARIE. "Love, Nature and Law in the Poetry of Gower and Chaucer." In Court and Poet:Selected Proceedings of the Third Congress of the International CourtlyLiterature Society (Liverpool 1980). Edited by Glyn S. Burgess. ARCA: Classicaland Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs, no. 5. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1981, pp. 113-28.

Investigates Chaucer's and Gower's depictions of the morality of love, evident in their presentations of love in collocations with legal terminology. Bases the investigation upon Thomistic theory of the hierarchical relations among Eternal, Natural, and Positive law and the necessity for law--like love--to be rational and for the common good.

233.DODD, WILLIAM G. Courtly Love in Chaucer and Gower. Boston: Ginn and Co.,1913. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1959, 265 pp.

Dated but useful summary of the genesis and conventions of courtly love, and its presence in late-medieval French works, especially Guillaume de Lorris's portion of Roman de la rose. Evinces Chaucer's transformations of courtly love conventions by comparing the details and ideas of courtly love in his poetry to parallels in French models and John Gower. Only a few of Chaucer's lyrics are wholly conventional; his other lyrics and narrative poems adjust the conventions of love through complications of character (Book of the Duchess), philosophy (Troilus and Criseyde), or context (CanterburyTales). Discusses numerous lyrics individually, the General Prologue and four of the Canterbury tales, and Chaucer's other major poems.

234. KANE, GEORGE. "Chaucer, Love Poetry, and Romantic Love." In Acts of Interpretation: The Text and Its Context, 700-1700: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Literature in Honor of E. Talbot Donaldson. Edited by Mary J. Carruthers and Elizabeth D. Kirk. Norman, Okla.: Pilgrim Books, 1982, pp. 237-55.

Investigates what courtly love meant to Chaucer, exploring its various dominant characteristics in earlier literature (troubadors, trouveres, Italian, fourteenth-century French) and demonstrating Chaucer's cautious use of these strains. While the conventions of courtly love strongly influenced Chaucer's early poetry, later he dramatized the "effects of sexuality"in richer variety.

235. KELLY, HENRY ANSGAR. Love and Marriage in the Age of Chaucer. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press,1975, 359 pp.

Studies the literary, theological, and legal conditions of love and marriage in the medieval tradition as background to Chaucer's and Gower's works, concentrating upon Legend of Good Women, Confessio Amantis, and especially, Troilus and Criseyde. Challenges the notion that courtly love is adulterous, documents the importance of Ovid to medieval amorous tradition, demonstrates the legal and theological validity of "clandestine"marriage, and explores the moral aspects of passion. Chaucer follows Ovid by celebrating marital fidelity, and except when satiric, emphasizing the compatibility of love and marriage. Legend of Good Women, influenced by Ovid's Heroides, endorses fidelity and encourages us to read Troilus as an account of a valid clandestine marriage (compare Maguire, entry 760) that goes awry because Criseyde is unfaithful. Her weakness highlights Troilus's constancy and noble passion.

236. LEWIS, C.S. "Chaucer." In The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1936, pp. 157-97.

Part of the seminal, although dated, study of courtly love and allegory, demonstrating Chaucer's dependence upon Roman de la rose, his relatively spare use of allegorical conventions, and his developmentof a rich conceptualization of love. Surveys the impact of Roman upon Chaucer's lyrics, Book of the Duchess, and Parliament of Fowls, and examines Troilus and Criseyde as "the consummation...of his labours as a poet of courtly love," describing how his realization of the major characters in Troilus vitalizes the poem's courtly sentiment. Sharrock (entry 716) challenges the analysis of Troilus and Criseyde.

237. REISS, EDMUND. "Chaucer's Courtly Love." In The Learned and theLewd: Studies in Chaucer and Medieval Literature. Edited by Larry Benson. Harvard English Series, no. 5. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974, pp. 95-111.

Examines Chaucer's portrayals of lovers and love, concluding that his works bring out "the ultimate destructiveness and folly"of love. In Book of the Duchess, love is "excoriated rather than celebrated," Knight's Tale renders it "ridiculous," and in Troilus and Criseyde it brings temporary joy and ultimate woe. Elsewhere Chaucer parodies, undercuts, or criticizes love even more directly.

238. SLAUGHTER, EUGENE EDWARD.Virtue According to Love--in Chaucer. New York: Bookman, 1957. Reprint.New York: AMS Press, 1972, 282 pp.

Categorizes Chaucer's works according to the kind or "system"of love that dominates each work, listing them under broad classes of "religio-philosophical" love, courtly love, heroic love, and syncretistic combinations. Describes how the action or sentiment of each work reflects its respective system and identifies the amorous virtues and vices appropriate to the given class. Prefaces this analysis with an extensive introduction to the backgrounds and development of the systems of love, ranging widely among Latin and vernacular authors, and defining the systems of love and their interactions with such Chaucerian concerns as marriage, mastery, the libido, and the place of love in nature.

See also entries 6, 77, 169, 227, 229, 286, 321, 364, 697, 700, 828, 880, 895, 921. For love in Troilus and Criseyde, see 754-61, 778, 799-802; in Parliament of Fowls: 846, 849-52, 856, 859, 862, 864, 866.

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