TROILUS AND CRISEYDE--THE ENDING 

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

798. DONALDSON, E. TALBOT. "The Ending of Chaucer's Troilus." In Early English and Norse Studies Presented to Hugh Smith. Edited by Arthur Brown and Peter Foote. London: Methuen, 1963, pp. 26-45. Revised slightly in Speaking of Chaucer (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1970), pp. 84-101; and Chaucer's "Troilus": Essays in Criticism, ed. by Stephen A. Barney (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1980), pp. 115-30.

Observes that Chaucer's narrators assure us, "by a modesty prologue or by...notable simplicity," that they report only naked fact. Tension between these ruses and "a complex of implications" create the "ultimate significance" of the given poem, especially at the end of Troilus and Criseyde where the narrator's "simple view of reality" paradoxically suggests a complex contemptus mundi.

799. DRONKE, PETER. "The Conclusion of Troilus and Criseyde." Medium AEvum 33 (1964):47-52.

Compares the epilogue of Troilus and Crisyde to its sources in Boccaccio's Filostrato and Teseida and reads Chaucer's ending as an affirmation of love. Troilus's ascent to the fixed stars and the narrator's celebration of Troilus's "beatitude" indicate the positive tone of the ending.

800. FARNHAM, ANTHONY E. "Chaucerian Irony and the Ending of the Troilus." Chaucer Review 1 (1967):207-16.

Describes the quality and breadth of Chaucer's irony by examining the "feyned love" of Troilus and Criseyde. At the end of Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer advises spiritual love--in this context an ironic acknowledgement that all human love, spiritual or physical, falls "far short of perfection and truth."

801. KEAN, P.M. "Chaucer's Dealings with a Stanza of Il Filostrato and the Epilogue of Troilus and Criseyde." Medium AEvum 33 (1964):36-46.

Examines a pattern of word and image Chaucer used in his Troilus and Criseyde, not found in Boccaccio's Filostrato. Following Boethius, Chaucer associates blindness with both love and destiny, and he represents the struggle of human will against these forces, welding the opening of his poem to its epilogue.

802. REISS, EDMUND. "Troilus and the Failure of Understanding." Modern Language Quarterly 29 (1968):131-44.

Examines Troilus's apotheosis at the end of Troilus and Criseyde and the dream of Scipio in Parliament of Fowls, arguing that such visions do not imply contemptus mundi. The dreamer of Parliament goes beyond contempt to find out about love, and the narrator of Troilus surpasses Troilus's failure to understand his view of the cosmos, affirming Christian love.

803. STEADMAN, JOHN M. Disembodied Laughter: "Troilus" and the Apotheosis Tradition, A Reexamination of Narrative and Thematic Concerns. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, 190 pp.

Examines the closing stanzas of Troilus and Criseyde, focussing on Troilus's ascent, the philosophical tradition of the passage, and the importance of both to a unified understanding of the poem. Analogous to ascents in Cicero's Somnium Scipionis, Lucan's Pharsalia, Dante's Paradiso, and Boccaccio's Teseida, Troilus's ascent preserves the "pagan decorum" of the poem while satisfying Christian eschatological doctrine. Chaucer's ending fuses the traditional apotheosis of the hero with the Boethian commonplaces interspersed throughout the poem, bringing into sharp focus the epistemological crux of the work: the contrast between human ignorance and divine knowledge, itself a Boethian topos. Troilus's laughing rejection of false felicity and the narrator's advice to embrace divine love capitalize upon an ironic tension evident throughout the work: the tension between the tradition of heroic tragedy and Troilus's comic ignorance of philosophical and moral truth.

804. UTLEY, FRANCIS LEE. "Stylistic Ambivalence in Chaucer, Yeats, and Lucretius--The Cresting Wave and the Undertow." The University Review 37 (1971):174-98.

Includes a close reading of the epilogue to Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, emphasizing its ambivalence and its rapid changes of direction which underscore the poem's paradoxical rejection of the lovers and empathy with them.

805. YEAGER, R.F. "'O Moral Gower': Chaucer's Dedication of Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer Review 19 (1984):87-99.

Explains Chaucer's dedication of Troilus and Criseyde to John Gower as a clarification of the poem's earnest meaning. Chaucer's reference capitalizes upon Gower's reputation as a reformist, a classicist, and a staunch moral advocate. The reference bridges the addresses to the young people who might misconstrue the poem and to the Trinity who perceives truth unclouded, suggesting that Gower (and Ralph Strode) are ideal human interpreters.

See also entries 85, 147, 190, 224, 702, 716, 742, 747, 753, 756, 795.

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