TROILUS AND CRISEYDE--STYLE AND IMAGERY 

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

 

706. BREWER, DEREK S. "The Ages of Troilus, Criseyde and Pandarus." Studies in Literature, English no. (1972):3-15. Reprinted in Tradition and Innovation in Chaucer (London: Macmillan Press, 1982), pp. 80-88.

Examines the references to youth and aging in Troilus and Crisyde to determine the ages of the main characters, even though "novelistic" accuracy is impossible. Troilus may be about nineteen, Criseyde a few years older, and Pandarus a "middle-aged trendy."

707. BURJOREE, D.M. "The Pilgrimage of Troilus's Sailing Heart in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." Annuale Mediaevale 13 (1972):14-31.

Explores Chaucer's nautical metaphors in Troilus and Criseyde, especially the "sailing heart" of Troilus. Establishes the commonplace nature of nautical imagery in classical, patristic, and medieval tradition, and documents Chaucer's extension of the tradition to include the "spiritual pilgrimage" of Troilus's love.

708. CORSA, HELEN STORM. "Dreams in Troilus and Criseyde." American Imago 27 (1970):52-65.

Studies the psychoanalytic implications of the three dreams in Troilus and Criseyde, arguing that the "Oedipal fantasy" at the "very core" of Boccaccio's Filostrato is emphasized in Chaucer's version.

709. COTTEN, MICHAEL E. "The Artistic Integrity of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer Review 7 (1972):37-43.

Observes two image patterns in Books IV and V of Troilus and Criseyde which fuse characterization and allegory. Criseyde's association with the moon (and Troilus's with the sun) suggests both her inconstancy and the theme of Boethian fortune. Infernal imagery communicates the pain of lost love and the eschatology of worldly pleasure.

710. CRAMPTON, GEORGIA RONAN. "Action and Passion in Chaucer's Troilus." Medium AEvum 43 (1974):22-36.

The medieval "do and suffer" topos of rhetoric, philosophy, and literature informs the main characters of Troilus and Criseyde. With fair consistency, Pandarus acts, Troilus suffers, and Criseyde vacillates between action and passion.

711. DONALDSON, E. TALBOT. "Chaucer in the Twentieth Century." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 2 (1980):7-13.

Suggests that the twentieth century is the first in which Chaucer has been "fully appreciated and understood," and examines several passages of Troilus and Criseyde which describe Criseyde to show how Chaucer provokes us to create characters through rich ambiguity and such "devious devices" as uncertain syntax, subjunctive mood, overstatement, understatement, and "just plain lies."

712. GORDON, IDA L. "The Narrative Function of Irony in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." In Medieval Miscellany Presented to Eugene Vinaver. Edited by F. Whitehead, A.H. Diverres, and F.E. Sutcliffe. Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 1965, pp. 146-56.

Exemplifies various kinds of irony in Troilus and Criseyde, demonstrating how the narrator's tentative comments ironically communicate Criseyde's accession to her love tryst with Troilus, and how her accession comments obliquely on both the frailty and value of courtly love.

713. KORETSKY, ALLEN C. "Chaucer's Use of the Apostrophe in Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer Review 4 (1970):242-66.

Examines Chaucer's use of exclamatio--rhetorical apostrophe--in the design of Troilus and Criseyde and the characterization of the narrator and major actors. Following medieval rhetorical theory, Chaucer uses the device to "dilate and amplify" his material and to represent "deeply felt emotion."

714. LANHAM, RICHARD A. "Opaque Style and Its Use in Troilus and Criseyde." Studies in Medieval Culture 3 (1970):169-76.

Examines the uniformity of Pandarus's and Troilus's rhetoric in Troilus and Criseyde, reading the poem as a comedy of self-victimization. Troilus is a prisoner, trapping himself in courtly conventions; Pandarus devotes himself to "folk wisdom rather than principle." In contrast, Criseyde is a victim of her adaptation to the conventions of her changing environment.

715. LAWTON, DAVID. "Irony and Sympathy in Troilus and Criseyde: A Reconsideration." Leeds Studies in English 14 (1983):94-115.

Argues that "sympathetic" and "ironic" readings of Troilus and Criseyde are compatible once we accept that the "stable" irony of the poem results from our "foreknowledge of the outcome of the events." The poem corroborates this irony while exploring both spiritual and "ludic" ideas of love; it limits our sympathy for the characters when we witness their passions "overborne by circumstance."

716. SHARROCK, ROGER. "Second Thoughts: C.S. Lewis on Chaucer's Troilus." Essays in Criticism 8 (1958):123-37. Reprinted as "Troilus and Criseyde: Poem of Contingency," in Chaucer's Mind and Art, ed. by A.C. Cawley, Essays Old and New, no. 3 (London: Oliver & Boyd, 1969), pp. 140-54.

Responds to C. S. Lewis's discussion (entry 236) of courtly love in Troilus and Criseyde, identifying the features of Troilus that emphasize human limitation: colloquialisms, proximity of the ludicrous and the sublime, the human vulnerability of the lovers, and the "contigent, fortuitous character of ordinary life." Reads the final stanzas as a spiritual counterpoint to the poem's theme of the contingency of material life.

717. STEVENS, MARTIN. "The Winds of Fortune in the Troilus." Chaucer Review 13 (1979):285-307.

Identifies the recurrent nautical winds-of-fortune metaphor in Troilus and Criseyde, showing how it reflects the poem's dominant concern with "destinal forces," and how the characters adapt the metaphor to fit their own outlooks. Only the narrator properly views destiny as Providence.

718. TAYLOR, DAVIS. "The Terms of Love: A Study of Troilus's Style." Speculum 51 (1976):76-90. Revised in Chaucer's "Troilus": Essays in Criticism, ed. by Stephen A. Barney (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1980), pp. 231-56.

Examines the style of Troilus's speeches in comparision with those of Boccaccio's Troilo and against a background of three "recurrent conventions which distinguish medieval love poetry": superlatives; quantitative terms (e.g., "ful," "al," "hele"); and balanced, repetitive internal monologues. Troilus's style is more conventional than Troilo's, but it suggests a strong sense of individuality and energetic, internal struggle.

719. VAN, THOMAS A. "Imprisoning and Ensnarement in Troilus and the Knight's Tale." Papers in Language and Literature 7 (1971):3-12.

Identifies images of imprisonment and ensnarement in Troilus and Criseyde and in Knight's Tale as reflections of the characters' attempts to control others, "shadowed over" by the cosmic patterns that thwart human desire. The ending of each poem reminds us of the importance of human choice in spiritual affairs.

720. WIMSATT, JAMES I. "Medieval and Modern in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." PMLA 92 (1977):203-16.

Investigates the interaction in Troilus and Criseyde of modern realism and emphasis on epic, romance, and philosophy. In the poem, fortune reflects all of the "medieval" elements, ironically undercutting the freedom of the lovers. Yet the realistic treatment of "genre scenes" of everyday activity makes their love vital and attractive.

721. WIMSATT, JAMES I. "Realism in Troilus and Criseyde and the Roman de la Rose." In Essays on "Troilus and Criseyde." Edited by Mary Salu. Chaucer Studies, no. 3. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer; Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1979, pp. 43-56.

Argues that Troilus and Criseyde and Roman de la Rose reflect, in different ways, the realism of two traditions: cosmic allegories and the arts of love. The allegories operate in a "sphere of realism" by focussing on love as typical of human life; the arts of love produce a more immediate "circumstantial realism."

722. WINDEATT, BARRY. "'Love that Oughte Ben Secree' in Chaucer's Troilus." Chaucer Review 14 (1979):116-31.

Contrasts the different representations of social privacy in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and Boccaccio's Filostrato to show how Chaucer increased his lovers's concern with secrecy. In his poem, social conditions and courtly demands require such secrecy, reflecting the poet's larger concern with the difficulties of contrasting idealized literary standards of behavior with actual social conditions.

See also entries 125, 137, 141, 154, 221-22, 740, 746, 751, 778, 784.

Table of Contents

Previous Section: Troilus and Criseyde--Sources and Literary Relations

Next Section: Troilus and Criseyde--Structure and Genre