TROILUS AND CRISEYDE--PHILOSOPHY AND MORAL VISION 

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

 

741. apRoberts, Robert P. "The Boethian God and the Audience of the Troilus." JEGP 69 (1970):425-36.

Compares the departures from Troy of Chaucer's and Boccaccio's Criseydes to demonstrate how fate operates in Troilus and Criseyde. The operation of fate and the poem's omniscient point of view allow the reader to witness a Boethian interaction of destiny and free will in which foreknowledge is not causal.

742. BLOOMFIELD, MORTON W. "Distance and Predestination in Troilus and Criseyde." PMLA 72 (1957):14-26. Reprinted in Chaucer Criticism, Volume II: "Troilus and Criseyde" & The Minor Poems, ed. by Richard J. Schoeck and Jerome Taylor (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1961). pp. 196-210; and Chaucer's "Troilus": Essays in Criticism, ed. by Stephen A. Barney (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1980), pp. 75-90.

Describes the unique narrator of Troilus and Criseyde: an observor of an action he has no power over. This vantage is the "artistic correlative to the concept of predestination," insofar as it compels the reader to regard the story from the distance of foreknowledge. Troilus's apotheosis brings him close to this superior vantage, but the narrator and the reader leap to the even higher vantage of Christian consolation.

743. DiPASQUALE, PASQUALE, Jr. "'Sikernesse' and Fortune in Troilus and Criseyde." Philological Quarterly 49 (1970):152-63.

Chaucer combines the twin Boethian themes of security and fortune in Troilus and Crisyde and resolves them theologically in the manner stated in Boccaccio's Geneology of the Gods. Criseyde desires secure protection and Troilus pursues fleshly delights; both submit to fortune.

744. FREIWALD, LEAH RIEBER. "Swich Love of Frendes: Pandaras and Troilus." Chaucer Review 6 (1971):120-29.

Characterizes the relationship between Troilus and Pandarus as Aristotelian "imperfect" friendship, correlative to Jean de Meun's "contrarie" friendship. Because imperfect, the friendship wanes as it becomes mutually useless, reflecting another aspect of Chaucer's "theme of the frailty and vanity of earth-bound affection."

745. GALLAGHER, JOSEPH E. "Theology and Intention in Chaucer's Troilus." Chaucer Review 7 (1972):44-66.

Argues that the retraction of Troilus and Criseyde as "worldly vanitee" reflects Chaucer's recognition that his poem is not moral. In Troilus, Chaucer represents the insubstantiality of the world, but does not willfully reject it, even in his epilogue. Hence, his Retraction is necessary in Canterbury Tales.

746. GORDON, IDA L. The Double Sorrow Of Troilus: A Study of Ambiguities in "Troilus and Criseyde". London: Clarendon Press, 1970, 162 pp.

Investigates the techniques for creating ambiguity in Troilus and Criseyde, exploring their relations to allegory and irony, and assessing the function of ambiguity in the poem. The polysemy of the word "love"-- caritas and cupiditas--carries ambiguity at every point, often ironically. Similarly, Chaucer's appropriation of his sources, especially Boethius, evokes irony and verges on allegory when the original contexts of the quotations and allusions clash with Chaucer's use of them. The interventions of the narrator and the dualistic presentation of the major characters encourage readers to view love as both an heavenly ideal and an earthly reality, clarifying the ambiguous tension of the two and challenging us to resolve this double allegory of love.

747. HOWARD, DONALD R. "The Philosophies of Chaucer's Troilus." In The Wisdom of Poetry: Essays in Early English Literature in honor of Morton W. Bloomfield. Edited by Larry D. Benson and Siegfried Wenzel. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications, 1983, pp. 151-75. Surveys the major criticism of philosophical themes in Troilus and Criseyde and reconciles the apparent disjunction between pagan and Christian philosophies in the poem. Pandarus embodies the poet's view of pagan thought, humanistically combining "Heraclitean flux, skepticism, hedonism, Horatian carpe diem [and] stoic resignation." The Palinode reflects similarly his awareness that all we know is human vanity and mutability.

748. HUBER, JOHN. "Troilus's Predestination Soliloquy: Chaucer's Changes from Boethius." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 66 (1965):120-25.

Compares Troilus's predestination soliloquy (Troilus and Criseyde, IV:958-1073) to its source in Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy to show how Chaucer emphasizes Troilus's desire to abdicate personal responsibility by denying human freedom.

749. LOCKHART, ADRIENNE R. "Semantic, Moral, and Aesthetic Degeneration in Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer Review 8 (1973):100-118.

Argues that the debasement of certain ideal concepts in Troilus and Criseyde is a structural metaphor for its moral and artistic concerns. "Honour," "worthiness," "gentilesse," "manhod," and "trouthe" degenerate semantically through the poem, and Pandarus distorts these virtues, reflecting Chaucer's recognition that such ideals can not be sustained either in life or poetry.

750. MOORMAN, CHARLES. "'Once More unto the Breach': The Meaning of Troilus and Criseyde." Studies in the Literary Imagination 4, no. 2 (1971):61-71.

Defines and assesses various kinds of determinism in Troilus and Criseyde--fortune, courtly love, and individual personality--and suggests that Chaucer conflates them in order to represent the "confusion and ambiguity" of "earthly motives and events."

751. ROWE, DONALD W. O Love O Charite! Contraries Harmonized in Chaucer's "Troilus". Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1976; London: Feffer & Sons, 1976, 210 pp.

Reads Troilus and Criseyde as a "sacramental revelation of God," tracing its spiritual resolution of opposites to the Chartrian Neoplatonic tradition of concordia discors. Identifies the contrasting styles of Books I and II and their respective emphases on spiritual and social worlds, arguing that Book III combines both styles and "forms of behavior." The individual psychologies of the characters blend with their representative values, combining realism and allegory. Structure, imagery, and diction pose thematic and generic paradoxes that reflect the narrator's lack of control over his material and leads the reader through the "rational motion" of discovering the Creator in the created, spiritual love in its earthly reflection.

752. STRAUSS, JENNIFER. "Teaching Troilus and Criseyde." Southern Review 5 (1972):13-20.

Identifies the incongruity of three focal scenes in Troilus and Criseyde (the consummation, Troilus's ascent, and the narrator's epilogue), arguing that their incongruity reveal the poem's exploratory nature. It examines love from various perspectives, and in leaving them unresolved, portrays the insufficiency of any single human perspective.

753. WENZEL, SIEGFRIED. "Chaucer's Troilus of Book IV." PMLA 79 (1964):542-47.

Shows how Troilus's noble adherence to reason in Book IV of Troilus and Criseyde participates in a epistemological pattern in which reason is higher than passion but lower than the "intelligence" that comes from a divine perspective. Troilus's ascent is a "reward" for his adherence to his human, limited ideal.

See also entries 2-3, 6-8, 154-55, 244, 689, 702, 732, 734, 739, 755-56, 802-03. For fortune and determinism: 170-71, 209-10, 216, 218, 317, 736, 791, 801.

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