Troilus And Criseyde By Chaucer Essay Research — страница 3

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man I wol ay lyve and sterve" (Chaucer 19). He proves himself worthy of his lady?s love by accomplishing great deeds in the battle against the Greeks. "At the same time, Troilus is very gentle and tender about town, illustrating the supposed ennobling qualities of love?In a like manner, he hunts dangerous beasts?, but lets the smaller one escape, thus showing his bravery and his tenderheartedness" (Berkley Research 9). Beyond these acts, Troilus demonstrates the various characteristics of the courtly love by swooning at his lady?s disapproval, becoming highly agitated and distressed over his lady?s absence. He is tormented by having to keep his love a secret, but is duty bound to uphold the secrecy. In effect, he is torn between his soul?s desire and his heart?s

desire. In addition to all of this, Troilus seems to be quite passive. He follows along with the deceits of Pandarus, despite the fact it only serves to dishonor Criseyde. When Criseyde is named for the exchange, Troilus fears that any action on his part will result in the death of his lady love. Furthermore, Troilus never doubts that Criseyde will remain faithful to him. Even at the moment of realized betrayal, Troilus treats his lady with respect as he still loves her. He states "Thorugh which I se that clene out of youre mynde/Ye han me cast; and I ne kan nor may,/For al this world, withinne myn herte fynde/To unloven yow a quarter of a day!/In corsed tyme I born was, weilaway,/That yow, that doon me al this wo endure,/Yet love I best of any creature!" (Chaucer 305).

By claiming this, Troilus proves he is the epitome of courtly love, by holding a love that cannot be banished by the betrayal of Criseyde, which makes it an everlasting love. Thus the character of Troilus can be defined as ideal, virtuous, and noble in his love Criseyde, making him the soul of tenderness. However at the same time, by exemplifying the hero, Chaucer shows how ridiculous and pathetic the courtly lover is, especially at his most romantic moment. In contrast to Troilus, Criseyde plays the part of the courtly lady, but Chaucer makes her a more humanly figure. Because of her realistic qualities, Gordon argues that the real tragedy belonged to Criseyde. She states "To have developed the latent tragedy of her situation, her brightness and beauty dwindling as soon as

she leaves Troy, her moment of self-realization in the presence of the crude Diomed, when she acknowledges her weakness, her feeble effort to recover as she slides backward, would have made a different poem?" (157). Gordon also claims that Criseyde?s treachery was a direct result of her father?s traitorous actions and her uncles dishonorable actions. When Criseyde is first introduced, she is dressed in widow?s garb, mourning. She has all the honorable intentions that get pushed aside with Pandarus? help. However, upon her first speech with Pandarus, readers gather a rather conflicting opinions of Criseyde. Despite her explicable anger over Pandarus? proposition, Criseyde fears for Troilus? life, believing he will actually commit suicide over her. Her fear leads her to agree

to Pandarus? deceit, making readers interpret her actions as flirting. Chaucer seems to support this by portraying Criseyde as a timid person: "Criseyde, which that wel neigh starf for feere,/So as she was the ferfulleste wight/That myghte be, and herde ek with hire ere/And saugh the sorwful ernest of the knyght,/And for the harm that myghte ek fallen moore,/She gan to rewe, and dredde hire wonder soore," (Chaucer 63). According to Gordon, Criseyde?s unease over the proposition demonstrates her worldly understanding. She argues that nature of "switch love" is the central moral question of the poem, and that question that Criseyde continually deals with (Gordon 157). Furthermore, Criseyde must consider the question of honor as she is at court and gossip is a

lethal weapon. Her concern here demonstrates the practical side of Criseyde. Her rational side is shown by her consideration of Troilus? suit. She weighs the facts that he is a son of a king, a great warrior, and deemed a good man by most. She neatly traps Troilus beneath her by allowing him to serve her only under one condition: he has no other sovereign except for herself. Her intelligence is only emphasized by her capitulation to Troilus. When he asks her to yield, she responds that if she had not yielded already, she would not be in the room. Furthermore, she did not appear surprised when Troilus showed up in her chambers. All these qualities represent the humanity that Chaucer has endowed Criseyde with. Despite the realistic qualities Chaucer endows Criseyde with, he