Troilus And Criseyde By Chaucer Essay Research — страница 4

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fulfills her role as the lady love. She does not question the authority of men or fate, as demonstrated by her reaction to the news of her exchange. Furthermore, she believes that she cannot be disconnected from Troilus as her love for him binds her to him for all time. She upholds the tenant of secrecy even when people assume she is crying from joy as they congratulate her on the exchange. Criseyde even goes so far as to contemplate a slow painful death by starvation in order to stay loyal to Troilus. With her great sorrow due to her departure from Troilus, Criseyde remains blind to Diomede. Her sorrow is doubled when she fails to convince her father to return her to Troy. This is where the tragedy of Criseyde begins, according to Gordon. Criseyde tragedy is self-deception. She

never realized she was capable of betrayal until she actually committed the act (Gordon 137). It is noted that when Criseyde is listing all the reasons for her love to Troilus, she lists more of his manners than his character. Furthermore, it is noted that in the first part of the epic poem, only Criseyde?s looks and demeanor are commented upon, whereas in the second part of the poem, the reader gets a more concise view of Criseyde?s character (Gordon 137). It is not until Book V, that Chaucer refers to Criseyde as the "slydynge of corage" (272). With her acceptance of Diomede, Criseyde breaks the code of courtly love, marking her as weak and perhaps a bit of an opportunist. In fact one can argue that Criseyde?s choice of Diomede was one of practicality rather than of

romance (Berkley Research 17). However, Chaucer defends Criseyde by claiming: "Ne me ne list this sely womman chyde/Forther than the storye wol devyse./Hire name, allas! is punysshed so wide,/That for hire gilt it oughte ynough suffise./And if I myghte excuse hire any wise,/For she so sory was for hire untroughte,/Iwis, I wolde excuse hire yet for routhe" (282). Criseyde?s fall from grace is the ultimate mark of humanity that separates her from the stereotypical ideal of the courtly lady. She recognizes she has committed a wrong, even thought she believes she can never atone for it. The very fact that she does break a tenant of courtly love demonstrates Chaucer?s willingness to create characters that delve outside the stereotype world. It becomes obvious that Chaucer

has given great thought and imagination to carefully depict his three characters to help evolve his plot and give a human interest perspective to an otherwise old story. His use of contrast is spectacularly essential. He shows Troilus to be the very typical courtly lover. Whatever derivations Troilus develops only emphasizes his uniqueness as a figure of Chaucer. In contrast to the innocence of Troilus? love, Pandarus is portrayed as old and extremely shrew. He knows how to weasel even the most treasured secrets from a body and manipulate that to further his own interests. Pandarus is arguably one of the most original and imaginative character of Chaucer. While not as original as Pandarus, Criseyde represents the ideal courtly lady with a realistic twist. She sharply contrasts

with Troilus with her rationality and even her practicality. She measures every action first, while Troilus just follows whatever way will lead him to his perceived goal. All combined, Chaucer manages to create an ideal constantly embued with originality that invokes the readers continual interest in the epic poem, Troilus and Criseyde. Baum, Paul E. Chaucer: A Critical Appreciation. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1958. Berkeley Research. The Development of Character in Troilus and Criseyde. Proprietary document. San Francisco, California: Berkeley Research, 1997. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Troilus and Criseyde. Edited by R. A. Shoaf. East Lansing, Michigan: Colleagues Press, 1989. Gordon, Ida. The Double Sorrow of Troilus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970. Kirby,

Thomas A. Chaucer?s Troilus: A Study in Courtly Love. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1958. Lewis, C. S. The Allegory of Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1936. Rosetti, W. M. Chaucer?s Troylus and Cryseyde Compared with Boccaccio?s Filostrato. London: Oxford University Press, 1875.