Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer: Love's Spell

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Tiana Connell #8659
Mr. Powers
AP Lang &Comp, Period 1
21 October 2011
Love’s Spell
In the novel Troilus and Criseyde, by Geoffrey Chaucer, we witness the comparison of two human beings falling in love with each other. Troilus and Criseyde experience love in different ways; either by Cupid’s arrow or through the manipulations of relatives they are forced to pursue each other under love’s spell. Through their story, the readers learn the valuable lesson of love’s wrath.

In the beginning stanzas, we learned that Troilus was a strong and admirable knight of Troy. Troilus, who once joked about those who fell in love, became a victim to love himself. Cupid shot Troilus causing him to fall in love with Criseyde, the first girl he saw. “So was it with this proud and fiery knight, son of a famous king though he might be; he had supposed that nothing had the might to steer his heart against a will as free as his; yet, at a look, immediately, he was on fire, and he, in pride above all others, suddenly was slave to love”(Book I, 33). Through Cupid’s spell on Troilus, he experienced the feeling of having loved and the pain and sorrow it brought. He became sickened by love and his entire persona suffered in devastation. Chaucer says, “And from then on love robbed him of his deep and made an enemy of his food; his sorrow increased and multiplied, he could not keep his countenance and colour, eve or morrow, had anyone noticed it; he sought to borrow the names of other illnesses, to cover his hot fire, lest it showed him as a lover” (Book I, 70). Pandarus, Troilus’s fellow friend and uncle of his lover Criseyde, noticed Troilus’s alters in mood and discovered his love for Criseyde. Pandarus, overjoyed by the news, decided to take action by introducing them to one another and to the beginning of a sorrowful adventure.

Instead of being hit by Cupid’s arrow, Criseyde was encouraged by her uncle, Pandarus, to give Troilus’s love a chance. He confronted Criseyde...
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