Chaucer’s treatment of love in Troilus and Criseyde.
Why does the poem end with a glorification of heavenly love?
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde is a poem that treats a couple of aspects about love typical for the genre of the medieval drama. The middle age literature divides the world to heavenly – a world of Christian virtue and perfection, and sublunary – the material world where people lives, a world where nothing is permanent and human personality is week and imperfect. So the Chaucer’s portray of Troilus and Criseyde’s story, is a portray about the changing nature of love that suffers trough the way of its development to achieve in the end eternal bliss in the heavenly world. The first, second and the third books of Geoffrey Chaucer poem are about how Troilus meets Criseyde at a festival in the temple of Pallas. Stroked by the arrow of Cupid he immediately fell in love with her. And from this moment he starts to suffer for her love. Seeing his misery his friend Pandarus, Criseyde uncle offer him help to induce Criseyde to return to his love. With his help Troilus mange to offer his services and to give his love vow to Criseyde. Impressed by the stories about the Troilus nobility and heroism, and being compassionate to his suffering she returns to his feelings allowing him to serve her. In the third book the young lovers are placed together by Pandarus in his house and Troilus and Criseyde can enjoy to their love for the first time. The love Between Troilus and Criseyde described in the first three books of Chaucer’s poem is typical medieval courtly love – conception of expressing love between members of nobility usually not practiced between husband and wife. Therefore we can say that courtly love is adulterous and wrong according to Christian virtues. Andreas Capellanus's work De amore (“About love”), also known in English as The Art of...
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