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Troilus and Criseyde (Classics) Paperback – 26 Aug 2004
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"This, then, is a monumental edition xxx; enormously to be admired."
Times Higher Education Supplement
"xxx; a truly major achievement, and a milestone in Chaucer studies."
English Studies--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Chaucer's only complete poem articulates his understanding of love and its language as it charts the fast wheeling of Fortune which elevates Troylus with love, but sinks Criseyde into an irrevocable betrayal. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
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For the idealist, Troilus 'Next to the foulest nettle, tick and rough, / Rises the rose in sweetness, smooth and soft.'
For the realist, Criseyde 'Am I to love and put myself in danger? / Am I to lose my darling liberty? / She who loves none has little cause for tears. / Husbands are always full of jealousy' / And men are too untrue /Or masterful, or hunting novelty.'
The sly intriguer Pandarus brings them together: 'Just as with dice chance governs every throw / So too with love, its pleasures come and go.'
However, the love between Troilus and Criseyde cannot blossom for political reasons. The realist betrays the idealist.
For Troilus (Chaucer), the fundamental question is: 'Since all that comes, comes by necessity / Thus to be lost is but my destiny.'
Was his fate ruled by predestination or was there only foreknowledge by God? 'To prone predestination, yet again others affirm we have free choice. To question which is cause of which, / and see Whether the fact of God's foreknowledge is / the certain cause of the necessity.'
Chaucer's answer is `determinism': 'And this is quite sufficient anyway To prove free choice in us a mere pretence.'
However, the priests are not his favorites: 'The temple priests incline to tell you this / That dreams are sent as Heaven's revelations; / They also tell you, and with emphasis / They're diabolic hallucinations.'
For Chaucer, 'Think this world is but a fair / passing as soon as flower-scent in air.'
This poem is not as strong as the Canterbury Tales, but it is a must read for all lovers of world literature.