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Geoffrey Chaucer

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royal esquire, diplomat, customs official, etc. 'borderer' ... ( Sept./Libra ) ENG 310A: T&C. 13. Time and Trouthe, cont'd. How long does the affair last? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Geoffrey Chaucer


1
Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Troilus Criseyde

2
Geoffrey Chaucer BIO/HISTORICAL CONTEXTS
  • Life Dates
  • b. ca. 1340-45
  • TC done ca. 1385
  • CT started ca. 1387
  • Relevant Regnal Dates
  • 1327-77 (Edward III)
  • 1377-99 (Richard II)
  • 1399-1413 (Henry IV)

3
Chaucer Bio and Implications
  • upwardly mobile, bourgeois family
  • civil servant
  • royal esquire, diplomat, customs official, etc.
  • borderer -- living between worlds
  • royal courts, commerce, other countries
  • foreign service for king -- esp. Italy
  • exposure to other cultures, writers

4
Troilus Criseyde Formal Overview
  • Source
  • Verse Form
  • Genre
  • Objectives (ambitious ones)

5
TC Formal Overview, contd.
  • Source Giovanni Boccaccio, Il Filostrato (The
    Love-Flattened One)
  • Verse Form Rhyme Royal
  • 7-line stanza, rhyming ababbcc
  • iambic pentameter rhythm (5 beats, x / x / x /
    x / x / )

6
TC Formal Overview, contd.
  • Genre Romance (definition)
  • but with many classical epic details/ techniques
  • invocations of Muses
  • book divisions
  • high style (incl. astronomical machinery)
  • classical setting
  • send-ups of Aeneid, maybe Iliad
  • Ch. playing off classical, canonical literature
    and culture

7
TC Goals and Major Themes
  • Ambitious Objectives
  • The Religion of Love -- fin amour or courtly
    love (esp. Bks. 1-3)
  • History vs. His/Her Story -- focus, character,
    and theme (esp. Bks. 2-4)

8
TC Very Ambitious Objectives
  • Classical traditions explored
  • Philosophical analysis thru literature
  • Interrogating Societal Codes/Ideologies of Love
  • Developing Richly Developed Characters

9
Fin amour (aka courtly love)
  • Worship of lady
  • Ennoblement of lover(s) -- esp. man
  • Secret relationships
  • Deep (usually male) emotion
  • Recurrent image/metaphor patterns
  • eyes/visual images dynamics
  • religious metaphors
  • STILL PART OF WESTERN IDEOLOGY OF LOVE (cf.
    popular song lyrics)

10
History vs. His n Her Story
  • intertwined questions of focus, character, theme,
    esp. in Bks. 2-4
  • dual focus (big-picture history vs. close-up
    individual stories)
  • complexly motivated characters
  • and so what?

11
From Troy to London Town Medieval British
History/Genealogy
  • Meleager (Diomedes ancestor)
  • Theban War (Ds dad et al.)
  • Troy
  • Rome (Aeneas, Romulus/Remus)
  • Britain (founded by Brutus, descendant of Aeneas)
  • Arthur (ca. 500-540?)
  • 14th-c. England
  • later audiences addressed at end of poem

12
Time and Trouthe Theme in Structure
  • Structure, Narrative Tactics, Theme
  • esp. Bks. 4-5
  • ME trouthe MnE truth/troth
  • Zodiacal and Seasonal Clues
  • Bk. 123 - April
  • Bk. 28 - Taurus (May 3)
  • Bk. 390 - Cancer/Gemini (June)
  • Bk. 45 - early Leo (late July - early August)
  • Bk. 5193 - early Leo to 2 mos. (Sept./Libra)

13
Time and Trouthe, contd.
  • How long does the affair last???
  • Linear vs. cyclic time
  • different value systems idealistic/pragmatic
  • repeated concerns/imagery appear in Canterbury
    Tales

14
Love, Fortune, Fate Philosophy, Image, and
Theme
  • Boethian Imagery and Theme in TC
  • esp. Bks. 3-5
  • cf. Consolation of Philosophy (trans. Chaucer)
  • wheels that make the world go round
  • the ties that bind
  • harmony, bonds, unity, bondage, (un)freedom
  • from philosophical advice to experience??
  • (Eternal) Love as binding force of universe
  • Final values placed on Ts and Cs loves??
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