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Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde : a dramatic interpretation of the "double truth" theory Parkinson, Francis Cuthbert 1962

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CHAUCER'S T-ROILUS AND CRISEYDE A DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION OF THE "DOUBLE TRUTH" THEORY  FRANCIS CUTHBERT PARKINSON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I960  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of ENGLISH  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e r e q u i r e d standard  THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1962  In presenting  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y  of  B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and for extensive  study.  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s  be  representatives.  I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d v/ithout my w r i t t e n  Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada. Date  Columbia,  permission.  iii  ABSTRACT The  contention  o f t h e t h e s i s i s t h a t Chaucer's  a p p r o a c h t o t h e s t o r y o f T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e  was d e t e r -  mined b y a w i s h t o examine p r a g m a t i c a l l y t h e e s s e n t i a l value  o f c o u r t l y l o v e as a way o f l i f e  and t h a t he u s e d  t h e T r o i l u s as a p o e t i c v e h i c l e f o r t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n . Furthermore i t i s maintained t h a t h i s view o f c o u r t l y l o v e w o u l d be c o n d i t i o n e d b y t h e c u r r e n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e o r y o f t h e "double t r u t h " — t h a t a t h i n g may be t r u e according  t o reason but f a l s e according  to religion.  The  code o f c o u r t l y l o v e h a d been condemned b y t h e C h u r c h as b e i n g opposed t o C h r i s t i a n m o r a l i t y , b u t e x t o l l e d b y many w r i t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y Andreas C a p e l l a n u s ,  as b e i n g n o t o n l y  i n harmony w i t h n a t u r a l m o r a l i t y b u t even t h e summum bonum of l i f e .  I n T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e  Chaucer i s s p e c u l a t i n g  on t h e v a l i d i t y o f t h e l a t t e r p o s i t i o n , w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e d a commonly r e c o g n i z e d  example o f one a s p e c t o f a d o u b l e  truth. If  t h i s hypothesis  c a n be s u b s t a n t i a t e d i t i s  r e a s o n a b l e t o hope t h a t i t may shed l i g h t on t h e m a j o r c r i t i c a l problems o f the T r o i l u s , s p e c i f i c a l l y the r e l e v a n c y o f T r o i l u s ' s s p e e c h on f r e e w i l l , inconsistency i n Criseyde's  t h e apparent  a c t i o n s and t h e a r t i s t i c  iv value of the  epilogue.  To e s t a b l i s h t h e h y p o t h e s i s evidence of the prevalence  the t h e s i s p r e s e n t s  of the A v e r r o i s t i c system of  t h o u g h t f r o m w h i c h s p r a n g t h e t h e o r y o f t h e two  truths  and  o f C h a u c e r ' s undoubted awareness o f t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l position.  T e x t u a l e v i d e n c e i s t h e n i n t r o d u c e d t o show t h a t  Chaucer i n t e n d e d t o d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h c o u r t l y l o v e a r a t i o n a l and complete way quences i n the d r a m a t i c  of l i f e  quasi-religion.  The  He  deve-  o f l i f e by m a k i n g i t a  From t h i s a r i s e s t h e r e l e v a n c y o f T r o i l u s ' s  s p e e c h on f r e e w i l l : implicit i n this  and examine i t s c o n s e -  u n f o l d i n g of the s t o r y .  l o p e d c o u r t l y l o v e i n t o a way  as  i t i s a commentary on t h e d e t e r m i n i s m  religion.  m a j o r c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e poem a r e t h e n  Taken t o g e t h e r t h e d r a m a t i c  considered.  r o l e s o f t h e male p r o t a g o n i s t s  a r e seen t o e x e m p l i f y a c o m p r e h e n s i v e , t r i - p a r t i t e v i e w o f c o u r t l y l o v e — i d e a l i s t i c , s e n s u a l and  light-hearted—none  of which proves e v e n t u a l l y productive of l a s t i n g Criseyde*s  happiness.  c h a r a c t e r , f l a w e d by h e r f e a r o f s c a n d a l , i s a  crux i n the tragedy.  Her i n s i s t e n c e t h a t t h e c o u r t l y  commandment o f s e c r e c y be k e p t i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e lovers' separation.  Hence t h e demands o f t h e code o f l o v e  are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the t r a g e d y ,  and C r i s e y d e ' s b e t r a y a l  i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e t i m i d i t y o f c h a r a c t e r she c o n t i n u a l l y displays. F i n a l l y the e p i l o g u e i s s e e n as a summary o f  the  V  f i n d i n g s o f Chaucer's p h i l o s o p h i c a l e x p e r i m e n t i n f i c t i o n . T r o i l u s ' s f i n a l enlightenment expresses the conclusion the author:  of  that c o u r t l y love i s a f a l s e happiness not  o n l y on r e l i g i o u s grounds h u t a l s o on r a t i o n a l and p r a g m a t i c ones.  The t h e o r y o f d o u b l e t r u t h has t h u s been  dramatically  shown t o be i n a p p l i c a b l e t o t h e d e f e n s e o f  c o u r t l y l o v e as a way  of  life.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  I. II.  Introductory:  The Scope o f t h e T h e s i s  The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Problem: o f t h e "Double  III.  o c  trine  Truth"  a.  I t s Currency  b.  I t s Influence  11 on Chaucer  15  The Poem as a P h i l o s o p h i c a l Quest a.  Chaucer E x p r e s s e s h i s I n t e n t i o n s  25  b.  C o u r t l y Love as One S i d e "Double T r u t h "  30  c. d. IV.  The D  1  of a  C o u r t l y Love as a R a t i o n a l Way of L i f e  37  P h i l o s o p h i c and P o e t i c A s p e c t s o f T r o i l u s ' s Free W i l l Speech  52  The Dramatic R e p r e s e n t a t i o n  o f C o u r t l y Love  as a R a t i o n a l Way o f L i f e a.  V.  T r o i l u s , Diomede and Pandarus P e r s o n i f y Three Complementary A s p e c t s o f C o u r t l y Love  58  b.  Criseyde P e r s o n i f i e s the R a t i o n a l Approach t o C o u r t l y Love  71  c.  Criseyde's Actions R e f l e c t a C o n s i s t e n t Approach t o C o u r t l y Love  74-  The E p i l o g u e ,  The C o n c l u s i o n  The R e p u d i a t i o n  o f t h e Quest:  o f the T r u t h o f C o u r t l y Love  92  I INTRODUCTORY:  THE SCOPE OF THE THESIS  "That thow be u n d e r s t o n d e , God I b i s e c h e i " Chaucer's p l e a a t t h e c l o s e o f h i s " l i t e l seems t o have gone l a r g e l y u n h e a r d . T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e  tragedye"  Of a l l h i s works  seems t o be t h e one w h i c h c a l l s f o r t h  the g r e a t e s t d i v e r s i t y o f o p i n i o n .  T h i s t h e s i s i s an  a t t e m p t t o r e s o l v e some o f t h e m a j o r d i f f e r e n c e s i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by examining the t e x t i n the l i g h t o f the p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r o b l e m s w h i c h we may r e a s o n a b l y assume Chaucer was  concerned w i t h . Some d e f e n c e must be g i v e n f o r t h i s a p p r o a c h , f o r  t h e r e seem t o be two c o n f l i c t i n g o p i n i o n s validity.  as t o i t s  P a u l Baum, f o r i n s t a n c e , c o n s i d e r s  that the  s e a r c h f o r " p r o f o u n d , l a t e n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l meanings"^ i s a c r i t i c a l a b e r r a t i o n , that the c r i t i c should confine  himself  t o a d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n and e x p o s i t i o n o f t h e t e x t . W h i l e t h i s l i m i t a t i o n o f c r i t i c i s m may p e r h a p s a p p e a r desirably s c i e n t i f i c i n that i t provides on t h e i m a g i n a t i o n ,  a s a l u t a r y check  i t a l s o h a s t h e drawback t h a t t o i g n o r e  Chaucer: A C r i t i c a l A p p r e c i a t i o n Duke U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958), p . v i i i .  (Durham, N. C :  2 the  " l a t e n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l meanings" o f a p i e c e  i s to run,  i f t h a t p i e c e has  of  literature  such meanings, a grave r i s k  m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g i t s e s s e n t i a l message.  To  g i v e but  example, i t would i n many works t o t a l l y d e s t r o y a t i o n of t h e i r very r a i s o n d'etre,  since without  s p e c u l a t i o n based on evidence o u t s i d e have t o i n t e r p r e t them on the  simplest  our  of  one appreci-  any  o f the t e x t we  would  factual level.  Thus  G u l l i v e r ' s T r a v e l s would be m e r e l y an i n t e r e s t i n g and ingenious  f a n t a s y i n s t e a d o f the b i t t e r commentary  s o c i e t y that Swift intended  i t to  be.  I n apparent o p p o s i t i o n t o t h i s s t r i c t l y approach i s one  on  advocated by P r o f e s s o r  textual  Patch:  S u r e l y i t i s a safe p r i n c i p l e i n c r i t i c i z i n g a great work o f a r t t o assume t h a t the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n harmony w i t h a l l the p a r t s o f the poem i s the one n e a r e s t t o the i n t e n t i o n o f the a u t h o r . . . . A n o t h e r good p r i n c i p l e t o assume i s t h a t a g r e a t a r t i s t knows what he i s about, and t h a t he has a r i g h t t o be u n d e r s t o o d on h i s own terms.2 T h i s Occam's Razor o f l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i s the assumption o f t h i s paper and  underlying  i t s j u s t i f i c a t i o n , f o r i f we  a c c e p t the f a c t , nowhere s t a t e d by Chaucer, t h a t he aware of and the  was  concerned w i t h the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e o r y  of  "double t r u t h , " the major c r i t i c a l problems c r e a t e d  the T r o i l u s may  have a new  These problems may F i r s t , as r e g a r d s the  light be  shed upon them.  a p p r o p r i a t e l y mentioned h e r e .  epilogue,  is i t artistically  " T r o i l u s on Determinism," Speculum. VI 225-43.  by  relevant  (1931),  3  or i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s i n c e r e ?  I s i t "a c l a s h i n g d i s c o r d " ^  which "does n o t i l l u m i n e or modify" hut c o n t r a d i c t s ? ^ I s i t true t o say t h a t i t i s the "grossest instance of the f a i l u r e on the p a r t of Chaucer t o comply w i t h the r e q u i r e ments of h i s a r t " , t h a t i t " u t t e r l y i n t e r f e r e s w i t h the movement of the s t o r y " t h a t i t i s "tacked t o i t "by the f l i m s i e s t of fastenings"?-  Or i s K i t t r e d g e c o r r e c t when he  says, "At the end of the poem the great sympathetic i r o n i s t drops h i s mask and we f i n d t h a t he has once more heen s t u d y i n g human l i f e from the p o i n t of view o f a r u l i n g p a s s i o n and t h a t he has no s o l u t i o n except t o repudiate the unmoral and u n s o c i a l system which he has pretended t o uphold."?  Or, as i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e , i s n e i t h e r view e i t h e r  wholly o r p a r t i a l l y c o r r e c t ? The second major area of disagreement i s T r o i l u s ' s speech on the e x i s t e n c e of f r e e choice (IV, 958-1078).  At  a moment h i g h l y charged w i t h the anguish and f e a r o f the impending s e p a r a t i o n of the l o v e r s T r o i l u s gives a l o n g , i n t e l l e c t u a l and t i g h t l y organized speech on predetermination.  J. S. P. T a t l o c k , "The People i n Chaucer's T r o i l u s . " PMLA. LVI (194-1), p. 86. P  J . S. P. T a t l o c k , "The Epilogue o f Chaucer's T r o i l u s . " MP, 18 (1921), p. 146. 4  ^T. R. Lounsbury, Studies i n Chaucer (3 v o l s . ; New York: Harper, 1892), V o l . 3 , p. W . G. L. K i t t r e d g e , Chaucer and H i s P o e t r y Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1955), P» 14-3•  (Cambridge:  4 Representing probably the majority opinion, Baum thinks i t  7  i s " a r t i s t i c a l l y a blemish,"' while Patch defends i t on the grounds that i t i s a p e r f e c t l y normal emotional outburst from a young man who f e e l s that f a t e has conspired to rob him of h i s beloved and i n circumstances i n which he f e e l s 8 powerless t o a c t .  Is there a t h i r d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that  may resolve these contradictory s o l u t i o n s : A t h i r d problem i s whether Chaucer intended Criseyde*s character to be s t a t i c or developing, whether the tragedy i s due i n large part to her character or whether the author had t o change her character to make i t consonant with the tragedy.  C. S. Lewis sees her character as c o n s i s -  tent, maintaining that the dominant and s u b s i s t i n g q u a l i t y i n Criseyde's make-up i s f e a r , and that i t i s f e a r of l o n e l i n e s s which leads f i r s t of a l l to her l o v i n g T r o i l u s Q  and then to her r e j e c t i n g him f o r Diomede.  Whatever  evidence Lewis can f i n d f o r t h i s s o l u t i o n i s not apparent to many other c r i t i c s .  Among these, the judgment of T. A.  Kirby i s t y p i c a l : The amazing t h i n g about Criseyde i s not only her inconstancy but the f a c t that with her i n t e l l i g e n c e , graciousness and general s u p e r i o r i t y , she should 'OP.  c i t . . p. 148.  0p.  c i t . . p. 226 f f .  8  ^The A l l e g o r y of Love (New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1958), p. 186.  5 y i e l d t o t h e a d d r e s s e s o f s u c h a p e r s o n as Diomede; but chacun a son gout. Y e t i t i s d i f f i c u l t n o t t o r e g a r d t h i s as an a r t i s t i c f l a w i n h e r p o r t r a y a l . 1 0 A somewhat v a g u e r b u t no l e s s i m p o r t a n t disagreement l i e s i n the nature Chaucer was w r i t i n g .  area of  o f t h e l o v e about w h i c h  Was he d e a l i n g w i t h r o m a n t i c  love i n  t h e sense i n w h i c h t h e modern w o r l d u n d e r s t a n d s i t o r was he, on t h e c o n t r a r y , p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e m e d i e v a l phenomenon o f c o u r t l y l o v e ? quibble:  T h i s q u e s t i o n i s n o t a mere  t h e way i n w h i c h one answers i t w i l l d e t e r m i n e j  v e r y l a r g e l y t h e judgments one makes on t h e t h r e e  previous  problems.  love story  I f the tragedy i s b a s i c a l l y a romantic  and o n l y i n c i d e n t a l l y a c o u r t l y l o v e s t o r y , t h e n i t w i l l be h a r d l y p o s s i b l e t o r e c o n c i l e the epilogue, o r T r o i l u s ' s speech on f r e e c h o i c e o r C r i s e y d e ' s c h a r a c t e r w i t h t h e v i e w t h a t t h e poem i s an a r t i s t i c s u c c e s s .  I f the opposite i s  t r u e , t h e n s u c h a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n may p o s s i b l y be C o u r t l y l o v e was b o t h a code o f b e h a v i o u r  achieved.  and b a s i c a l l y a n  a n t i - C h r i s t i a n one, and t h e r e f o r e i n a m e d i e v a l , C h r i s t i a n s o c i e t y t h e a u t h o r w o u l d be j u s t i f i e d  i n adding t o h i s  t a l e o f " s o l a a s " an e p i l o g u e o f " s e n t e n c e " . be j u s t i f i e d course  He m i g h t a l s o  i n h a v i n g h i s h e r o g i v e an e x p l a n a t o r y  dis-  on a f a t e o r d e s t i n y w h i c h h a d no meaning i n a  C h r i s t i a n cosmology.  L a s t l y t h e t r a g e d y c o u l d p o s s i b l y be  C h a u c e r ' s " T r o i l u s " : A S t u d y i n C o u r t l y Love ( L o u i s i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1?A0), p. 2 3 2 .  6  a t t r i b u t e d not t o a t r a g i c flaw i n Criseyde but t o the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e code  itself.  This i s not t o c u t the t r i p l e Gordian knot t h a t Chaucer h a s l e f t u s b u t o n l y t o show t h a t a s o l u t i o n seems more p r o b a b l e  i f c o u r t l y l o v e i s a b a s i c theme o f t h e poem.  T h a t i t i s most modern c r i t i c s  seem t o agree on, two n o t a b l e  e x c e p t i o n s b e i n g T a t l o c k and L e w i s .  The f o r m e r s t a t e s  f l a t l y t h a t t h e theme o f t h e poem i s " n o t what i s c a l l e d amour c o u r t o i s . ' c o u r t l y l o v e ' , i n any sense w h i c h g i v e s t h a t phrase v a l u e . " * *  L e w i s s a y s t h a t "Chaucer h a s b r o u g h t  t h e o l d romance o f a d u l t e r y t o t h e v e r y f r o n t i e r s o f t h e 12 modern ( o r s h o u l d I s a y l a t e ? ) romance o f C o u r t l y , c h i v a l r o u s and r o m a n t i c used i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y  marriage."  love are f r e q u e n t l y  and w i t h no g r e a t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , f o r  t h e y have a common element o f i d e a l i z a t i o n o f woman, b u t for  the purposes of t h i s paper c o u r t l y love w i l l r e f e r  s p e c i f i c a l l y t o t h e code as s e t f o r t h b y A n d r e a s (or  Andre l e C h a p e l a i n )  t h e De Amore.  Capellanus  i n h i s Handbook o f C o u r t l y L o v e ,  That Chaucer u n d e r s t o o d i t i n t h e same sense  w i l l be d e a l t w i t h l a t e r . Assuming t h i s f o r t h e moment and r e t u r n i n g t o t h e m a j o r p o i n t s o f d i s c o r d o u t l i n e d above, i t need n o t be The M i n d and A r t o f Chaucer ( S y r a c u s e : U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1950), p. 39. 1 2  0n.  c i t . . p.  197.  Syracuse  7 s t r e s s e d t h a t t h e y a r e so fundamental t h a t one may, depend i n g on one's b i a s o r a p r i o r i e s t i m a t e  o f the author's  i n t e n t i o n s , a r r i v e a t two t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h e poem i n a t t e m p t i n g be,  t o e x p r e s s these  t o r e s o l v e the d i s c o r d :  i t may  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n t h e i r most extreme  form, e i t h e r a pagan l o v e song o r a t h i n l y d i s g u i s e d morality tale.  I f the f i r s t view i s taken,  the e p i l o g u e  seems l i k e a sop t o r e l i g i o u s c o n v e n t i o n ,  Troilus's free  w i l l speech i s out o f p l a c e , and C r i s e y d e  i s a c t i n g out o f  character i n betraying T r o i l u s .  This i s a consistent  r e s o l u t i o n , b u t h a r d l y a s a t i s f a c t o r y one f o r i t c o n f r o n t s us w i t h the u n a c c e p t a b l e  f a c t t h a t Chaucer was, t o p u t i t  i n i t s s t r o n g e s t terms, r e l i g i o u s l y h y p o c r i t i c a l and a r t i s t i c a l l y incompetent.  This i s incompatible  w i t h the  p r i n c i p l e o f c r i t i c i s m s e t out above ( f o o t n o t e 2 ) .  We may  grant t h a t Chaucer, as any a r t i s t , i s n o t i n f a l l i b l e n o r wholly  c o n s i s t e n t , but not to t h i s  extent.  I f , on t h e o t h e r hand, we attempt t o u n i f y t h e poem by j u s t i f y i n g t h e e p i l o g u e  as n e c e s s a r y  a l r e a d y e x e m p l i f i e d i n the t r a g e d y ,  t o s t a t e a moral  we a r e f a c e d w i t h a  s i m i l a r d i f f i c u l t y , namely t h a t Chaucer has f a i l e d tically,  since the reader's  sympathy i s w i t h the s i n n e r s  r a t h e r t h a n w i t h t h e judge's d e c i s i o n . palinode  artis-  Five verses of  are s c a r c e l y s u f f i c i e n t t o counterbalance  f a l s e m o r a l i t y , i f such i t be, o f f i v e books. medieval t a s t e f o r "doctryne"  the  Even the  o r "sentence" would h a r d l y  8 account f o r t h i s abrupt v o l t e  face*  I n s i s t i n g t h e n on the c r i t i c a l t e n e t  that  Chaucer  "knows what he i s about and t h a t he has a r i g h t t o be u n d e r s t o o d on h i s own terms", i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o f i n d an " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t i s i n harmony w i t h a l l p a r t s o f the poem."  T h i s , we may r e a s o n a b l y e x p e c t , w i l l be "the one  nearest  t o t h e i n t e n t i o n s o f the a u t h o r . "  contention  I t i s the  o f t h i s paper t h a t Chaucer's m o t i v a t i o n i n  w r i t i n g T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e  was t o examine  the t h e o r y o f double t r u t h i n t h a t f i e l d most i n t e r e s t e d — h u m a n l o v e .  I f there  pragmatically  i n which he was  i s sufficient  t e x t u a l and c i r c u m s t a n t i a l evidence t o j u s t i f y t h i s hypot h e s i s i t may be p r o v e d by a p p l y i n g  i t t o t h e problems  d e a l t w i t h above. The  t h e o r y o f the double t r u t h was an attempt t o  r e c o n c i l e purely p h i l o s o p h i c a l findings with r e l i g i o u s dogmas by m a i n t a i n i n g  t h a t what was t r u e i n p h i l o s o p h y was  n o t n e c e s s a r i l y t r u e i n t h e o l o g y , and v i c e v e r s a .  The  o r i g i n s , p e r v a s i v e n e s s and i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s t h e o r y and i t s i n f l u e n c e on Chaucer w i l l be d e a l t w i t h i n d e t a i l i n the f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r .  I t s p o s s i b l e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the  T r o i l u s stems from t h e f a c t t h a t the code o f c o u r t l y was i n c o n f l i c t w i t h the Church's t e a c h i n g  love  on m a r r i a g e .  Whereas the Church de-emphasised the p h y s i c a l s i d e o f  9 l o v e , ^ the code e x a l t e d i t and p r o v i d e d made e x t r a - m a r i t a l respectable.  a r a t i o n a l e that  sex r e l a t i o n s , under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s ,  I t p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h the ennoblement o f t h e  l o v e r by h i s l o v e and i t s demands upon h i s f i n e r  instincts  a s t r o n g argument i n i t s own d e f e n c e , f o r the l o v e which i t advocated produced, i f we a r e t o b e l i e v e the De Amore. n o t h i n g b u t good.  Reason t h u s i n d i c a t e d t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e  was a good and d e s i r a b l e t h i n g , t h e o l o g y damned i t as sinful.  Which view was c o r r e c t ?  I f Chaucer was w r i t i n g  p r i m a r i l y o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n the T r o i l u s we must have been 14 aware o f t h e c l a s h between i t and C h r i s t i a n What more n a t u r a l t h a n t h a t he s h o u l d  teaching.  see t h e c l a s s i c a l  t a l e as a d r a m a t i c example o f one s i d e o f an apparent G£.  Augustine: In m a r r i a g e , i n t e r c o u r s e f o r t h e purpose o f g e n e r a t i o n has no f a u l t a t t a c h e d t o i t , b u t f o r the purpose o f s a t i s f y i n g c o n c u p i s c e n c e • . . i ti s a venial sin. And: M a r r i a g e a l s o has t h i s good, t h a t c a r n a l o r y o u t h f u l i n c o n t i n e n c e , even i f i t i s bad, i s turned t o the honorable task o f b e g e t t i n g c h i l d r e n , so t h a t m a r i t a l i n t e r c o u r s e makes something good out o f the e v i l o f l u s t . T r e a t i s e s on M a r r i a g e and o t h e r S u b j e c t s . t r a n s l a t e d by C h a r l e s T. W i l c o x e t a l . (New York: F a t h e r s o f the Cnurch I n c . , 1955), PP. 17 and 13. P  Aquinas i s n o t so h a r s h : A l t h o u g h the marriage a c t i s v o i d o f s i n , n e v e r t h e l e s s s i n c e i t o p p r e s s e s t h e r e a s o n on account o f the c a r n a l p l e a s u r e , i t r e n d e r s man unfit f o r s p i r i t u a l things. SUPP. Q. 64. A r t . 7. l;  *He c e r t a i n l y shows an awareness o f i t i n The Nun's  10 double t r u t h .  R e l i g i o u s l y s p e a k i n g , c o u r t l y l o v e was bad;  would the s t o r y , o r c o u l d i t p o s s i b l y , i l l u s t r a t e the opposite reference  argument:  t h a t on a n a t u r a l p l a n e ,  without  t o C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y , i t was e s s e n t i a l l y good?  Priest's Tale. C h a u n t i c l e e r s e r v e d Venus "moore f o r d e l i t t h a n w o r l d t o m u l t i p l y e . " ( 1 . 334-5)  II THE PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEM: OP THE a*  THE DOCTRINE  "DOUBLE TRUTH"  I t s Currency An u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the p h i l o s o p h i c a l background  Chaucer's importance  of  time i s e s s e n t i a l t o an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f the o f the "double t r u t h " t h e o r y .  p l a c e t h e r e was  no n e c e s s a r y dichotomy,  today between r e l i g i o n and p h i l o s o p h y .  I n the  first  as t h e r e o f t e n i s Knowledge  was  r e g a r d e d as a u n i t y , and the word s c i e n t i a meant no more t h a n i n t e l l e c t u a l knowledge i n g e n e r a l .  In  European  thought, from Augustine on, p h i l o s o p h y had always  been  r e g a r d e d , whether e x p l i c i t l y o r n o t , as the handmaid o f t h e o l o g y , f o r t r u t h a t t a i n e d through the human i n t e l l e c t was  r e g a r d e d as b e i n g i p s o f a c t o o f a lower k i n d t h a n  divine revealed truth.  The  aim o f most p h i l o s o p h e r s was  u l t i m a t e l y t o r e c o n c i l e these two k i n d s o f t r u t h . v i s i o n o f a God-guaranteed t r u t h was m e d i e v a l e p i s t e m o l o g y as i s the  as fundamental  I t i s a truism to  of P a i t h , o r say t h a t men  w o r l d sub s p e c i e a e t e r n i t a t i s . but t h i s cannot be t o o s t r o n g l y , p r e c i s e l y because  to  mathematics-guaranteed  t r u t h to twentieth century science. the M i d d l e Ages the Age  The  saw  call the  stressed  such a w o r l d view i s q u i t e  f o r e i g n t o our own age.  T h i s Age o f F a i t h was the i n t e l -  l e c t u a l m i l i e u o f Chaucer. One o f the p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l s must have come i n t o c o n t a c t  w i t h which Chaucer  was L a t i n A v e r r o i s m , and an  understanding of i t s b a s i c tenets  w i l l go f a r towards  e x p l a i n i n g how common i n i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s was t h e i d e a o f a double t r u t h and why i t must have i n f l u e n c e d  Chaucer.  A v e r r o e s , the most prominent o f the A r a b i c p h i l o s o p h e r s  of  the t w e l f t h c e n t u r y , had t r i e d t o overcome c e r t a i n d i f ferences  between A r i s t o t e l i a n p h i l o s o p h y and orthodox  Islamic  t h e o l o g y by p r o p o s i n g two k i n d s o f k n o w l e d g e —  r a t i o n a l and r e l i g i o u s . discrepancies  T h i s way o f r e c o n c i l i n g apparent  between r e a s o n and r e l i g i o n was l a t e r adopted  by some C h r i s t i a n t h i n k e r s , and the p h i l o s o p h y o f L a t i n A v e r r o i s m , as i t came t o be known, gained a good d e a l o f ground i n the u n i v e r s i t i e s o f Europe.  I t s l e a d e r was  S i g e r o f Brabant, a contemporary o f Thomas Aquinas and f e l l o w t e a c h e r a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f P a r i s . Siger maintained that p h i l o s o p h i c a l f i n d i n g s were n o t i n accordance w i t h C h r i s t i a n t e a c h i n g n e c e s s a r i l y t o be r e j e c t e d , f o r what was t r u e  that  were n o t philosophi-  c a l l y might be f a l s e t h e o l o g i c a l l y o r v i c e v e r s a .  Such a  s o l u t i o n c o u l d be, and was, a p p l i e d t o many problems.  One  such problem was whether man had f r e e w i l l o r n o t .  In h i s  most i m p o r t a n t work, De N e c e s s i t a t e  Causarum.  e t Contingentia  S i g e r r e a c h e d the p o s i t i o n t h a t f r e e w i l l c o u l d n o t be  p r o v e d by r e a s o n and t h a t , on the c o n t r a r y , r e a s o n demanded t h a t man  had no f r e e w i l l .  I t was  i m p o s s i b l e f o r S i g e r as  a C h r i s t i a n t o be a d e t e r m i n i s t f o r the whole o f C h r i s t i a n m o r a l i t y i s based on the premise t h a t man  i s responsible  for  r e a d i l y be  h i s c h o i c e o f r i g h t or wrong.  t h e n why  I t may  S i g e r t r i e d t o take r e f u g e i n the t h e o r y o f  t r u t h s propounded by A v e r r o e s . hope t o s a l v e h i s c o n s c i e n c e  By t h i s means he  heresy con-  They were,  d i f f e r e n t t r u t h s i n two s e l f - c o n t a i n e d ,  n o n - i n t e r a c t i n g systems o f thought. dichotomy o f t r u t h was a u t h o r i t i e s and i n 1220 a l l t r u t h s was  could  d i d not  f l i c t with h i s C h r i s t i a n b e l i e f i n free w i l l . so t o speak, two  two  and o b v i a t e a charge o f  by s a y i n g t h a t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l determinism  of  seen  However, t h i s  not a c c e p t a b l e t o t h e Church h i s p h i l o s o p h y o f the double I n 1227  condemned.  S i g e r was  demned by Stephen Tempier, the Bishop t h e o r y o f the double  t r u t h was  t r i b u n a l of Tempier was  neat  "one  aspect  a g a i n con-  o f P a r i s , and  declared a heresy.  15 y  the This  o f the g r e a t e s t events i n the  16 h i s t o r y of m e d i e v a l p h i l o s o p h y . "  I t must have had f a r -  r e a c h i n g r e p e r c u s s i o n s i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s  of  •'Maurice De Wulf, A H i s t o r y of M e d i e v a l P h i l o s o p h y , t r a n s . P. C o f f e y (2nd. ed., London: Longmans, 1909), pp. 443-5. And F r e d e r i c k C o p l e s t o n , A H i s t o r y o f P h i l o s o p h y v o l s . , Westminster, Md. Newman P r e s s , 1950), V o l . I I ,  pp. 195-9.  16 A l e x a n d e r Denomy, "The Two M o r a l i t i e s i n T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e . " T r a n s a c t i o n s o f the R o y a l S o c i e t y of Canada, Sec. 2, XLIV (1950), p . 38.  Europe,  and even a c e n t u r y l a t e r Chaucer must s u r e l y have  been aware o f i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . S i g e r wrote no more, but L a t i n A v e r r o i s m by no means d i e d o u t .  A l t h o u g h r e f u t e d by Aquinas and condemned  by the Church i t was  still  time and l o n g a f t e r w a r d s .  a very l i v e  i s s u e i n Chaucer's  As De Wulf s a y s :  From the middle of the f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y down even t o the s e v e n t e e n t h , the n o r t h o f I t a l y and e s p e c i a l l y the U n i v e r s i t y o f Padua remained a hotbed o f A v e r r o i s m . . . . As time went on, the A v e r r o i s t s showed themselves l e s s and l e s s concerned t o p r e s e r v e even the semblance of an agreement between p h i l o s o p h y and t h e o l o g y . And f i n a l l y when the Renaissance came i t made Averroism,„ o p e n l y and avowedly independent of C h r i s t i a n dogma. ' There i s no r e a s o n t o t h i n k t h a t the E n g l i s h l e c t u a l c l i m a t e was  intel-  so s e c u l a r i z e d as the I t a l i a n , but i t  i s v e r y p r o b a b l e t h a t those p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a s which were 18 not a c c e p t e d were a t l e a s t known and d i s c u s s e d . doubt of  t h e r e was  No  s p e c u l a t i o n on many problems i n the  the double t r u t h o f A v e r r o i s m .  light  I t must have p r o v i d e d a  t e m p t i n g o p p o r t u n i t y f o r any t h i n k e r to examine d i s p u t e d q u e s t i o n s from a p u r e l y r a t i o n a l s t a n d p o i n t and his  compare  findings with r e l i g i o u s teachings. Andreas i n the De Amore had approached x  '0p.  c i t . . p.  c o u r t l y love  444.  18 Chaucer, f o r i n s t a n c e mentions i n the P r o l o g u e to the C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s t h a t A v e r r o e s was one o f the w r i t e r s f a m i l i a r t o the D o c t o r of P h y s i c . ( 1 . 433) !t seems l i k e l y t h e n t h a t Chaucer h i m s e l f was aware o f A v e r r o e s and, by i m p l i c a t i o n o f the A r a b i a n t h i n k e r ' s significance.  in  the a c c e p t e d A v e r r o i s t i c way,  following chapter.  as w i l l be shown i n the  H i s Handbook was  devoted f i r s t  to a  r a t i o n a l defence o f c o u r t l y l o v e and t h e n t o a r e j e c t i o n of  i t on r e l i g i o u s grounds.  t h a t Chaucer saw  I t i s at l e a s t conceivable  the code o f l o v e i n the same l i g h t , as a  p o s s i b l e example o f a double t r u t h — r e p r e h e n s i b l e by C h r i s t i a n moral s u f f i c i e n t way  standards but a p r a i s e w o r t h y and  self-  o f l i f e when examined from a p u r e l y r a t i o n a l  viewpoint. b.  The  I n f l u e n c e of A v e r r o i s m on Chaucer The f o r e g o i n g preamble i s n e c e s s a r y t o s u p p o r t the  t h e s i s t h a t the two  q u e s t i o n s o f determinism  and the  double  t r u t h were o f v e r y v i t a l i n t e r e s t i n the f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y . How  f a r Chaucer was  secondary e v i d e n c e .  i n f l u e n c e d by them must be shown by I t i s not by any means i m p o s s i b l e t h a t  he knew S i g e r i n the o r i g i n a l , but s i n c e t h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e f o r t h i s i t may  n o t be assumed.  The  argument p r e -  s e n t e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l be t h a t Chaucer was a c q u a i n t e d w i t h t h r e e w r i t e r s who  direct  well  i n t u r n show the  influ-  ence of A v e r r o i s m . These are n o t n e c e s s a r i l y the o n l y s o u r c e s t h a t i n f l u e n c e d Chaucer, and i n f a c t may but t h e y are the most obvious ones. its  concomitant  w e l l be minor ones, The double t r u t h  and  determinism were no doubt d i s c u s s e d i n any  educated c i r c l e , f o r , n e e d l e s s t o say, p h i l o s o p h y was the e s o t e r i c s t u d y i t l a t e r became:  i t was  not  merely knowledge.  16 The i n f l u e n c e o f p h i l o s o p h y i s seen i n a l l forms o f a r t , and i t can he p o i n t e d out r e a d i l y how  the l i t e r a t u r e o f the  p e r i o d i s permeated w i t h i t how the Roman de l a Rose r e a d i n the f e u d a l c a s t l e s ; how the g r e a t d i d a c t i c poems such as the B a t a i l l e des Sept A r t s o f H e n r i d ' A n d e l i , the R e n a r t C o n t r e f f a i t . the Mariage des Sept A r t s e t des Sept Y e r t u s : how Chaucer's P a r l i a m e n t o f Fowls o r h i s C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s are f i l l e d w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e s e s borrowed from A l a n o f L i l l e , A v i c e n n a . Thomas A q u i n a s , Thomas Bradwardine and o t h e r s . ™ Beyond t h i s q u o t a t i o n no more need be s a i d about the i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y and l i t e r a t u r e , but the i n f l u e n c e of  Bradwardine mentioned above i s o f importance.  Chaucer  mentions him s p e c i f i c a l l y i n The Nun's P r i e s t ' s T a l e i n a mock-heroic r e f e r e n c e t o C h a u n t e c l e e r ' s impending f a t e : But what t h a t God forwoot moot nedes bee, That i n s c o l e i s g r e e t a l t e r c a c i o u n In t h i s matere, and g r e e t d i s p u t i s o u n And h a t h been o f an hundred thousand men. But I ne kan n a t b u l t e i t t o the b r e n As kan the h o o l y d o c t o u r Augustyn, Or Boece, o r the B i s s h o p Bradwardyn.  (11. It  3234-42)  i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t Bradwardine i s ranked as an  a u t h o r i t y comparable w i t h and f a m i l i a r as A u g u s t i n e and B o e t h i u s on t h e q u e s t i o n o f f r e e w i l l .  Bradwardine's s m a l l  c l a i m t o fame today i s h i s book De Causa D e i , w r i t t e n about 1340.  Chaucer, as Lounsbury p o i n t s o u t , must have known  *De Wulf, P h i l o s o p h y and C i v i l i z a t i o n i n the M i d d l e Ages (New York: Dover P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1953), P« 174. x  17 20 what i t waa about. I t was b a s i c a l l y a r e f u t a t i o n o f the p s y c h o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n i s m o f the L a t i n A v e r r o i s t s , but a p p a r e n t l y n o t a v e r y s u c c e s s f u l one, f o r Lounsbury sees i t 21 as a "defence o f p r e d e s t i n a t i o n , " was  w h i l e De Wulf says i t  q u a l i f i e d w i t h s u b t l e r e s t r i c t i o n s "which  really  e l i m i n a t e genuine human freedom and w i t h i t the whole lastic  scho-  system o f e t h i c s [and] l e a d by another way t o the 22  A v e r r o i s t i c view which he wished t o a v o i d , " q u e s t i o n o f A v e r r o i s m was  That t h i s  a b u r n i n g i s s u e o f the day i s  a t t e s t e d i n t h e I n t r o d u c t i o n t o the De Causa D e i , i n which Bradwardine s a y s , " S c i e n s i n flammam t e r r i b i l e m manum m i t t o " ^ — " I am aware t h a t I am p u t t i n g my hand i n t o a 2  t e r r i b l e flame."  I t would seem t h a t Bradwardine was  i n t o the mental c o n t o r t i o n s o f "a s o r t o f t h e i s t i c  forced  deter-  24 minism"  p r e c i s e l y because he c o u l d not take the e a s y way-  out o f f e r e d by t h e exponents o f the double t r u t h :  that  man's w i l l i s f r e e a c c o r d i n g t o f a i t h but n o t f r e e  according  to reason.  Chaucer must have been w e l l aware o f the l e a r n e d  bishop's predicament. A more g e n e r a l but p r o b a b l y more s i g n i f i c a n t 2 Q  0 p . c i t . . p . 386.  2 1  Ibid.  2 2  H i s t o r v . p . 447.  2 3  2 4  Ibid;. Ibid.  t  p . 445.  18 i n f l u e n c e on Chaucer's p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought was t h a t o f Dante, f o r i t i s c l e a r t h a t Chaucer h a d t h e g r e a t e s t admira t i o n f o r the I t a l i a n .  The doxology t h a t ends the T r o i l u s  i s an almost l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n o f l i n e s 28-30 o f Canto 14 of the P a r a d i s o .  And t h e monk i n The C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s  p r a i s e s Dante i n terms which r e f l e c t Chaucer's f e e l i n g s : Redeth t h e g r e t e poete o f Y t a i l l e That h i g h t e Dant, f o r he Kan a l devyse Pro p o i n t t o p o i n t , n a t o word wol he f a i l l e . (Monks T a l e . 11. 3650-52) These c i t a t i o n s a r e s u f f i c i e n t t o show d i r e c t l y and by the s t r o n g e s t i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t Chaucer had a v e r y h i g h  estimate  o f Dante, and i t i s o n l y n a t u r a l t h a t t h i s r e s p e c t would i n c l u d e p h i l o s o p h i c o p i n i o n as w e l l as p o e t i c  genius.  Dante h i m s e l f had t h e g r e a t e s t r e s p e c t f o r t h e A v e r r o i s t t h i n k e r s , a f a c t which, c o n s i d e r i n g h i s complete orthodoxy, has p u z z l e d many c r i t i c s .  I n the D i v i n e Comedy,  although  Mohamed i s p l a c e d i n h e l l , A v e r r o e s and A v i c e n n a a r e i n limbo.  S i g e r o f Brabant i s n o t o n l y p l a c e d i n heaven b u t  i s g i v e n t h e h i g h e s t o f p r a i s e from S t . Thomas Aquihus , h i s one time a d v e r s a r y  i n the schools:  I t i s the l i g h t e t e r n a l o f S i g e r , Who, when he l e c t u r e d i n the S t r e e t o f Straw, Could s y l l o g i z e u n p a l a t a b l e t r u t h s . 2 5 C o p l e s t o n ' s s o l u t i o n t o the p u z z l e o f Dante's anomalous  ^ T h e D i v i n e Comedy, t r a n s l a t e d by Lawrence Grant White (New York: Pantheon Books, 1948), P a r a d i s o . X, 140-42.  19  e l e v a t i o n o f the two  Arabians  seems t o be a r e a s o n a b l e  and  the C h r i s t i a n A v e r r o i s t  one:  O b v i o u s l y Dante was t r e a t i n g these men as p h i l o s o p h e r s , and i t was because o f t h i s f a c t t h a t he p l a c e d the I s l a m i c t h i n k e r s as h i g h i n the s c a l e as he c o u l d : as they were not C h r i s t i a n s he d i d n o t c o n s i d e r t h a t he c o u l d r e l e a s e them from I n f e r n o . and so he p l a c e d them i n Limbo. S i g e r , on the o t h e r hand, was a C h r i s t i a n , and so Dante p l a c e d him i n heaven. That he made S t . Thomas speak h i s p r a i s e s . . . i s e x p l i c a b l e i f we remember t h a t the Thomist system presupposes a p h i l o s o p h y which i s b u i l t up by n a t u r a l r e a s o n alone and t h a t t o b u i l d up a p h i l o s o p h y by r e a s o n alone was p r e c i s e l y what S i g e r of Brabant p r o f e s s e d t o do: i t i s not n e c e s s a r y t o suppose t h a t Dante approved o f a l l S i g e r ' s n o t i o n s ; but he t a k e s him as the symbol o f "pure p h i l o s o p h y . " 2 6 Copleston  goes on t o p o i n t out t h a t "Dante owed to  the  systems o f A l f a r a b i , A v i c e n n a , A l g a z e l and A v e r r o e s important points i n h i s philosophy."  This i s not  at a l l sur-  p r i s i n g c o n s i d e r i n g the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l i m a t e of which was  Italy,  a hundred y e a r s c l o s e r t o the Renaissance t h a n  the r e s t of Europe, and t h u s f u r t h e r from the Age The  double t r u t h f u l c r u m on which A v e r r o i s m  was  i n s e c u l a r c i r c l e s a f i r m l y entrenched opinion, f o r i t  "expressed  w i t h p r e c i s i o n the stage  had  to  of E a i t h . balance  o f s c e p t i c i s m toward  the r e l i g i o u s system, o f a n t i s u p e r n a t u r a l i s m r a t h e r than o f p o s i t i v e n a t u r a l i s m and humanism, which had r e a c h e d northern  I t a l i a n c i t i e s i n the f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  attempted a r a t i o n a l defence o f the a t t i t u d e so w e l l expressed  i n Boccaccio  and  i s t o r y . p.  200.  so h o r r i f y i n g  . . .  to  It  the  Petrarca."  '  Chaucer must have spent a t l e a s t e l e v e n months i n I t a l y between 1372 V i s c o n t i , Lord he had  not  and  1376,  of Milan.  p a r t o f t h i s time w i t h Bamabo  I t would be  come i n t o c o n t a c t  indeed s u r p r i s i n g i f  w i t h the p r e v a i l i n g r e l i g i o u s  s c e p t i c i s m o f the upper c l a s s I t a l i a n and w i t h the p h i l o sophical b a s i s of t h i s scepticism. f i r m l y on the  That Dante came down  side of r e l i g i o n , while Boccaccio,  his  contemporary, tended, a t l e a s t i n h i s e a r l i e r works, towards s c e p t i c i s m must have l e f t  an academic problem, i f n o t h i n g  more, i n Chaucer's mind as t o what r a t i o n a l grounds each had.  The  A v e r r o i s m which i n f l u e n c e d b o t h i s the  intellectual factor. may  w e l l be  matic  divisive  I t i s the r o o t o f t h i s t h a t Chaucer  examining i n the T r o i l u s — a n d  i n h i s own  prag-  fashion. The  t h i r d and p r o b a b l y most important i n f l u e n c e  on  Chaucer, as f a r as h i s motives f o r w r i t i n g the T r o i l u s are concerned, may  have been the De Amore o f Andreas  A l e x a n d e r Denomy has  argued v e r y c o g e n t l y  C o u r t l y Love t h a t the De Amore was code o f c o u r t l y l o v e f i r s t  i n The  Capellanus. Heresy o f  an attempt t o s e t out  as a r a t i o n a l system and  then i n  the De Reprobatione t o g i v e the C h r i s t i a n e s t i m a t e o f k i n d of l o v e .  I t i s t h i s book more t h a n any  other  ' E r n s t C a s s i r e r e t a l . . The R e n a i s s a n c e P h i l o s o p h y o f Man ( C h i c a g o : U n i v e r s i t y o f Chicago 1948), p. 11.  the  this  which  Press,  gave the Western world the concept o f c o u r t l y l o v e , f o r i t c o d i f i e d t h e amour c o u r t o i s o f the t r o u b a d u r s and t r e a t e d it  as a q u a s i - r e l i g i o n .  Of t h i s r e l i g i o n o f l o v e Andreas  was no advocate, as c a n be seen n o t o n l y i n the De R e p r o b a t i o n e . t h e t h i r d p a r t o f the work, i n which he t o t a l l y r e j e c t s h i s e a r l i e r arguments, but a l s o i n the p r e f a c e i n which he says i t i s n o t f i t t i n g " f o r any prudent t o engage i n t h i s k i n d o f h u n t i n g . "  man  The q u e s t i o n t h e n may  w e l l be asked why he compromises h i s r e l i g i o n by t r e a t i n g love i n t h i s fashion.  Denomy m a i n t a i n s t h a t Andreas was  d e l i b e r a t e l y d i v i d i n g h i s view o f t r u t h i n the a c c e p t e d Averroistic  way:  In the De Amore we a r e e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e l e v e l o f r e a s o n and human n a t u r e ; i n t h e De R e p r o b a t i o n e . on t h a t o f f a i t h and g r a c e . . . . What Andreas t e a c h e s t o be t r u e a c c o r d i n g t o n a t u r e and r e a s o n he t e a c h e s t o be f a l s e a c c o r d i n g t o grace and g d i v i n e d o c t r i n e o f t h e s o - c a l l e d "double t r u t h . " 2  Andreas'  s i n c e r i t y as a C h r i s t i a n i s n o t c a l l e d  into question: As a good C h r i s t i a n he wished t o p u t h i m s e l f on the s i d e o f orthodoxy. There i s no more r e a s o n t o s u s p e c t h i s s i n c e r i t y , o r even h i s orthodoxy, t h a n t h e r e i s t o s u s p e c t those o f S i g e r . The De Reprobatione i s , as i t were, Andreas's p r o f e s s i o n o f f a i t h i n the f a c e o f a h e r e s y t o which t h e n e c e s s a r y c o n c l u s i o n o f r e a s o n had l e d him.29 T h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l s c h i z o p h r e n i a was n o t a c c e p t a b l e t o the Church a u t h o r i t i e s , and the De Amore was condemned  2 8  2 9  0 p . c i t . . p. 39. I b i d . . p . 52.  by Bishop Stephen Tempier o f P a r i s on March 7th. T h i s was  on the  same date and by the same man  demnation o f S i g e r of Brabant's t e a c h i n g , f o r b o t h was  the  same:  and  as the the  the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e o r y  double t r u t h t h a t u n d e r l a y  the condemnation o f the De Amore and speculate  con-  reason of  the  them b o t h .  I t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y t h a t Chaucer was  he d i d not  1277.  unaware o f  equally u n l i k e l y that  on the r a t i o n a l grounds f o r the  decision. That c o u r t l y l o v e as c o d i f i e d by Andreas was C h r i s t i a n need h a r d l y be adulterous.  stressed.  It i s essentially  "What i s l o v e , " says Andreas, "but  an  nate d e s i r e t o r e c e i v e p a s s i o n a t e l y a f u r t i v e and e m b r a c e ? " ^ and  later:  husband and wife."^**  anti-  inordihidden  " l o v e can have no p l a c e between To  account t h e r e f o r e f o r the  tance o f t h i s d o c t r i n e i n m e d i e v a l s o c i e t y one  accep-  must l o o k  to  the e f f e c t s which l o v e p r o d u c e s , and which c l o s e l y a p p r o x i mate t o the C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e s : Now i t i s the e f f e c t o f l o v e t h a t a t r u e l o v e r cannot be degraded w i t h a v a r i c e . Love . • . can endow a man even o f the humblest b i r t h w i t h n o b i l i t y of c h a r a c t e r ; i t b l e s s e s the proud w i t h h u m i l i t y ; and the man i n l o v e becomes accustomed t o p e r f o r m i n g many s e r v i c e s g r a c e f u l l y f o r everyone. 0 what a w o n d e r f u l t h i n g  ^ A n d r e a s C a p e l l a n u s , The A r t o f C o u r t l y Love, t r a n s . John J . P a r r y ; ed. by P. W. Locke (New York: F r e d e r i c k Ungar, 1957), P- 17. 5 1  Ibid.  23 i s l o v e , which makes a man virtue s i " Further is  t o shine w i t h so many-  t o compound t h i s c o n f u s i o n  o f pagan and C h r i s t i a n  the r u l e t h a t a c o u r t l y l o v e r must be  " l o v e comes t o an end t o go  i f one  a Christian, for  o f the l o v e r s . . .  a s t r a y from the C a t h o l i c  i s found  religion."^  There seems so much good i n c o u r t l y l o v e and is  based s o l i d l y and  i n c o n t e s t a b l y on a type o f l o v e which  C h r i s t i a n i t y c l a s s e d as i l l i c i t code t h i s l o v e i s not  and p e r n i c i o u s .  only laudable  bonum o f man's e x i s t e n c e . t o c o u r t l y l o v e as the the d o m i n a t i n g c e n t r e  The  aware o f the  (for  good  have seen, attempted a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n  c a r r i e d t h i s one  Chaucer i n  step f u r t h e r .  Fully  the good e f f e c t s  took the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t t h i s way  i t i s nothing  and  o f man's l i f e .  overpowering n a t u r e o f l o v e and  i t produces he  summum  De Amore r e f e r s c o n t i n u a l l y  through a p p l y i n g the double t r u t h t h e o r y . Criseyde  Under the  but becomes the  source o f a l l v i r t u e and  Andreas, as we  T r o i l u s and  yet i t  l e s s ) i s b o t h p r a i s e w o r t h y and  of  life  practical  on a p u r e l y n a t u r a l l e v e l and proceeded t o i s o l a t e i t from a C h r i s t i a n context  and  examine i t under p u r e l y  c o n d i t i o n s u n c o m p l i c a t e d by any ciples.  The  clash with C h r i s t i a n p r i n -  s t o r y p r e s e n t e d him,  a t o r y c o n d i t i o n s f o r the  5 2  I b i d . , p.  4.  3 3  I b i d . , p.  29.  natural  so to speak, w i t h l a b o r -  e x a m i n a t i o n of t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n ;  a l l he had t o do was l e t t h i n g s take serve t h e r e s u l t .  t h e i r course  and ob-  I t may be o b j e c t e d t h a t he a l r e a d y knew  what the r e s u l t would be, b u t t h i s i s n o t t o the p o i n t : what Chaucer does i s t o show t h a t the r e s u l t was i n e v i t a b l e d e s p i t e t h e s t r o n g e s t case he c o u l d make f o r t h e system. Hence Chaucer's f e a r s t h a t he would be m i s u n d e r s t o o d , f o r he was r u n n i n g  a great r i s k that h i s a r t i s t i c  and i n t e l -  l e c t u a l detachedness, h i s u n w i l l i n g n e s s n o t o n l y t o judge but even admit the g u i l t o f the l o v e r s would be wrongly construed  as sympathy w i t h t h e code.  Ill THE a.  POEM AS A PHILOSOPHICAL QUEST  Chaucer E x p r e s s e s h i s  Intentions  Chaucer goes out o f h i s way  a t many p o i n t s t o make  c l e a r h i s p o s i t i o n as a n a r r a t o r and poem he would wish h i s r e a d e r s stanzas  to take.  I n the  the  opening  he a s s o c i a t e s h i m s e l f w i t h the r e l i g i o n o f l o v e  and attempts t o show f i r s t t h a t he theme as a C h r i s t i a n and from  the approach t o  secondly  i s not d e a l i n g with h i s t h a t he  i s not  speaking  experience: F o r I , t h a t God o f Loves s e r v a n t z s e r v e , He dar t o Love, f o r myn u n l i k l y n e s s . . . . ( I , 15-16)  I n o t h e r words he i s t r e a t i n g of l o v e as i f he were an i m p a r t i a l w r i t e r i n a pagan ( t h a t i s , " e x t r a - C h r i s t i a n " ) milieu. H i s i n v o c a t i o n i n the poem i s t o T i s i p h o n e , cruwel F u r i e , sorwynge e v e r i n peyne."  From t h i s p o i n t  are drawn i n t o a c l a s s i c a l , p r e - C h r i s t i a n atmosphere our i n t e r e s t i s aroused as t o why vengeance i s i n v o k e d and why s u f f e r i n g should be are we  one  "Thow we  and  o f the goddesses o f  from the s t a r t the element o f  associated with love.  The  i n c l i n e d t o wonder a t t h i s as the t a l e  more so progresses  and the h a p p i n e s s of the l o v e r s seems almost t o i l l u m i n a t e  26 the  story. The  s i g n i f i c a n c e o f Chaucer* s c a l l i n g h i m s e l f the  s e r v a n t of the s e r v a n t s o f Love i s worth n o t h i n g f o r the e f f e c t i t would have had on the medieval r e a d e r . title  o f apparent h u m i l i t y i s o f course a parody  t r a d i t i o n a l p a p a l t i t l e , Servus Servorum D e i .  This o f the  Now  since  Chaucer c o u l d h a r d l y be s e t t i n g h i m s e l f up as the head o f some s o r t o f r o m a n t i c h i e r a r c h y the i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h i s e x p r e s s i o n i s brought  into question.  The most l i k e l y  inter-  p r e t a t i o n i s t h a t i t i s used i n comic i r o n y — b u t t o what end?  The  end,  i t would seem, o f c r e a t i n g a p s e u d o - r e l i g i o u s  l e i t m o t i v , f o r a few l i n e s l a t e r the author c a l l s on the sympathy o f h i s r e a d e r s a s k i n g them t o i n t e r c e d e w i t h the God Love And p r e i e t h f o r hem t h a t ben i n t h e Of T r o i l u s , as ye may a f t e r h e r e , That Love hem  cas  brynge i n hevene t o s o l a s .  ( I , 29-32) E v o k i n g t h i s sympathetic  spirit  seems t o be Chaucer's  first  c o n c e r n , f o r he spends the s u c c e e d i n g t h r e e s t a n z a s i n the same v e i n , f i n a l l y embarking on the s t o r y p r o p e r w i t h : Now  herkneth w i t h a good e n t e n c i o u n . (I,  5D  The word " e n t e n c i o u n " denotes b o t h and a t t e n t i o n . " l i t e l bok"  understanding  When i t i s c o u p l e d w i t h h i s w i s h f o r h i s  i n the e n v o i — " T h a t thow be understonde,  I bisechel"—it  God,  i n d i c a t e s v e r y markedly a meaning i n the  poem which the s u p e r f i c i a l r e a d e r may  very w e l l miss.  s h o u l d Chaucer have e n c l o s e d h i s s t o r y between these r e q u e s t s t h a t i t be  Why two  understood?  A c l u e t o the answer l i e s ,  I t h i n k , i n the proem  to  Book I I .  The i n v o c a t i o n t h i s time i s t o C l e o , the Muse  of  H i s t o r y ; which would o c c a s i o n no comment except t h a t  Chaucer p r o c e e d s t o a b s o l v e h i m s e l f a g a i n from any s u s p i c i o n t h a t he might be a d v o c a t i n g the code o f l o v e he been d e s c r i b i n g i n Book I . he s a y s .  "Of no sentement  I this  has  endite,"  H i s o n l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s t o t r a n s l a t e the s t o r y  from the o r i g i n a l L a t i n , and thus h i s author i s t o blame for  anything that gives offence.  And b e s i d e s , he h i m s e l f  cannot speak o f l o v e , f o r "A blynde man i n hewis"  ( I I , 21).  kan n o t juggen wel  These d i s c l a i m e r s cannot go u n n o t i c e d ;  Chaucer i s p r o t e s t i n g t o o much. T h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e and t h a t o f C l e o becomes apparent i n the n e x t f o u r v e r s e s , where Chaucer e x p r e s s e s o u t r i g h t the to  a t t i t u d e he wishes h i s r e a d e r s t o t a k e :  he t e l l s  put the s t o r y i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e .  He  them  argues  by analogy: Ye knowe ek t h a t i n forme o f speche i s chaunge Withinne a thousand y e e r , and wordes tho That hadden p r i s , now wonder nyce and straunge Us t h i n k e t h hem, and y e t t h e i spake hem so, And spedde as wel i n l o v e as men now do; Ek f o r t o wynnen l o v e i n sondry ages, In sondry l o n d e s , sondry ben usages. (II, J u s t as speech has changed,  21-28)  so t o o have f a s h i o n s i n l o v e ;  28 and we cannot dards.  judge a pagan l o v e a f f a i r by our own s t a n -  Chaucer does n o t s a y by our moral s t a n d a r d s and  a p p a r e n t l y does n o t i n t e n d us t o take t h i s  interpretation,  f o r he c o n t i n u e s : Ek If As In  i n som l o n d were a l l t h e game shent t h a t t h e y f e r d e i n l o v e as men don h e r e , t h u s , i n opyn doyng o r i n c h e r e , v i s i t y n g i n forme, o r seyde h i r e sawes;  F o r t h i men seyn, e c c h c o n t r e e h a t h h i s lawes. ( I I , 38-42) The d i s t i n c t i o n i n s t a n d a r d s which he makes here i s between l o v i n g o p e n l y and i n s e c r e c y . I t i s h a r d l y e a s i e r f o r t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y man t o see more c l e a r l y t h a n t h e f o u r t e e n t h why a normal l o v e a f f a i r s h o u l d be s e c r e t , b u t t h i s s e c r e c y i s o f t h e essence of c o u r t l y love. illicit  Where s e c r e c y had been a n e c e s s i t y i n any  u n i o n , t h e code had made o f i t a v i r t u e as w e l l .  Andreas i n s i s t s t h a t l o v e "comes t o an end a f t e r i t has been o p e n l y r e v e a l e d . " ^  Chaucer  i s thus t r a n s f e r r i n g t h e  c o u r t l y l o v e c o n v e n t i o n t o T r o y , and t h e s i n e qua non by which he i n d i c a t e s t h a t i t i s c o u r t l y l o v e i s s e c r e c y .  Why  e l s e would he emphasize t h a t t h e l o v e o f T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e was n o t " i n opyn doyng o r i n chere"?  He was under  no compulsion t o make t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p a c o u r t l y romance, and t h a t h i s r e a d e r s d i d n o t expect i t t o be such i s a t t e s t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t he d e l i b e r a t e l y d i r e c t s 'De Amore. p . 29.  their  a t t e n t i o n t o t h e element o f s e c r e c y . The  r e a s o n s why Chaucer d i d so may w e l l be t h e  cardinal point  on which h i n g e s t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e  poem t h a t Chaucer wished h i s r e a d e r s t o t a k e .  From t h e ,  t e x t one must admit t h a t he was t h i n k i n g o f something over and  above p u r e l y p h y s i c a l l o v e , f o r such a b a s i c human  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s s u r e l y common t o a l l ages i n h i s t o r y .  And  y e t i f we assume t h a t Chaucer thought o f a l l a r i s t o c r a t i c love  as b e i n g o f t h e c o u r t l y type we meet another problem,  f o r c o u r t l y l o v e as d e s c r i b e d  by Andreas i s d e f i n i t e l y a  phenomenon o f the C h r i s t i a n e r a . several places  T h i s i s made c l e a r a t  i n the De Amore, f o r  instance:  Other t h i n g s which weaken l o v e a r e blasphemy a g a i n s t God and h i s s a i n t s [and] mockery o f t h e ceremonies o f t h e Church. . . .55 and: We see t h a t l o v e comes t o an end i f one o f t h e l o v e r s . . . i s found t o go a s t r a y f r o m t h e C a t h o l i c religion.36 B e a r i n g i n mind these f a c t s , a h y p o t h e s i s may be made t h a t Chaucer's motive was t o p u t h i s c l a s s i c a l  lovers  i n a c o u r t l y l o v e framework b u t i n a s o c i e t y where t h e r e were no moral v a l u e s which c o n f l i c t e d w i t h t h e code.  In  t h i s way t h e i n t r i n s i c v a l u e of t h e code c o u l d be e s t i m a t e d . Andreas had emphasized i n t h e De Reprobation© t h a t  5 5  I b i d . , p . 28.  5 6  I b i d » » P« 29.  courtly  30 l o v e was m o r a l l y bad and l e d t o unhappiness  because i t  c o n f l i c t e d w i t h t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l law. An o b v i o u s  specu-  l a t i v e e x t e n s i o n o f t h i s would be an e x a m i n a t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n a m o r a l l y n e u t r a l environment c o n f l i c t with the supernatural.  when t h e r e was no  T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e i s i n  f a c t j u s t such an e x a m i n a t i o n i n f i c t i o n a l form.  I t may be  t h a t Chaucer's m o t i v a t i o n thus t o s t u d y c o u r t l y l o v e p r a g m a t i c a l l y was n o t c o n s c i o u s , t h a t i n f a c t i t was a secondary o r even f o r t u i t o u s r e s u l t o f h i s treatment o f t h e o l d s t o r y . To determine  whether i t i s c o n s c i o u s l y d i r e c t e d o r n o t one  can o n l y ask:  What would Chaucer have done i f he had  i n t e n d e d t o t r e a t o f c o u r t l y l o v e so c l i n i c a l l y ? ; He would have had t o make c l e a r h i s p o s i t i o n as an i m p a r t i a l n a r r a t o r , u n b i a s e d by any attachment  t o t h e code  and d e v o i d o f any a u t h o r i t y o r even wish t o j u d g e .  Secondly,  he would have had t o make i t c l e a r t h a t t h e l o v e a f f a i r b e i n g n a r r a t e d was e s s e n t i a l l y one o f c o u r t l y r a t h e r t h a n romantic l o v e .  F i n a l l y he would have had t o a c c e n t u a t e  the h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e s t o r y t o e l i m i n a t e t r a c t i o n from any i r r e l e v a n t moral i s s u e s . seen above, Chaucer makes i t a prime  dis-  As has been  c o n c e r n t o o f f e r these  qualifications• b.  C o u r t l y Love as One Side o f a "Double T r u t h " I f t h i s h y p o t h e s i s i s c o r r e c t we may expect t o f i n d ,  as w e l l as s e c r e c y , many o f t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f  c o u r t l y l o v e i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between T r o i l u s and Criseyde.  There a r e s e v e r a l phenomena i n a c o u r t l y l o v e  a f f a i r which a r e found i n o t h e r l o v e l i t e r a t u r e .  Ovid,  f o r i n s t a n c e , i n h i s A r s A m a t o r i a p o s t u l a t e s a God o f Love, and  indeed  very probably  European l i t e r a t u r e .  bequeathed t h i s concept t o l a t e r  The Greeks tended sometimes t o l o o k  upon l o v e as a s i c k n e s s , a d i s o r d e r i n g o f the r a t i o n a l faculty.  The f e a r s o f t h e l o v e r , h i s e x a l t a t i o n and  f e e l i n g s of i n f e r i o r i t y t o h i s beloved known symptoms o f l o v e . being  are u n i v e r s a l l y  What t h e n i d e n t i f i e s l o v e as  s p e c i f i c a l l y courtly? Two o f the b a s i c c o n c e p t s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e c o u r t l y  l o v e a r e s e c r e c y and t h e n o t i o n o f l o v e as b e i n g the source o f a l l good.  A r i s i n g from these are o t h e r n e c e s s a r y  tions:  the e n n o b l i n g  beloved  to a place  f o r c e o f l o v e , t h e e l e v a t i o n o f the  above the l o v e r , t h e i d e a o f s e r v i c e ,  the acceptance o f l o v e as b e i n g  a normal c o n d i t i o n and  j e a l o u s y as b e i n g a n e c e s s a r y p a r t o f i t . all  condi-  Andreas o u t l i n e s  o f these c o n d i t i o n s and Chaucer f a i t h f u l l y  illustrates  them i n the poem. I n the De Amore l o v e i s c a l l e d "the t h i n g from which the h i g h e s t it  good i n t h i s l i f e  t r e a t e d i n the T r o i l u s .  takes i t s o r i g i n s . " ^  The t r a g e d y  o f T r o y forms b u t a  backdrop t o the l o v e o f T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e .  I b i d . . p . 20.  Thus i s  This i n  32 i t s e l f i s worth n o t e , f o r the o r i g i n a l s t o r y o f B e n o i t de Ste.  Maure d e a l s w i t h t h e T r o i l u s a f f a i r o n l y as a romantic  r e l i e f t o the s i e g e o f T r o y , w h i l e Chaucer f o l l o w s B o c c a c c i o in  making the l o v e theme c e n t r a l .  That he made h i s c h o i c e  c o n s c i o u s l y , n o t through s l a v i s h i m i t a t i o n o f B o c c a c c i o , may he i n f e r r e d from h i s apology f o r h a v i n g t o g i v e a sad ending t o the s t o r y : And i f I hadde y t a k e n f o r t o w r i t e The armes o f t h i s i l k e w o r t h i man, Than wolde i c h o f h i s h a t a i l l e s e n d i t e ; But f o r t h a t I t o w r i t e n f i r s t b i g a n Of h i s l o v e , I have seyd as I k a n .  (V, 1765-9) Are n o t t h e l a s t two l i n e s an admission o f Chaucer's i n t e n t i o n t o w r i t e o f l o v e and a statement  definite  of the i n e v i t -  a b i l i t y o f t h e outcome, a r a t h e r r e l u c t a n t a d m i s s i o n  that  a l t h o u g h he would have l i k e d a h a p p i e r e n d i n g he cannot evade t h e l o g i c a l consequence o f making l o v e t h e f o n s e t o r i g o boni?. That Chaucer d i d adhere t o Andreas's  stipulation  t h a t l o v e must be t h e a l l important f a c t o r i n l i f e i s p a t e n t from t h e v e r y b e g i n n i n g o f t h e poem, but i t i s l e f t to  T r o i l u s t o s t a t e i t e x p l i c i t l y and i n the s t r o n g e s t and  most e m o t i o n a l terms a t t h e v e r y c l i m a x o f t h e romance: Benigne Love, thow h o l y bond o f thynges, Whoso wol g r a c e , and l i s t t h e nought honouren, Lo h i s d e s i r wol f i e w i t h o u t e n wynges. That s e r v e n b e s t and most alwey l a b o u r e n , Yet were a l l o s t , t h a t d a r I wel seyn c e r t e s , But i f t h i grace p a s s e d oure d e s e r t e s .  ( I l l , 1261-7)  Here l o v e i s p r a i s e d as t h e c o h e s i v e w i t h o u t which a l l i s l o s t , greater extent The  f o r c e i n the u n i v e r s e  and a p o t h e o s i z e d  t o an even  than "by Andreas.  impact o f t h i s i d e a on the r e a d e r  cannot he  escaped; i t i s a c l i m a c t i c t r u t h r e v e a l e d i n a moment o f ecstasy. one  I t ' s f o r c e can be r e a l i z e d the more c l e a r l y i f  t r i e s t o imagine t h i s i d e a o c c u r r i n g i n a modern  romance.  I t j u s t would n o t f i t ,  because t h e modern  reader's  concern i s with the l o v e r s r a t h e r than with love i n i t s e l f as an a b s t r a c t power.  Chaucer has i n d i c a t e d u n m i s t a k e a b l y  t h a t i n the T r o i l u s t h e r e v e r s e has  focussed  i s t r u e f o r him, f o r he  a t t e n t i o n a t t h i s most u n l i k e l y moment n o t on  the l o v e r s b u t on t h e " h o l y bond o f thynges" which i s ruling their  destiny.  Of the o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f c o u r t l y l o v e i t s 38 ennobling  e f f e c t on t h e l o v e r i s an e s s e n t i a l one.  conventional  ennoblement o f T r o i l u s b e g i n s when he e x p e r i -  ences t h e f i r s t assured  The  j o y o f l o v e , t h a t i s when Pandarus has  him o f h e l p i n g a i n i n g C r i s e y d e .  The  "fierse  proude knyght" ( I , 225) i s no more: Dedewere h i s japes and h i s c r u e l t e , H i s h e i g h p o r t and h i s manere estraunge And e c c h o f t h o gan f o r a v e r t u chaunge. (I,  1085-5)  C f . De Amore. Rule X. "Love i s always a s t r a n g e r i n the home o f a v a r i c e . " And Chap. I l l : "[Love] blesses, the proud w i t h h u m i l i t y , and the man i n l o v e becomes  34 Now  T r o i l u s becomes: . . . the f r i e n d l i e s t e wight The g e n t i l e s t , and ek the mooste f r e , The t h r i f t i e s t and oon the b e s t e knyght That i n h i s tyme was or myghte be.  ( I , 1079-82) And  a l o n g w i t h these g e n t l e r v i r t u e s he a c q u i r e s a new And Wo  valour:  i n the f e l d he p l e y d e the l e o u n ; was  t h a t Grek t h a t w i t h hym  mette a-dayl  ( I , 1073-4) These q u o t a t i o n s are from the l a s t t h r e e v e r s e s o f Book I and have a s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r our purpose  in  t h a t t h e y r e p r e s e n t a d d i t i o n s by Chaucer t o the B o c c a c c i o story.  Perhaps the s t r o n g e s t evidence of Chaucer's  t i o n s l i e s i n how  he used h i s s o u r c e s .  inten-  Additions, deletions  and changes i n h i s source m a t e r i a l s h o u l d , i f t h e r e i s a c o n s i s t e n t approach o f t h a t approach.  t o the n a r r a t i v e , a l l m a n i f e s t the n a t u r e What i n e f f e c t these a l t e r a t i o n s  indicate  i s t h a t Chaucer i s not o n l y s p e c i f y i n g c o u r t l y l o v e as the dynamic b e h i n d the t r a g e d y but i s making the s t r o n g e s t case i n defence  o f i t as a way  of  life.  Thus the above a d d i t i o n s t o the s t o r y as t o l d i n I I F i l o s t r a t o s t r e s s the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t h a t l o v e e f f e c t s i n the l o v e r , and t h i s i s f u r t h e r r e i n f o r c e d i n Book I I I a f t e r the l o v e has been consummated: accustomed t o p e r f o r m i n g many s e r v i c e s g r a c e f u l l y f o r everyone." (p. 4.)  35 And though t h a t he be come of b l o o d r o i a l , Hym l i s t e o f p r i d e a t no wight f o r t o chace; Benigne he was t o ech i n g e n e r a l , F o r which he gat hym thank i n e v e r y p l a c e . Thus wold Love, y h e r i e d be h i s g r a c e , That P r i d e , Envye, and I r e and A v a r i c e He gan t o f i e , and e v e r i c h o t h e r v i c e . (Ill, The  1800-06)  encomium here i s almost a l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n from  I I P i l o s t r a t o ( I I I , 93), sees the  but  i t i s apparent t h a t  e n n o b l i n g power as a more important a s p e c t  c o u r t l y l o v e , f i r s t o f a l l because he has it  Chaucer  (as B o c c a c c i o has  not)  i n Book I and  already  of  mentioned  s e c o n d l y because  he  f i n i s h e s Book I I I w i t h a d e f i n i t e statement t h a t t h i s i s whatheis p u r p o s e l y  explaining:  . . . have I seyd f u l l y i n my song Th' e f f e c t and j o i e o f T r o i l u s s e r v i s e . . . • (III,  1814-15)  There i s no p a r a l l e l t o t h i s i n I I F i l o s t r a t o . i s w e l l aware o f "th* e f f e c t " o f l o v e but w i t h the  i s more concerned  " j o i e " , whereas Chaucer, by no means unaware o f  the p h y s i c a l d e l i g h t , s e e s t h a t l o v e engenders man t h a t he has for  Boccaccio  e q u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the  desirable virtues.  fact  I t would seem  e s t a b l i s h e d a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t Andreas's  c o u r t l y love  are v a l i d .  So  f a r the  case f o r the  claims code  seems sound. Little was  more need be  s a i d h e r e t o show t h a t  d e l i b e r a t e l y f o l l o w i n g the  story.  code i n d e v e l o p i n g  A comparison between the De  Amore and  Chaucer the  love  the T r o i l u s  36 w i l l provide  ample i l l u s t r a t i o n t h a t the l o v e r s are  engaged  i n a s p e c i f i c a l l y c o u r t l y love a f f a i r ^ i n a l l respects except two.  F i r s t , t h e y are not  r e q u i r e d t o he C h r i s t i a n s ,  f o r obvious r e a s o n s ; s e c o n d l y , t h e y r e j e c t the  jealousy  which Andreas i n s i s t s i s an e s s e n t i a l i n c o u r t l y l o v e .  The  s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s l a t t e r d e v i a t i o n w i l l become c l e a r later. An i n t e r e s t i n g t e x t u a l c o n f i r m a t i o n was  t h a t Chaucer  f o l l o w i n g the r u l e s as c o d i f i e d by Andreas i s , however,  worthy o f mention.  Andreas says t h a t a l l c l a s s e s o f p e o p l e  may  t h e o r e t i c a l l y engage i n c o u r t l y l o v e , even p r i e s t s .  The  only exception  he makes i s nuns.  Criseyde  have t h i s s o l e d i s q u a l i f i c a t i o n i n mind when she whether or not  she  should  seems t o i s deciding  commit h e r s e l f t o an a f f a i r w i t h  T r o i l u s , f o r she s o l i l o q u i z e s : S h a l I n a t l o v e , i n cas i f t h a t me l e s t e ? What, p a r d i e u x . I am naught r e l i g i o u s .  ( I I , 759-60) This l i t t l e  anachronism i s i n i t s e l f almost s u f f i c i e n t  to  demonstrate t h a t b o t h Chaucer and h i s audience were w e l l a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the De Amore and  at t h i s p o i n t i n the  n a r r a t i v e were w e l l aware t h a t C r i s e y d e  was  not t r y i n g  ^ ^ E v i d e n c e f o r t h i s has been f u l l y d e a l t w i t h by many s c h o l a r s , n o t a b l y T. A. K i r b y i n Chaucer's T r o i l u s : A Study i n C o u r t l y Love and W. G. Dodd, C o u r t l y Love i n Chaucft-p artd Gower (Boston: Ginn. 1913). 40 De Amore. p.  25.  m e r e l y t o d e c i d e whether t o f a l l  i n l o v e hut  was  a d e c i s i o n t o engage s p e c i f i c a l l y i n c o u r t l y c.  C o u r t l y Love as a R a t i o n a l Way Chaucer's two  t i o n e d "by the They are not  of  pondering  love.  Life  l o v e r s t h e n are l i v i n g i n and  e x p l i c i t l y stated tenets  of c o u r t l y  condi-  love.  engaged i n a romance i n the modern sense o r  s o c i a l pastime hut  are d e d i c a t e d  the r e l i g i o n o f l o v e , and develop "from the  t o a d e f i n i t e way  u l t i m a t e l y the  f a c t t h a t t h e y do not  F o r them i t i s an a b s o l u t e  tragedy  of  a  life,  will  see beyond l o v e .  t h i n g , l i k e God,  t o be  betrayed,  4-1  evaded, i g n o r e d , has  or d e v o u t l y worshipped. . . . "  t a k e n p a i n s t o make c l e a r the  o f the  l o v e theme.  I n e f f e c t he  q u a s i - r e l i g i o u s nature i s presenting  p o s s i b l e case f o r c o u r t l y l o v e , not a morally morally the  n e u t r a l environment but  favourable  The  former; Chaucer c r e a t e s  p u r g i n g the and  one.  the  strongest  o n l y by examining i t i n  by p u t t i n g i t i n a  Trojan the  Chaucer  setting lent i t s e l f  second i n two  ways:  code of a l l charge of g r o s s n e s s o r  t h e n by d e v e l o p i n g i t as a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d  to  by  immorality religion  analogous i n many ways t o C h r i s t i a n i t y . In the f i r s t p l a c e , De Amore v e r y c l o s e l y he  a l t h o u g h he  deviates  i n two  follows ways.  Andreas's He  John B a y l e y , The C h a r a c t e r s o f Love: A Study i n the L i t e r a t u r e of P e r s o n a l i t y (London: C o n s t a b l e , I960), p. 72.  d e l i b e r a t e l y omits the element o f j e a l o u s y which was i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the code.  an  "Real j e a l o u s y * " says Andreas,  "always i n c r e a s e s the f e e l i n g o f l o v e , " and t h e r e f o r e l o v e , are i n c r e a s e d when one  "Jealousy,  suspects  and  his  42 beloved."  Boccaccio  enunciated  it.  She  i n conversation  accepted  t h i s r u l e and h i s C r e s s i d a  says t o T r o i l o ,  some time ago,  "Soul of mine, I h e a r d  i f I remember c o r r e c t l y ,  t h a t Love i s a j e a l o u s s p i r i t , and when he he h o l d e t h i t so f i r m l y bound and p r e s s e d to f r e e i t , advice  i s given i n vain.  i n such wise f o r t h e e .  ..."  i n h i s claws t h a t  He h a t h g r i p p e d  ( I l l , 48-49).  r e j e c t s o u t r i g h t t h i s l i n k i n g of love with Criseyde  s e i z e t h aught,  i n f a c t p r e a c h e s the c o n t r a r y .  me  Chaucer  jealousy.  She  rebukes T r o i l u s  f o r h i s j e a l o u s y , so s l y l y engendered by Pandarus: My goode myn, noot I for-why ne how That j a l o u s i e , a l i a s ! t h a t wicked wyvere Thus c a u s e l e s s i s c r o p e n i n t o yow, The harm o f which I wolde f a y n d e l y v e r e . (Ill,  and  1009-12)  t h e n goes on t o c o n t r a d i c t i n the most f o r c e f u l terms  the r u l e o f l o v e which would seem t o s a n c t i o n i t : Ek a l my wo i s t h i s , t h a t f o l k now usen To seyn r i g h t t h u s , "Ye j a l o u s i e i s l o v e ! " And wolde a b u s s h e l venym a l excusen, F o r t h a t o greyn of l o v e i s on i t shove. (Ill,  The  1023-26)  image of j e a l o u s y t h a t C r i s e y d e p r e s e n t s  Op.  c i t . . p.  43.  i s of  poison  as i n s i d i o u s and it and  she  d e a d l y as t h a t o f a snake.  I n condemning  shows a much more s p i r i t u a l i z e d c o n c e p t i o n  there  of l o v e ,  i s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the f a c t t h a t she w i l l f l y i n  the f a c e o f c o n v e n t i o n t o speak so d o g m a t i c a l l y . she  says,  i s not  l o v e hut  Jealousy,  hate:  But t h a t woot heighe God t h a t s i t above, I f i t he l i k k e r e l o v e , o r h a t e , or grame: And a f t e r t h a t , i t oughte here h i s name.  ( I l l , 1027-9) What i n essence she  i s saying i s that i f love i s d i v i n e  t h e n j e a l o u s y can "be no p a r t o f i t . Her has  c l e a r l y seen t h i s v i c i o u s a s p e c t And  y e t she  and  womanly l o g i c  o f the  code.  T r o i l u s are l i v i n g w i t h i n the  and  l o v i n g i n s e c r e c y even though t h e r e i s o n l y one  why  t h e y s h o u l d n o t , namely t h a t t h i s would have  m a r r i a g e — w h i c h o f course i s the love.  I t i s remarkable how  secrecy  involved  a n t i t h e s i s of c o u r t l y  i n the De Amore t h i s i d e a o f  and h i d d e n embrace."  When she  l o v e r i t i s one  a furtive  B o c c a c c i o ' s C r e s s i d a i s w e l l aware o f  f u l l y appreciates  secret love.  be  an e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y i n l o v e , which i s , as  n o t e d above, "a d e s i r e t o r e c e i v e p a s s i o n a t e l y  t h i s and  reason  i s not m e r e l y a n e c e s s a r y c a u t i o n which must  e x e r c i s e d but  code  the amatory t i t i l l a t i o n o f  i s c o n s i d e r i n g t a k i n g T r o i l o as  of her f i r s t  considerations:  Water a c q u i r e d by s t e a l t h i s sweeter f a r t h a n wine had i n abundance. So the j o y o f l o v e , when h i d d e n , e v e r s u r p a s s e t h t h a t o f the husband h e l d p e r p e t u a l l y i n arms. (II,  74)  a a  40 T h i s a t t i t u d e i s much c l o s e r t o t h e s p i r i t than C r i s e y d e ' s .  Chaucer's poem i s f u l l  o f t h e code  o f t h e need f o r  s e c r e c y h u t n o t t o enhance s e n s u a l d e l i g h t , and C r i s e y d e never makes t h e t h r i l l  o f s u r r e p t i t i o u s embraces a con-  sideration i n accepting T r o i l u s .  On the c o n t r a r y , she  s p e c i f i e s a t f i r s t t o Pandarus t h a t t h e r e were t o be no embraces s u r r e p t i t i o u s o r o t h e r w i s e .  She w i l l ,  she says,  " p l e s e him f r o day t o day," and t h i s o n l y t o s t o p him from p e r i s h i n g from h i s l o v e s i c k n e s s .  "But," she c o n t i n u e s :  here I make a p r o t e s t a c i o u n t h a t i n t h i s p r o c e s i f ye depper go, That c e r t a y n l y , f o r no s a v a c i o u n Of yow, though t h a t ye s t e r v e b o t h two Though a l t h e w o r l d on o day be my f o , Ne s h a l I never on him han o t h e r r o u t h e . (II,  484-9)  C e r t a i n l y she demands s e c r e c y — h e r it  i s the v e r y mainspring  account  o f the t r a g e d y — b u t  o n l y on  o f her r e p u t a t i o n , not t o i n c r e a s e the f u r t i v e  p l e a s u r e o f an a f f a i r . begins  i n s i s t e n c e on  Hence h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  Troilus  on a much h i g h e r s p i r i t u a l p l a n e t h a n does t h a t o f  the C r e s s i d a o f I I P i l o s t r a t o . and s i n c e Chaucer i s d e v i a t i n g so markedly from B o c c a c c i o on t h i s p o i n t we cannot  escape  the f a c t t h a t he i s d o i n g so i n t e n t i o n a l l y . The way.  whole l o v e a f f a i r i s t r e a t e d i n a v e r y d e l i c a t e  Never i s t h e r e any s u g g e s t i o n t h a t i t s h o u l d be l o o k e d  upon as an a d u l t e r o u s l i a i s o n . C r i s e y d e , " says C. S. Lewis,  "The l o v e s o f T r o i l u s and  "are so n o b l y c o n c e i v e d t h a t  41 t h e y are d i v i d e d o n l y "by the t h i n n e s t p a r t i t i o n from l a w f u l l o v e s o f D o r i g e n and h e r husband. an a c c i d e n t  I t seems almost  [ i t a l i c s mine] t h a t the t h i r d book c e l e b r a t e s  a d u l t e r y i n s t e a d of marriage." accident,  the  But  y  s u r e l y t h i s i s no  f o r Chaucer n e v e r makes any  i n the poem t o moral g u i l t .  In The  reference  Franklin's  elsewhere Tale  D o r i g e n ' s s u b m i s s i o n to A u r e l i u s would have been s i n f u l p r e c i s e l y because the  s t o r y i s s e t i n a C h r i s t i a n framework  and h e r a c t i o n s must be T r o i l u s and  Criseyde  judged by C h r i s t i a n s t a n d a r d s .  there  i s no  s i n because the  In  morality  i s i n a d i f f e r e n t framework. Chaucer i n s i s t e d on t h i s and  i t may  w e l l be  s p e c i f i c p o i n t t h a t he wanted t o be  "understonde".  u n d e r s t o o d , the  o f the  o n l y moral q u e s t i o n  the v i o l a t i o n o f one code.  The  o f the two  Criseyde  betray  him  Once  s t o r y concerns  p r i m a l commandments o f  d r a m a t i c t e n s i o n a r i s e s from the two  " W i l l T r o i l u s make the  the  a f f a i r p u b l i c ? " and,  t o keep i t s e c r e t ? "  the  questions,  later,  "Will  This point i s  s t r e s s e d by John L i v i n g s t o n Lowes: The d r i f t o f the a c t i o n can be u n d e r s t o o d — a n d t h i s i s f u n d a m e n t a l — o n l y i f we remember t h a t i n i t Chaucer i s f o l l o w i n g an a c c e p t e d l i t e r a r y c o n v e n t i o n : t o w i t , the code of c o u r t l y or c h i v a l r o u s l o v e . And under t h a t code, u n t i l C r i s e y d e " f a l s e d " T r o i l u s , no moral i s s u e whatsoever was i n v o l v e d . Judged by i t s tenets Criseyde, i n g i v i n g h e r s e l f to T r o i l u s , was w h o l l y i n n o c e n t o f wrong, and f i r s t s i n n e d when she was f a l s e t o him. The two i n f l e x i b l e  The  A l l e g o r y o f Love, p .  197.  42 requirements o f the c o u r t l y c o d e — a code under which l o v e and wedlock were l o o k e d upon as i n c o m p a t i b l e — were s e c r e c y and f i d e l i t y . 4 4 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o compare t h i s w i t h the unders t a n d i n g o f another  eminent C h a u c e r i a n ,  J . S. P.  Tatlock:  I t i s fundamental t o understand t h a t the moral s t a n d a r d a c c e p t e d by Chaucer i n the T r o i l u s . . . i s t h a t assumed i n much modern l i t e r a t u r e , not some bygone e s o t e r i c s t a n d a r d ; the assumption i s t h a t s i n c e r e and i n t e n s e p h y s i c a l p a s s i o n , i f managed w i t h good t a s t e , i s honorable t o both parties.^5 S u r e l y the c o u r t l y l o v e c o n v e n t i o n e s o t e r i c standard",  and  i n j u s t e x a c t l y a "bygone  s u r e l y Chaucer has made i t abun-  d a n t l y c l e a r t h a t t h i s i s the s t a n d a r d t h a t i s t o accepted—"In  sondry londes  sondry ben usages."  be  Certainly  he r e g a r d s p h y s i c a l p a s s i o n as b e i n g h o n o u r a b l e , but i s he not d e a l i n g w i t h p a s s i o n as q u a l i f i e d by the c o n d i t i o n s o f s e c r e c y and f i d e l i t y , e l e v a t e d i n t o a way  of l i f e  and  an  a b s o l u t e v a l u e , and—more i m p o r t a n t — i s he n o t examining i t s v a l u e i n terms o f l a s t i n g h a p p i n e s s r a t h e r t h a n i t s m o r a l i t y ? . Once a g a i n Chaucer's d e v i a t i o n from I I P i l o s t r a t o r e i n f o r c e s t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , f o r Boccaccio's  tale,  though more w o r l d l y i n s p i r i t , does convey a sense o f moral g u i l t a t t a c h e d t o the grande p a s s i o n o f the l o v e r s .  Pandar  i s much c l o s e r t o the type o f p e r s o n  given  h i s name.  He  t o which he has  i s aware o f h i s g u i l t as w e l l as h i s c o u s i n ' s ,  G e o f f r e y Chaucer and the Development o f H i s Genius (Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1934), p. 76. ^The  Mind and A r t o f Chaucer, p.  40.  and o p e n l y admits i t t o T r o i l o : I have f o r t h y sake become a go-between; f o r t h y sake have I c a s t mine honor t o the ground; f o r t h y sake have I c o r r u p t e d the wholesome b r e a s t o f my s i s t e r . . . . (Ill,  6)  Chaucer t a k e s the same scene but changes the whole t o n e . Pandarus says n o t h i n g about c o r r u p t i n g h i s n i e c e o r l o s i n g h i s honour, and a l t h o u g h he admits he i s t e c h n i c a l l y a gob e t w e e n — " b e t w i x e n game and e r a e s t " ( I I I , 2 5 4 ) — h e  absolves  h i m s e l f from any impure m o t i v e s : But God, t h a t a l woot, take I t o w i t n e s s e , That n e v e r I t h i s f o r c o v e i t i s e wroughte But o n l y f o r t ' abregge t h a t d i s t r e s s e F o r which wel n e i g h thow d e i d e s t . . . . (Ill,  260-63)  He has e a r l i e r i n more f o r c e f u l terms t o l d C r i s e y d e he does not r e g a r d h i m s e l f i n any way as a pimp: Me were 1evere thow and I and he Were hanged, t h a n I sholde ben h i s baude. ( I I , 353-4) I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t B o c c a c c i o ' s Pandaro does c o n s i d e r he i s p l a y i n g the r o l e o f p r o c u r e r , which Pandarus does n o t . I t s u g g e s t s a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t approach t o c o u r t l y Pandarus, humorous and bawdy as he i s ,  love.  seems t o  r e c o g n i z e t h a t f o r T r o i l u s i t was o f the n a t u r e o f a r e l i g i o n , whereas f o r Pandaro and T r o i l o i t i s a much l e s s s p i r i t u a l thing.  Even the f a c t t h a t T r o i l o i s o b v i o u s l y  e x a l t e d and ennobled by h i s l o v e and imbued w i t h many new  44 v i r t u e s cannot d i s g u i s e "the p r e d a t o r y p a t t e r n o f two 46 r a d e s i n a mutual e n t e r p r i s e . " t r u e o f Chaucer's T r o i l u s , who  com-  T h i s i s c e r t a i n l y not  d i s p l a y s a h e s i t a n c y and  h u m i l i t y t o the p o i n t o f weakness.  It i s characteristic  of him t h a t b e f o r e the consummation o f h i s l o v e he approaches C r i s e y d e ' s bed i n an a t t i t u d e o f worship,  and  i n d e e d would have s t a y e d on h i s knees had n o t Pandarus unceremoniously  bundled him i n t o bed.  make f u n of T r o i l u s ' s devout awe, i t very strongly into r e l i e f .  Pandarus tends t o  but i n d o i n g so he  throws  There i s no m i s t a k i n g the  i m p l i c a t i o n of h i s a c t i o n i n running to f e t c h a cushion f o r T r o i l u s t o k n e e l on:  i t emphasizes h i s humorous  impatience w i t h T r o i l u s ' s d e v o t i o n , and a l s o a c e r t a i n l a c k of u n d e r s t a n d i n g ,  f o r he i s too d i r e c t and e a r t h y t o  appre-  ciate i t . There i s an almost o f the two  lovers.  sacramental  q u a l i t y i n the  union  I t i s c r e a t e d and endures d e s p i t e the  i n t r u s i o n o f Pandarus.  They a r e , i t i s p l a i n t o see, i n a  w o r l d a p a r t from him and h i s rude humour does not p e n e t r a t e the s a n c t i t y and p r e c i o u s n e s s o f the o c c a s i o n .  Before  t h e i r l o v e i s consummated t h e y exchange vows i n a manner b e f i t t i n g a C h r i s t i a n marriage, says T r o i l u s , " I am a l i n youre  "doth what yow grace."  (Ill,  soon a f t e r C r i s e y d e r e v e a l s h e r s u r r e n d e r t o  B a y l e y , on. c i t . . p.  84.  list," 1176)  him:  And  45 "Ne  hadde I e r now,  I were now  my  swete h e r t e d e e r e , / Ben y o l d , ywis, ( I I I , 1210-11)  nought h e e r e i "  The  t o t a l i t y of  t h i s s u r r e n d e r o f body and s o u l i s the l a s t t h i n g she e x p r e s s e s b e f o r e the f i n a l a c t o f l o v e : my pees, my  ( I I I , 1309)  suffisauncei"  "Welcome, my  knyght,  T r o i l u s i s now  to  h e r what she has been a l l a l o n g f o r h i m — h e r a l l i n a l l , her f u l f i l m e n t .  I n r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e i r mutual s u r r e n d e r  t h e y "entrechaungeden h i r e r y n g e s , " thus g i v i n g a f i n a l s a c r a mental t o u c h t o the  scene.  Over and above t h i s s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n o f l o v e t h e r e seems t o be a c o n s c i o u s attempt  by Chaucer t o emphasize the  r e l i g i o u s n a t u r e o f the l o v e he i s d e s c r i b i n g by a p r o c e s s of  c o n s t r u c t i n g a t h e o l o g y o f l o v e i n f a m i l i a r terms.  far  from i n c u r r i n g moral g u i l t , the l o v e r s are  Thus,  behaving  c o m p l e t e l y i n a c c o r d w i t h the t e n e t s o f the r e l i g i o n o f the God  o f Love as Chaucer c r e a t e s i t .  At f i r s t  blush there  seems t o the modern r e a d e r a r a t h e r n a i v e m i n g l i n g o f pagan with medieval  Christian.  Along with c l a s s i c a l d e i t i e s  r e f e r e n c e s t o orthodox C h r i s t i a n b e l i e f s : repentance (III,  292),  ( I , 933),  c o n v e r s i o n ( I , 999),  c a n o n i c a l hours ( I I , 1095)  medieval r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s . as i t might a t f i r s t  grace  go  ( I I , 24-3),  the p r i e s t h o o d  and many o t h e r  T h i s i s n o t such a p a s t i c h e  seem, f o r i f Chaucer i s d e l i b e r a t e l y  c r e a t i n g a p r e - C h r i s t i a n m i l i e u f o r h i s t r a g e d y and  ele-  v a t i n g c o u r t l y l o v e t o a p s e u d o - r e l i g i o n he would have t o work i n terms o f c l a s s i c a l and m e d i e v a l .  C e r t a i n l y there  i s ample evidence T r o j a n stage  t h a t Chaucer d e l i b e r a t e l y t r i e d t o s e t a  f o r the s t o r y .  " I t s a n c i e n t c o l o r i n g , " says  P r o f e s s o r T a t l o c k , "proves much c a r e f u l r e a d i n g and w a r i n e s s i n composing.  I t i s c e r t a i n t h a t Chaucer took p a i n s t o  a v o i d such an excess o f contemporary m e d i e v a l c o l o r as would have marred t h e remote r o m a n t i c background which gave d i g n i t y t o the e m o t i o n a l  romance.  The p e n e t r a t i n g modem i s  s u r p r i s e d a t the s m a l l number o f anachronisms.  Of course  we f i n d God and the d e v i l o f t e n mentioned and o c c a s i o n a l l y o t h e r C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y b u t without avoided he use  it.^  7  q u e s t i o n Chaucer  But i f Chaucer were t a l k i n g about  could hardly avoid i t altogether.  religion  He would have had t o  terms f a m i l i a r t o h i m s e l f and t o h i s r e a d e r s .  s m i l e when he t a l k s about the "bishop" Amphiorax  We may ( I I , 104)  i n t h e s t o r y o f Thebes, b u t we o u r s e l v e s would have t o use the word " p r i e s t " , which i s no l e s s an a n a c h r o n i s m — b u t one  t h a t i s much more f a m i l i a r , and t h e r e f o r e  acceptable,  today. So,  although  Chaucer i s f o r c e d t o use a m e d i e v a l  C h r i s t i a n terminology way c o n f u s e d .  Quite  i t does n o t f o l l o w t h a t he i s i n any the c o n t r a r y ; he may v e r y w e l l be  c o n s c i o u s l y attempting  t o g i v e t o c o u r t l y l o v e i n T r o y some  o f the f o r c e o f C h r i s t i a n i t y i n f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y E n g l a n d . A strange  little  "The  a s i d e o f Pandarus i s an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t  Epilogue  o f Chaucer's T r o i l u s , " p . 128  t h i s i s so.  When C r i s e y d e f i r s t  embraces T r o i l u s , Pandarus  f a l l s on h i s knees . . . and up h i s eyen To heven threw, and h e l d h i s hondes h i g h e , "Immortal god," quod he, " t h a t mayst nought deyen, C u p i d I mene, o f t h i s mayst g l o r i f i e ; (III,  183-6)  Pandarus i s here s p e c i f y i n g i n t h i s r a t h e r awkward way the  god o f t h i s r e l i g i o n i s C u p i d , n o t the immortal god the  r e a d e r would i m m e d i a t e l y t h i n k o f .  Thus he i s d e m o n s t r a t i n g  t h a t the d e i t y o f l o v e had an importance i n T r o y to  that  similar  t h a t o f the C h r i s t i a n God i n Chaucer's E n g l a n d . The God o f Love, f o r i n s t a n c e , was  p o t e n t and o m n i s c i e n t . first  supreme,  omni-  Chaucer s t a t e s t h i s e a r l y i n the  book: For evere i t was, and evere i t s h a l l b y f a l l e , That Love i s he t h a t a l l e t h i n g may bynde, For may no man f o r d o n the lawe o f kynde. (I,  236-8)  I t would seem from t h i s t h a t l o v e i s a p e r s o n a l god and the  a p o t h e o s i s o f a u n i v e r s a l human i n s t i n c t .  t h i s i s t o the C h r i s t i a n c o n c e p t i o n o f God may comparing i t w i t h S t . John's f i r s t  How  close  be seen by  epistle:  Love i s from God; and e v e r y one who l o v e s i s b o r n o f God and knows God. He who does n o t l o v e knows n o t God; f o r God i s l o v e .  (4.  7-9)  4 8  T h i s and o t h e r s c r i p t u r a l r e f e r e n c e s are from F. A. Spencer's t r a n s l a t i o n (New York: M a c M i l l a n , 1951)  48 As w i t h C h r i s t i a n i t y the approach t o Love i s through faith.  " B i l e v e i t , an she  s h a l han on the r o u t h e , "  Pandarus t o the d e s p a i r i n g T r o i l u s , thi  feyth."  (II,  1503-4)  are u n m i s t a k e a b l e :  The  says  "Thow s h a l t he saved  by  C h r i s t i a n overtones of t h i s  f a i t h i s the one  t h i n g demanded i n the  gospels before C h r i s t granted h i s favours. How  f a r T r o i l u s a c q u i r e s t h i s f a i t h i s seen i n h i s  p i t i f u l p r a y e r t o the God gone.  He has by now  o f Love when hope i s a l l but  committed h i m s e l f h e a r t and s o u l t o  the r e l i g i o n o f l o v e and t h e r e i s n o t h i n g e l s e i n l i f e . H i s whole e x i s t e n c e , he admits,  i s dependent on Love.  S o l i l o q u i z i n g t o the " b l i s f u l l o r d Cupide" he  says:  What nede i s the t o seke on me v i c t o r i e Syn I am t h y n , and h o l l y a t t h i w i l l e ?  (V, 586-7) and r e p e a t s t h i s l a s t sentiment Thi And  i n the next v e r s e :  grace moost o f a l l e l u s t e s l e e v e , l y v e and dye I wol i n t h y b y l e v e ;  (V, 592-3) Chaucer c o u l d h a r d l y have s t a t e d more s t r o n g l y T r o i l u s ' s  total abandonment t o t h e r e l i g i o n o f l o v e .  What Pandarus  had i r o n i c a l l y a d v i s e d — " N o w bet t h i b r e s t , and sey t o of  Love, / Thy g r a c e , L o r d , f o r now  932-3)—Troilus tragic  I me  repente."  God  (I,  has c a r r i e d t o a l i t e r a l extreme, and  a  one. T r o i l u s ' s conversion, l i k e that of Saul i n i t s  i n i t i a l b l i n d i n g , has r e s u l t e d i n a s i m i l a r  all-consuming  concern with l o v e .  He c o u l d s a y w i t h P a u l , "Love b e a r s  e v e r y t h i n g , hopes e v e r y t h i n g , endures never f a i l s . " ^  everything.  Love  But w i t h t h i s s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e  that  whereas P a u l i s t a l k i n g o f c a r i t a s . l o v e o f God, T r o i l u s ' s l o v e i s d i r e c t e d n o t t o a god b u t t o a human b e i n g — h o w e v e r d i v i n e he may t r y t o make h e r . The  apogee o f t h i s attempt  hymn t o l o v e i n Book I I I . n o t i n g because  i s seen i n T r o i l u s ' s  Three t h i n g s i n t h i s are worth  t h e y r e i n f o r c e t h e argument t h a t Chaucer i s  t r y i n g t o p r e s e n t t h e i d e a o f c o u r t l y l o v e as a r e l i g i o u s concept.  F i r s t , t h e hymn i t s e l f i s t a k e n from I I P a r a d i s o  (33, 13-18) where i t i s a hymn t o t h e V i r g i n Mary. c a l l y t h e n t h i s i s i n Chaucer's hands d i s t i n c t l y phemous.  blas-  Are we t o conclude t h a t he meant i t so?  Baum e x p r e s s e s t h i s view s u c c i n c t l y :  Techni-  Paul  "So much f o r t h e  m i n g l i n g o f h e a v e n l y and e a r t h l y l o v e ; i t i s r i c h i n comic overtones."^ overtones.  I t c o u l d be, however, r a t h e r r i c h i n t r a g i c  Chaucer's humour i s n o t o f t h e k i n d t h a t has  t o u t i l i z e blasphemy.  S h o c k i n g no doubt t h i s p r o f a n e use  o f Dante's hymn would be t o Chaucer's  a u d i e n c e , n o t because  Chaucer was t r y i n g t o be funny but because he had made them suddenly aware ( a t l e a s t those who caught t h e a l l u s i o n ) o f the a b s o l u t e n e s s o f t h e r e l i g i o n T r o i l u s was p r e a c h i n g .  I Cor.  13,  7-8.  Chaucer: A C r i t i c a l A p p r e c i a t i o n , p . 14-6.  50  F o r those pointer.  whom the a l l u s i o n escapes t h e r e i s another  In the f i r s t  Chariteei" denotation.  l i n e T r o i l u s s i n g s , "0 Love, 0  C h a r i t y f o r the m e d i e v a l had  a very  definite  I t meant s t r i c t l y the t h e o l o g i c a l v i r t u e ,  love  51 o f God  o r l o v e o f n e i g h b o u r f o r H i s sake.  the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n by T r o i l u s o f Love and explicit  statement t h a t Cupid was  Consequently C h a r i t y i s an  b e i n g accorded  l o g i c a l s t a t u s of the C h r i s t i a n God  the  and an i m p l i c i t  theosug-  g e s t i o n t h a t Venus, the female p r i n c i p l e of l o v e , had  the  r e l a t i v e r a n k , the same s c a l e o f v a l u e , o f the V i r g i n Mary. The  t h i r d s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t i s an example o f the  same a s i d e t h a t we  have e a r l i e r n o t i c e d Pandarus u s i n g ,  an a s i d e where i t seems Chaucer i s d e l i b e r a t e l y d i r e c t i n g the a t t e n t i o n o f the r e a d e r t o h i s meaning.  "0 Love, 0  Chariteei" sings T r o i l u s , T h i moder ek, C i t h e r e a the swete, A f t e r t h i s e l f n e x t h e r i e d be she, Venus mene I . . . . (Ill,  1254-6)  Cf. Augustine: Love i s e i t h e r of the c r e a t u r e o r of the C r e a t o r , t h a t i s , e i t h e r of mutable n a t u r e o r o f immutable t r u t h ; t h e r e f o r e we must l o v e not by d e s i r e but by c h a r i t y . Not t h a t the c r e a t u r e ought not t o be l o v e d ; but i f t h a t l o v e i s r e f e r r e d t o the C r e a t o r i t w i l l not be d e s i r e but c h a r i t y . F o r i t i s d e s i r e when the c r e a t u r e i s l o v e d f o r i t s e l f ; and i t does not h e l p the man who i n d u l g e s i n i t but c o r r u p t s him i n the enjoyment o f i t . De T r i n i t a t e . IX, v i i , 1 3 . From The B a s i c W r i t i n g s o f S t . A u g u s t i n e , ed. Whitney J . Oates, 2 v o l . (New York: Random House, 1948), V o l . I I , p. 792. J  51 There can h a r d l y he an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r T r o i l u s ' s s a y i n g , " I am r e f e r r i n g t o Venus," except device to prevent  and  artistic  the r e a d e r making a mistake about the  o b j e c t o f the hymn. emotional  t h a t i t i s an  When we  c o n s i d e r t h a t t h i s i s the  s p i r i t u a l c l i m a x of the poem, the impact of  t h i s c l a r i f y i n g phrase i s more marked.  Since a person  such a moment o f e c s t a s y does n o t make p r e c i s e  in  qualifi-  c a t i o n s o f t h i s k i n d , i t i s h a r d not t o admit t h i s p a r e n t h e t i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n as an a r t i s t i c d e f e c t .  I t obtrudes  much t h a t i t seems as though Chaucer were t r y i n g t o "Pay  so  say,  a t t e n t i o n t o the d e i t i e s T r o i l u s i s a d d r e s s i n g . " One  f i n a l p o i n t may  be used t o i l l u s t r a t e the  strong  p s e u d o - t h e o l o g i c a l b a s i s t h a t Chaucer g i v e s t o c o u r t l y l o v e i n the T r o i l u s :  the c o n s t a n t r e f e r e n c e t o g r a c e .  mentioned i n a l l f i f t y - s e v e n times i n the poem. n e c t i o n o f grace Chaucerian,  The  and c o u r t l y l o v e i s n o t o f course  f o r the c o u r t l y l o v e r was  dent on the grace  It i s con-  peculiarly  c o n v e n t i o n a l l y depen-  or favour of h i s lady.  Chaucer does,  however, add an element t h a t i s m i s s i n g i n Andreas, namely the dependence o f the l o v e r on the grace  o f the God  Perhaps he d i d t h i s t o g i v e a vague correspondence orthodox C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y . ^  2  At any r a t e he  o f Love. with  seems t o  C f . Thomas Aquinas: Man's u l t i m a t e h a p p i n e s s c o n s i s t s n o t i n the knowledge o f any s e p a r a t e s u b s t a n c e s , but i n the knowledge o f God, Who i s seen o n l y by grace. The knowledge o f o t h e r separate subs t a n c e s , i f p e r f e c t l y understood, g i v e s g r e a t  i n t r o d u c e t h e concept  o f grace n o t o n l y as t h e f a v o u r o f  the b e l o v e d but a l s o as a d i v i n e g i f t medium o f i n t e r a c t i o n . to  and as a divine-human  Pandarus e x p r e s s e s t h i s  concisely  T r o i l u s when he i n f o r m s him t h a t l o v e does n o t o c c u r by  chance b u t i s a d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n and g i f t The  o f God:  oughte n a t t o c l e p e i t hap, b u t g r a c e . ( I , 896)  And  T r o i l u s a c c e p t s i t as g r a c e .  H i s hymn t o lOve i n Book  III  i s e s s e n t i a l l y one o f t h a n k s g i v i n g f o r t h i s g i f t , and  w h i l e l o v e endures t h i s sense o f g r a t i t u d e pervades t h e narrative. When, however, l o v e i s t h r e a t e n e d by C r i s e y d e ' s d e p a r t u r e T r o i l u s ' s f e e l i n g s take on a d i f f e r e n t I f the j o y o f l o v e had been an u n s o l i c i t e d g i f t God  o f Love, t h e n the g r i e f o f s e p a r a t i o n must  have seemed t o him e q u a l l y g r a t u i t o u s .  complexion. from t h e  logically  Hence T r o i l u s ' s  normal r e a c t i o n would be t o wonder b i t t e r l y i f he were merely d.  the p l a y t h i n g o f t h e God o f Love.  P h i l o s o p h i c and P o e t i c A s p e c t s o f T r o i l u s ' s P r e e - W i l l Speech Prom T r o i l u s ' s bewilderment would s p r i n g h i s  speech  h a p p i n e s s — n o t f i n a l and u l t i m a t e h a p p i n e s s . Summa T h e o l o g i c a . l i t e r a l l y t r a n s l a t e d by F a t h e r s of t h e E n g l i s h Dominican P r o v i n c e (New York: B e n z i g e r B r o s . , 1948), I . 1, Q.89, A r t . 2, Ad 3.  on f r e e w i l l . the  Professor  P a t c h has made a sound defence o f  53 a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s o f t h i s speech*^ on t h e grounds t h a t i t  i s a normal e m o t i o n a l o u t b u r s t love.  from a young man c r o s s e d i n  And y e t t h e v e r y f a c t t h a t such a defence i s n e c e s -  s a r y tends t o i n c r e a s e  our uneasiness.  No one, f o r i n -  s t a n c e , q u e s t i o n s t h e a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s o f Hamlet's "To be o r n o t t o be" s o l i l o q u y .  The d i f f i c u l t y w i t h T r o i l u s l i e s  perhaps i n the f a c t t h a t h i s o u t b u r s t  i s cerebral  rather  t h a n emotionalr—which seems a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n terms. The  r e s o l u t i o n may l i e i n l o o k i n g back a g a i n t o  Chaucer's m o t i v e s .  Since  t h i s speech was a p p a r e n t l y  added  54a f t e r t h e a u t h o r had completed t h e poem,-^ i t would appear t h a t he had a p a r t i c u l a r o b j e c t i v e i n mind.  The r e v i s i o n s  i n t h e T r o i l u s , Root m a i n t a i n s , "enhance v e r y the  serious  overcast  and p h i l o s o p h i c  h i s story.  appreciably  tone w i t h which Chaucer has  Presumably t h a t was t h e e f f e c t he  desired to a t t a i n . " ^  No doubt t h a t was the e f f e c t t h a t  Chaucer would have had on t h e m e d i e v a l r e a d e r . I t has a l r e a d y been n o t e d t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n o f d e t e r m i n i s m was one o f t h e most d i s c u s s e d t o p i c s o f t h e day. 5 5  Considering  intellectual  a l s o the i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n  " T r o i l u s on Determinism," p . 2 2 5 f f .  "^*This i s Root's c o n c l u s i o n based on the f a c t t h a t the e a r l i e s t MSS o f the T r o i l u s do n o t c o n t a i n i t . The T e x t u a l T r a d i t i o n o f Chaucer's " T r o i l u s " (Chaucer S o c i e t y , 1916*, p . 218. 5 5  I b i d . , p . 261.  o f p h i l o s o p h y and l i t e r a t u r e , what more n a t u r a l t h a n examination  of t h i s problem o f determinism  r e l i g i o n which T r o i l u s has another way:  accepted?  an  i n terms of the  Or t o l o o k a t i t i n  Chaucer and h i s contemporaries  as  Christians  had t o a c c e p t the e x i s t e n c e o f f r e e w i l l even though p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y t h e y might s p e c u l a t e on i t ,  but T r o i l u s  was  l i v i n g and t h i n k i n g i n a frame of r e f e r e n c e q u i t e o u t s i d e Christianity. Chaucer how The  W i t h i n t h i s f a c t i t i o u s t h e o l o g y c r e a t e d by  would the q u e s t i o n o f f r e e c h o i c e be answer i s s i m p l e :  solved?  S i n c e l o v e i s n o t "hap  g r a c e " , a d i v i n e i n t e r v e n t i o n i s i m p l i e d and hence an r i d i n g o f the human w i l l , f o r one the d a r t s of C u p i d .  i s powerless  but over-  to r e s i s t  As l o n g as the l o v e r i s happy i t i s  u n l i k e l y t h a t he would complain  about t h i s a b r o g a t i o n o f  h i s freedom, but as soon as d i f f i c u l t y appears,  and w i t h i t  p a i n , then the l o v e r would t e n d t o q u e s t i o n God's u n s o l i cited action. it  T r o i l u s has a l l the more r e a s o n t o q u e s t i o n  because he has committed h i m s e l f so u n r e s e r v e d l y t o l o v e  t h a t God* s t a k i n g away the o b j e c t of h i s l o v e seems n o t h i n g l e s s than a b e t r a y a l . o f Cupid's whims.  He  T r o i l u s f e e l s h e l p l e s s , a t the mercy t r i e s t o r a t i o n a l i z e h i s way  out of  t h i s f e e l i n g of h e l p l e s s n e s s but a l l h i s arguments l e a d t o one c o n c l u s i o n : And t h i s s u f f i s e t h r i g h t ynough c e r t e y n F o r t o d e s t r u y e oure f r e c h o i s e v e r y d e l .  (IV, 1058-9)  55 The  arguments he f o l l o w s are t a k e n from the  Consolatione  Philosophiae  (V, 2-3)  hut he  De  a r r i v e s at a  d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n from B o e t h i u s ,  because he does not  present  H e r e i n l i e s some s i g n i -  Boethius's  f i n a l argument.  f i c a n c e , f o r t h i s f i n a l argument i s i n essence an to  appeal  C h r i s t i a n hope: Than n i s t h e r no r e s o u n t o han hope i n God, ne f o r t o p r e i e n t o God. F o r what scholde any wyght hopen t o God, or why scholde he p r e i e n t o God, syn t h a t the ordenaunce o f destyne the whiche t h a t mai not ben e n c l y n e d , k n y t t e t h and s t r e y n e t h a l l e t h i n g i s t h a t men mai d e s i r e n ? Thanne scholde t h e r be do awey t h i l k e o o n l y a l l i a u n c e bytwixen God and men, t h a t i s t o seyn, t o hopen and t o p r e i e n . (Book V, Metrum 2, 11,  182-93)  What t h i s amounts t o i s t h a t i f f r e e w i l l i s d i s a l l o w e d t h e n the v i r t u e o f hope must be r e j e c t e d a l o n g w i t h i t , s i n c e t h e r e i s no r e a s o n makes no  t o have hope.  The  i d e a of hope  sense i f e v e r y t h i n g i s f o r e - o r d a i n e d .  could not u t i l i z e Christian.  The  a attainment  no m a t t e r what might t r a n s p i r e on  t h a t h e l d no r e l i e f f o r T r o i l u s .  He had  f o r e t o r e l y on the p u r e l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l p a r t o f reasoning,  Troilus  not  C h r i s t i a n t r u s t s i n the u l t i m a t e  o f u n i o n w i t h God a prospect  t h i s argument because he was  Now  which, as he  so c l e a r l y p o i n t s out,  earth, there-  Boethius's  leads  i n e v i t a b l y to determinism. Taking  i n c o n j u n c t i o n these  facts, that T r o i l u s ' s  speech on f r e e w i l l i s d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y l e n g t h y  (seven-  teen v e r s e s ) , that i t i s a d e l i b e r a t e a d d i t i o n to  the  s t o r y , t h a t i t omits the p u r e l y t h e o l o g i c a l argument o f B o e t h i u s and  i n so d o i n g r e f u t e s h i s c o n c l u s i o n , the e v i -  dance p o i n t s t o the  f a c t t h a t Chaucer was  concerned  with  making a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o i n t .  I t i s i n e f f e c t a side  o b s e r v a t i o n which seems t o add  little  or nothing  to  the  t r a g i c power o f the poem, but which does r e i n f o r c e the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Chaucer had He had  w r i t t e n of the t r a g i c e f f e c t s o f l o v e e l e -  v a t e d t o a way an a b s o l u t e  of l i f e  and  and  right.  an a b s o l u t e  thus a v o i d any  m o r a l i t y he had p r e s e n t e d own  earlier arrived at.  value.  To make i t  c o n f l i c t with C h r i s t i a n  i t as a pagan r e l i g i o n i n i t s  T r o i l u s * s speech i s e s s e n t i a l l y a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  c o r o l l a r y t o t h i s r e l i g i o n i n e x a c t l y the same way Bradwardine's De  Causa D e i was  that  t o C h r i s t i a n i t y a reasoned  e x a m i n a t i o n o f the d e t e r m i n i s t i c consequences of b e l i e f i n an omnipotent God. dependent f i r s t  The  l o v e element i n the T r o i l u s i s  on a c a p r i c i o u s god  continuation of favourable  and  secondly  circumstances.  was  t h a t s i n c e God  was  omniscient  them t h e y must be i n e v i t a b l e . T r o i l u s d i d he was  mouth the  we  far his  depressing  and had  Therefore  cir-  god  conclusion  foreknowledge  of  no m a t t e r what  p o w e r l e s s t o a l t e r them, p o w e r l e s s t o  keep h i s l o v e a l i v e . If  The  a  Under these  cumstances T r o i l u s i s l e d t o ask h i m s e l f how c o n t r o l l e d these circumstances.  on  He had  i n f a c t no f r e e  will.  assume t h a t Chaucer i s p u t t i n g i n t o T r o i l u s ' s  s t r o n g e s t arguments he h i m s e l f c o u l d o f f e r f o r  57 b o t h s i d e s o f the c a s e , then T r o i l u s ' s c o n c l u s i o n would seem t o be Chaucer's own.  And the c o n c l u s i o n ,  stated i n r e l a t i o n  t o t h e t h e s i s , i s t h a t as r e g a r d s the problem o f f r e e the t h e o r y  o f the double t r u t h seems t o h o l d .  C h r i s t i a n frame o f r e f e r e n c e  seems t o be t h i s :  without recourse  I n a non-  such as Chaucer has been d e a l i n g  w i t h i n the poem the answer t o the v e x i n g will  will  question  on a p u r e l y p h i l o s o p h i c  of f r e e  level,  t o t h e o l o g y , the e v i d e n c e p o i n t s t o the  f a c t t h a t man has no f r e e  will.  IV THE DRAMATIC REPRESENTATION OP COURTLY LOVE AS A RATIONAL WAY OP LIPE a,  T r o i l u s , Diomede and Pandarus P e r s o n i f y Three Complementary A s p e c t s o f C o u r t l y Love An  e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e major male c h a r a c t e r s i n the  Troilus w i l l aspects.  show the c o u r t l y l o v e r i n t h r e e  T r o i l u s , Pandarus and Diomede, each i n h i s own  way, e x e m p l i f y together  an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the code.  Taken  t h e y r e v e a l the completeness o f Chaucer's exami-  nation of c o u r t l y love. two  different  I s o l a t i n g T r o i l u s from the o t h e r  throws i n t o c l e a r r e l i e f  the a b s o l u t e  nature of h i s  l o v e and t h e l a c k o f t h i s concept o f a b s o l u t e n e s s o t h e r two.  The t r a g e d y  i n the  s p r i n g s from T r o i l u s ' s complete  d e d i c a t i o n and t h i s i n t u r n i s an almost i n e v i t a b l e consequence o f h i s n a t u r a l n o b i l i t y o f c h a r a c t e r . The  transformation  o f h i s c h a r a c t e r under the i n f l u -  ence o f l o v e has been d e a l t w i t h above. equally evident  Chaucer makes  t h a t f a c t t h a t t h e r e was a b a s i c and i n n a t e  tendency t o v i r t u e which c o u l d be, and was, d e v e l o p e d by love.  The seeds o f t r u t h , wisdom, c o u r t e s y ,  g e n e r o s i t y and  u n s e l f i s h n e s s a r e i n a sense dormant i n T r o i l u s u n t i l are f e r t i l i z e d  and brought t o f l o w e r by h i s l o v e f o r  they  59  Criseyde.  Boccaccio's  T r o i l o has l i t t l e  f i n e n e s s o f Chaucer's h e r o . experience previous  of the inborn  He i s , f o r i n s t a n c e , w e l l  i n l o v e and has a p p a r e n t l y had a t l e a s t one affair:  I once [ g i a ] e x p e r i e n c e d by my own g r e a t f o l l y what i s t h i s accursed f i r e . And i f I s a i d t h a t l o v e d i d not show me c o u r t e s y and g i v e me gladness and j o y , I s h o u l d c e r t a i n l y l i e ; but a l l t h i s p l e a s u r e t h a t I took was as l i t t l e o r n o t h i n g compared t o my s u f f e r i n g s , s i n c e l o v e I would . . . . (I,  23)  T r o i l u s , on the o t h e r hand, i s n o t p o r t r a y e d experienced  w i t h women:  Criseyde  as b e i n g  i s his first  love.  It  i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o s p e c u l a t e why Chaucer s h o u l d p r e f e r an inexperienced hero.  The o p i n i o n has been e x p r e s s e d  that  Chaucer d e c i d e d upon T r o i l u s ' s innocence t o enhance Criseyde's  c h a r a c t e r , t h a t i t i s "perhaps from a d e s i r e t o  magnify h e r a t t r a c t i v e  q u a l i t i e s t h a t he makes T r o i l u s ' s  a f f a i r with h e r the f i r s t  love experience  o f the h e r o . "  S u r e l y a more obvious r e a s o n would be t h a t Chaucer i s magnifying  T r o i l u s ' s q u a l i t i e s and t h a t he i s o b v i a t i n g any  charge o f l e c h e r y b e i n g l e v e l l e d a t T r o i l u s and i p s o f a c t o at the i d e a o f c o u r t l y l o v e t h a t i s b e i n g examined i n the poem. C o u r t l y l o v e as Chaucer i s e x e m p l i f y i n g  i t involves  man's f i n e s t i n s t i n c t s and T r o i l u s i s d e v e l o p e d as i t s perfect protagonist.  The o b j e c t i o n t h a t T r o i l u s ' s v a c i l -  l a t i o n and i n a c t i o n do n o t b e a r out t h i s t h e o r y w i l l be  60 disposed  of l a t e r ;  s u f f i c i e n t t o note a t the p r e s e n t  that  i t does not d e t r a c t from the p u r i t y o f h i s m o t i v e s . T r o i l u s ' s speech and b e h a v i o u r  i n the poem r e i n f o r c e the  concept o f c o u r t l y l o v e as a r a t i o n a l and life.  He  i s b o t h the p h i l o s o p h e r  s p i r i t u a l way  o f i t s r a t i o n a l e and  of a  martyr to h i s f a i t h i n i t . H i s most v a l u a b l e c h a r a c t e r r e f e r e n c e i s s u p p l i e d by C r i s e y d e , who to  him  t e l l s him  and without  which she would n e v e r have c o n s e n t e d t o  have been h i s m i s t r e s s was trouthe"  t h a t the q u a l i t y which drew h e r  (IV, 1 6 7 1 ) .  T  he  "moral v e r t u , grounded upon passage i n which she makes t h i s  statement i s o f g r e a t s i g n i f i c a n c e .  I n the f i r s t  Chaucer i s d e v i a t i n g a g a i n from I I F i l o s t r a t o . Criseyde  why  she  fell  meeting—for  i n l o v e w i t h T r o i l u s seems somewhat out  i t has  little  connection with T r o i l u s ' s Where we  s i m i l a r p r o t e s t a t i o n o f h e r l o y a l t y she  one  of last  pre-  might expect  a  gives instead a  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of T r o i l u s which, though  admirable i n t h e m s e l v e s , were n o t to  reasons  f i n a l moments o f t h e i r  v i o u s words o f u n d y i n g l o y a l t y .  o f those  stanzas—  Her d e t a i l e d a m p l i f i c a t i o n o f the  p l a c e i n the c i r c u m s t a n c e s — t h e  list  Secondly,  spends an i n o r d i n a t e l e n g t h o f t i m e — t w o  making h e r p o i n t .  place  sufficient  t o cause  commit h e r s e l f t o h i s l o v e , and weighs them a g a i n s t v i r t u e t h a t d i d win h e r  over:  F o r t r u s t e t h wel, t h a t youre e s t a t r o i a l Ne veyn d e l i t , nor o n l y worthiness© Of yow i n werre or t o r n e y m a r c i a l , Ne pompe, a r r a y , n o b l e y e , or ek r i c h e s s e  her the  Ne made me t o rewe on youre d e s t r e s s e But moral v e r t u , grounded upon t r o u t h e , That was the cause I f i r s t hadde on yow r o u t h e l Eke g e n t i l h e r t e and manhood t h a t ye hadde, And t h a t ye hadde, as me thoughte, i n d e s p i t E v e r y thyng t h a t souned i n t o badde, As rudeness and p o e p l i s s h a p p e t i t , And t h a t youre resoun b r i d l e d e youre d e l i t ; T h i s made, aboven e v e r y c r e a t u r e , That I was  youre, and s h a l w h i l e I may  dure.  (IV, 1667-80) Why  does she emphasize so much t h a t T r o i l u s ' s g r e a t e s t  v i r t u e i s that h i s reason b r i d l e d h i s passion?  Why  too  does Chaucer i n c r e a s e t h i s emphasis by h a v i n g h e r make t h i s speech a t the end o f Book IV, where the r e a d e r fail  t o sense i t s importance*  cannot  I t i s the l a s t t h i n g t h a t i s  s a i d b e f o r e t h e y are s e p a r a t e d . The r e a s o n i s p r o b a b l y t h r e e f o l d .  F i r s t , and most  o b v i o u s l y , T r o i l u s i s b e i n g shown as a h i g h p r i n c i p l e d young man.  S e c o n d l y h i s d e v o t i o n t o Love i s g i v e n the  n a t u r e o f a r a t i o n a l and c o n s c i o u s quest f o r t r u t h  and  beauty r a t h e r t h a n the chance e f f e c t o f body c h e m i s t r y . T h i r d l y , the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of "resoun" and  " d e l i t " must  have c a r r i e d f o r the m e d i e v a l r e a d e r the s t r o n g e s t o v e r tones of C h r i s t i a n i t y .  What C r i s e y d e i s i n e f f e c t s a y i n g  i s t h a t T r o i l u s * s n a t u r a l v i r t u e has brought  their  s h i p t o a s t a t e comparable t o C h r i s t i a n m a r r i a g e , p u r g i n g i t o f any s u s p i c i o n o f a d u l t e r y .  relationthus  Chaucer i s even  a t t h i s l a t e stage of the poem i n s i s t i n g t h a t the l o v e element i n the poem be i n t e r p r e t e d as a n a t u r a l l y good  62  t h i n g , so good i n d e e d t h a t i t approaches t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l l y good.  The t r a g e d y which i s t o f o l l o w cannot t h e r e f o r e he  i n t e r p r e t e d as t h e i n e v i t a b l e consequence  of s i n .  To s u b s t a n t i a t e t h i s c o n t e n t i o n and o b v i a t e t h e charge o f r e a d i n g t o o much i n t o Chaucer's motives w i t h t o o little  e v i d e n c e , cognizance must be t a k e n o f t h e p l a c e  that  r e a s o n h e l d i n the thought o f t h e t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y i n Thomism, which was r a p i d l y a c h i e v i n g eminence.  Aquinas's  p h i l o s o p h y i s based on t h e r e f e r r a l o f a l l q u e s t i o n s t o reason.  F o r him "human", " r a t i o n a l " and "moral" a r e con-  v e r t i b l e terms.  "Happiness," he s a y s , " c o n s i s t s i n t h e  p e r f e c t operation o f the i n t e l l e c t . " ^ S p e c i f i c a l l y , h i s t e a c h i n g on t h e good o f sex w i l l i l l u s t r a t e t h i s and show why C r i s e y d e ' s p r a i s e o f T r o i l u s i s so i m p o r t a n t as a statement o f t h e e s s e n t i a l goodness o f their relationship.  On the q u e s t i o n o f marriage Aquinas  says: There was need f o r a s p e c i a l sacrament t o be a p p l i e d as a remedy a g a i n s t v e n e r e a l c o n c u p i s c e n c e : first because by t h i s c o n c u p i s c e n c e n o t o n l y t h e p e r s o n but t h e n a t u r e i s d e f i l e d : s e c o n d l y by r e a s o n o f i t s vehemence whereby i t c l o u d s t h e r e a s o n . 5 7 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note a l s o A q u i n a s ' s views on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f r e a s o n and i n n o c e n c e :  ^Summa C o n t r a G e n t i l e s , l i t e r a l l y t r a n s l a t e d by the E n g l i s h Dominican F a t h e r s from t h e l a t e s t Leonine e d i t i o n (London: Burns Oates, 1924), I , 102. ^Summa T h e o l o g i c a . I l l ,  6 5 , A r t . 1, Ad 5«  63 B e a s t s are without r e a s o n . I n t h i s way man becomes, as i t were, l i k e them i n c o i t i o n , because he cannot moderate c o n c u p i s c e n c e . I n the s t a t e o f innocence n o t h i n g o f t h i s k i n d would have happened t h a t was not r e g u l a t e d by r e a s o n , n o t because d e l i g h t of sense was l e s s ( r a t h e r i n d e e d would d e l i g h t have been g r e a t e r i n p r o p o r t i o n t o the g r e a t e r p u r i t y o f n a t u r e and the g r e a t e r s e n s i b i l i t y o f the body) but because the f o r c e of c o n c u p i s c e n c e would not have so i n o r d i n a t e l y thrown i t s e l f i n t o such p l e a s u r e b e i n g curbed by r e a s o n , [ i t a l i c s mine] whose p l a c e i s not t o l e s s e n s e x u a l p l e a s u r e , but t o p r e v e n t the f o r c e o f concupiscence c l e a v i n g t o i t immoderately.58 I f t h e n the d e s i r a b i l i t y of s e x u a l l o v e i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e t o the c o n t r o l r e a s o n has over p a s s i o n , we i n f e r t h a t Chaucer of  may  i n t e n d e d t o show the e s s e n t i a l goodness  l o v e as p r a c t i s e d by T r o i l u s , when "resoun b r i d l e d e  delit." T r o i l u s i s the p e r f e c t exemplar and, the s a i n t of c o u r t l y l o v e .  i n a sense,  F o r him i t i s n o t a k n i g h t l y  pastime but the v e r y end of h i s e x i s t e n c e ; but t o say, as does D. W. Robertson, t h a t " T r o i l u s has made the p l e a s u r e he f i n d s i n C r i s e y d e ' s bed the c e n t e r o f the u n i v e r s e , " i s s u r e l y t o do l e s s than j u s t i c e b o t h t o T r o i l u s and for  Chaucer,  T r o i l u s ' s f i r s t c o n c e r n i s n o t h i s own p l e a s u r e but  Criseyde's welfare.  H i s u n s e l f i s h n e s s i s made p i t i f u l l y  e v i d e n t i n h i s l e t t e r t o C r i s e y d e i n the Greek camp: But w h e i t h e r t h a t ye do me l y v e o r deye, Yet praye I God, so yeve yow r i g h t good day! (V, 1410-11)  5 snTrnn 8  f l  Theologica.  I , 1, 94, A r t . 2.  Even i n h i s torment he his  thinks f i r s t  o f the h a p p i n e s s of  mistress. To T r o i l u s , the  p a r t o f tempter, and of Criseyde's  s a i n t o f l o v e , Pandarus p l a y s  i s v a l i a n t l y rebuffed.  departure  the  When the news  becomes known, Pandarus w i t h  no  h e s i t a t i o n t r i e s t o induce T r o i l u s to change h i s a l l e g i a n c e and t a k e another m i s t r e s s : T h i s town i s f u l o f l a d y s a l aboute; And, t o my doom, f a i r e r t h a n swiche twelve As evere she was, s h a l I fynde i n som r o u t e , Yee, on o r two, w i t h o u t e n any doute. P o r t h i be g l a d , myn owen deere b r o t h e r ! I f she be l o s t , we s h a l r e c o v e r e an o t h e r . (IV, 401-6) So he the  goes on f o r f o u r s t a n z a s  i n h i s attempt t o seduce  s t e a d f a s t devotee of Love, but  little  the h e r o i c n a t u r e of T r o i l u s ' s d e v o t i o n .  does he  understand  L a t e r , when  T r o i l u s i s t r y i n g t o p l a n some course of a c t i o n and  is  f o r c e d t o r e j e c t the i d e a o f e l o p i n g f o r f e a r o f compromising Criseyde*s suade him  r e p u t a t i o n Pandarus a g a i n t r i e s t o  per-  to b e t r a y h i s p r i n c i p l e s :  . . . hadde i c h i t so hoote, And t h y n e s t a t , she sholde go w i t h me, Though a l t h i s town c r i d e on t h i s thyng by n o t e .  (IV, 583-5) But be  Troilus i s unassailable:  to take Criseyde  t o make known the a f f a i r and  t o h i r e name."  t h i s would be  This i s unthinkable  away would "disclaundre  t o T r o i l u s , who  protests  65 And me were l e v e r e ded t h a n h i r e d i f f a m e , As n o l d e God h u t i f I sholde have H i r e honour l e v e r e than my l i f t o save.  (IV, 565-7) The  r e a c t i o n s o f Pandarus a r e t o t a l l y i n k e e p i n g  with h i s character.  Not so s e n s i t i v e o r high-minded as  h i s young f r i e n d he cannot a p p r e c i a t e t h i s l o y a l t y . him  To  l o v e i s m e r e l y a " j o l y wo", a s p o r t i n which the humour  of t h e game i s always b u b b l i n g below t h e s u r f a c e , t h e o u t ward appearance o f t h i n g s .  H i s r i b a l d humour throws i n t o  r e l i e f t h e s e r i o u s n e s s o f h i s two young p r o t e g e s , and c r e a t e s , as t h e p l o t d e v e l o p s , approach t o c o u r t l y l o v e .  different  The essence o f t h i s approach i s  l i g h t h e a r t e d n e s s and humour. c o u r t l y l o v e as h a r m l e s s . Criseyde  a completely  Above a l l Pandarus  presents  I n t h e b e g i n n i n g he a s s u r e s  t h a t i t i s no v e r y s e r i o u s t h i n g by j o k i n g about  h i s own e n c o u n t e r s w i t h i t : "By God," quod he, " I hoppe alwey behynde." And she t o laughe, i t thoughte h e i r e h e r t e b r e s t e . Quod Pandarus, "Loke alwey t h a t ye fynde Game i n myn hoode. . . .  ( I I , 1107-10) Not  that Criseyde  uncle's philosophy  i s f o o l e d f o r a moment i n t o a c c e p t i n g h e r of love.  She has t h e woman's i n s t i n c t i v e  p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e s e r i o u s n e s s o f any l o v e worthy o f t h e name.  Pandarus c o n t i n u e s  alone  to present  l o v e as o f l i t t l e  r e a l consequence, and h i s f l i p p a n t , r i b a l d a t t i t u d e i s always the backdrop a g a i n s t which the hero and h e r o i n e  66  display their idealism.  He  even i n t r u d e s i n t o the  delicacy  o f the bedroom scene, i n a manner t h a t would be n o t h i n g l e s s t h a n s a l a c i o u s were i t n o t f o r the good h e a r t e d humour he generates.  What f o r T r o i l u s are the laws of the  religion  of Love are t o him the r u l e s o f the game which add t o i t s enjoyment. A t h i r d a t t i t u d e t o c o u r t l y l o v e i s e x e m p l i f i e d by Diomede.  F o r him i t i s n o t h i n g more than a s o c i a l l y  t a b l e means o f s e d u c t i o n . hardheaded about it  He  accep-  i s quite cool, l o g i c a l  the b u s i n e s s .  and  I t i s as s e r i o u s t o him  i s t o T r o i l u s but f o r e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s .  i s i n f a c t as a l o v e r the v e r y a n t i t h e s i s o f determined,  He  Troilus—  s e l f - r e l i a n t , s e n s u a l , i n d e e d almost p r e d a t o r y ,  f o r he s t a l k s C r i s e y d e w i t h the c o o l s k i l l hunter.  as  o f an e x p e r i e n c e d  I f T r o i l u s r e p r e s e n t s the code a t i t s most  s p i r i t u a l , Diomede shows what i t becomes when man's p u r e l y p h y s i c a l n a t u r e i s predominant. T r o i l u s ' s dream i s an a r t i s t i c m a s t e r s t r o k e i n r e v e a l i n g Diomede's n a t u r e , and b e f o r e Cassandra e x p l a i n s it,  i n d e e d b e f o r e T r o i l u s even has the dream, Chaucer  p r e p a r e s the r e a d e r f o r i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  Pandarus g i v e s  q u i t e a l e n g t h y speech on dreams, r i d i c u l i n g the o p i n i o n t h a t t h e y have any s i g n i f i c a n c e and t r y i n g t o r a i s e from h i s morbid melancolie."  f a n t a s i e s , " f o r t h e y procede  Troilus  of t h i  But a l l the d i v e r s e o p i n i o n s which he  puts  forward as evidence t h a t no one r e a l l y knows what dreams  67  mean combine t o make T r o i l u s , and the r e a d e r , more apprehensive.  They a r e , Pandarus  says, v a r i o u s l y  interpreted  as "the r e v e l a c i o n s o f goddes," the r e s u l t o f man's "compleccioun" and "kynde," o r a u g u r i e s as w o r t h l e s s as those o f f o w l s .  (V, 360-85)  When l a t e r T r o i l u s dreams o f the "bor w i t h t u s k e s g r e t e " and " f a s t i n h i s armes f o l d e , k i s s y n g ay, h i s l a d y b r y g h t , C r i s e y d e , " (V, 1238-41) t h e r e i s l i t t l e the  boar r e p r e s e n t s .  doubt whom  Cassandra i d e n t i f i e s i t as Diomede,  and the f u l l r e v e l a t i o n o f the t r a g e d y becomes p a i n f u l l y apparent. for  C r i s e y d e has exchanged the n o b l e l o v e o f T r o i l u s  the mere d e s i r e o f Diomede.  The  "compleccioun"  and  59 "kynde" o f h e r new  l o v e r i s t h a t o f an a n i m a l .  7  ^ N e e d l e s s t o say, i n terms o f modern p s y c h o l o g y T r o i l u s * s dream has even more impact. The s e x u a l symbolism i s unmistakeable. Chaucer seems t o have had i n many ways an i n t u i t i v e awareness o f dream s i g n i f i c a n c e which f o r e shadows l a t e r , more s c i e n t i f i c , f i n d i n g s . It i s intere s t i n g a l s o t o compare h i s t h e o r y o f dreams i n the P a r l i a m e n t of Powls. t h a t what men dream o f i s what t h e y are immediately concerned w i t h : The wery h u n t e r e , slepynge i n h i s bed, To wode ayeyn h i s mynde goth anon; The juge dremeth how h i s p l e e s been sped; The c a r t e r e dremeth how h i s c a r t e s gon; The r i c h e , o f g o l d ; the knyght f y g h t w i t h h i s f o n ; The syke met he d r y n k e t h o f the tonne; The l o v e r e met he h a t h h i s l a d y wonne. (11.  99-105)  What more n a t u r a l t h e n t h a t T r o i l u s dream he has l o s t h i s l a d y , f o r t h i s was what was p r e y i n g on h i s mind. The l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n t o t h i s simple and d i r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t h a t she has been l o s t t o an animal t o which she has now t r a n s f e r r e d her a f f e c t i o n . I n c o n t r a s t , C r i s e y d e dreams o f T r o i l u s as an " e g l e , f e t h e r e d whit as bon" ( I I , 9 2 6 ) , symbolic o f h i s n o b i l i t y and p u r i t y .  68  As t o the way  i n which such a man  would u t i l i z e  the code Chaucer c o u l d h a r d l y he more e x p l i c i t . p a r o d i e s the c o n v e n t i o n  of l o v e so o u t r a g e o u s l y  Diomede that i t  becomes almost l u d i c r o u s , and i n so d o i n g heaps the d i s g r a c e on C r i s e y d e .  The  way  i n which he makes h i s p r o -  t e s t a t i o n s o f l o v e i s almost an i n s u l t . l o v e r changed c o l o u r , stammered, was in  final  the presence o f h i s b e l o v e d .  Conventionally  speechless  and  the  humble  Diomede goes through a l l  the motions i n r a p i d and r o u t i n e  order:  And w i t h t h a t word he gan t o waxen r e d , And i n h i s speche a l i t e l wight he quok, And c a s t e asyde a l i t e l wight h i s hed, And s t y n t e a w h i l e ; and a f t e r w a r d he wok And s o b r e l i c h e on h i r e he threw h i s l o k , And seyde, " I am, a l be i t you no j o i e , As g e n t i l man as any wight i n T r o i e . "  925-31)  (V, The  "and"  that begins  facile insincerity:  each l i n e l e a v e s no doubt as t o h i s the c o u r t l y approach was  m e r e l y the most convenient  way  f o r obvious r e a s o n s ,  "He  i s , " says T. A.  'the v e r y a n t i t h e s i s o f T r o i l u s , and  seen  Kirby,  I have no doubt t h a t  Chaucer c o n s c i o u s l y o r u n c o n s c i o u s l y this distinction.  him  to a t t a i n h i s d e s i r e .  Diomede i s u s u a l l y , and as complementary t o T r o i l u s .  for  t r i e d t o emphasize  . . . T h i s c a r e f u l b a l a n c i n g o f Diomede  a g a i n s t T r o i l u s I c o n s i d e r one  of the f i n e s t a d d i t i o n s t o  60  the E n g l i s h poem."  o u  T h i s balance  Chaucer's "Troilus":  pp. 244-5.  can h a r d l y be  denied  A Study i n C o u r t l y Love,  but perhaps the b a l a n c e i s more complex t h a n t h i s . To r e t u r n t o the r o l e o f Pandarus:  H i s humorous,  e a r t h y approach t o l o v e p r o v i d e s a n o t h e r b a l a n c e t o the s e r i o u s n e s s and high-mindedness o f T r o i l u s but f o r l e s s obvious r e a s o n s .  H i s p r e s e n c e o f t e n seems t o cheapen the  p a s s i o n o f the l o v e r s , and t h i s has p r o v i d e d d i f f i c u l t y f o r some c r i t i c s .  L e g o u i s , f o r i n s t a n c e , can o n l y see him as a  pander pure and s i m p l e , and i s d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t  Chaucer  has l e t Pandarus's e a r t h i n e s s i n t r u d e so much i n the poem. Pandarus i s ,  says L e g o u i s , "the c h i e f agent i n p r e p a r i n g  the t r a p i n t o which the chaste C r i s e y d e f a l l s ,  and Chaucer 61  seems t o commend him f o r h a v i n g d e v i s e d i t so c l e v e r l y . " Other c r i t i c s have seen Pandarus as a spokesman f o r Chaucer's own i r o n i c v i e w p o i n t on l o v e , d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t Chaucer's sympathy  f o r the l o v e r s i s made so a p p a r e n t .  K a r l Young, w h i l e r e j e c t i n g t h i s view, i s a l s o o f the o p i n i o n t h a t the poem as a romance i s v i t i a t e d by Pandarus 62 and can f i n d no way t o excuse t h i s  flaw.  T h i s i s no s m a l l d i f f i c u l t y , f o r Pandarus p l a y s such an i n t e g r a l p a r t i n the s t o r y t h a t i f he d e t r a c t s from the romance he must d e t r a c t from the poem as a whole, and i f t h i s i s a l l o w e d we must concede t h a t Chaucer made a 61 E m i l e L e g o u i s , G e o f f r e y Chaucer, t r a n s . L . L a i l a v o i x (London: Dent, 1913), p . 130. PMLA. 53  "Chaucer's T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e as Romance," (1938), p . 60.  s e r i o u s mistake i n p o r t r a y i n g Pandarus as he  did.  Now  the terms o f t h i s t h e s i s Chaucer's competence must granted; t h e r e f o r e  by  he  an a l t e r n a t i v e h y p o t h e s i s must he  con-  sidered. The  r e s o l u t i o n may  be found i f we  t h a t Chaucer i n t e n d e d t o w r i t e  a romance pure and  r e t u r n t o the  contention  an e v a l u a t i o n  i n f i c t i o n o f the  o f t h i s t h e s i s t h a t he  Looked a t from t h i s s t a n d p o i n t t o Diomede and vide and  divorced  the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f T r o i l u s together they proselfish in  a m p l i f i e d l a t e r ; Diomede's s e n s u a l i s m ,  from i d e a l i s m , i s n o t h i n g more o r l e s s t h a n l u s t Pandarus's l i g h t - h e a r t e d n e s s ,  seem h a r m l e s s , n o t h i n g more than a game; but i t i n so f a r as the  t r a g e d y when i t i s p l a y e d Troilus.  and  making  T r o i l u s ' s i d e a l i s m i s doomed t o end  i n cheap c h i v a l r i c t r a p p i n g s ;  disproves  simple  was  a complete view o f c o u r t l y l o v e — i d e a l i s t i c , insouciant.  premise  f e a s i b i l i t y of c o u r t l y l o v e .  Pandarus becomes c l e a r :  t r a g e d y , as w i l l be  may  r e j e c t the  Chaucer has  game he  by the  the  story  i n i t i a t e s turns  s e r i o u s and  to  sensitive  thus encompassed i n these t h r e e  expon63  e n t s o f l o v e a l l p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f the  code ^  and  ^ E x c e p t the amor purus o f Andreas i n which the l o v e r s have some p h y s i c a l c o n t a c t but not u l t i m a t e u n i o n . (De Amore, p. 20.) A l t h o u g h the o m i s s i o n of t h i s may seem t o i n v a l i d a t e the h y p o t h e s i s , a c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n shows t h a t t h i s i s not so, f o r t h e r e i s a b a s i c u n r e a l i t y , not t o mention p e r v e r s i o n , i n h e r e n t i n such a concept of l o v e , which Chaucer, r e a l i s t t h a t he was, must s u r e l y have recognized. I t i s n e i t h e r P l a t o n i c nor p h y s i c a l but an  71 e l i m i n a t e d them a l l as p o t e n t i a l means t o l a s t i n g h a p p i n e s s . He  i s thus i n e f f e c t not  w i t h T r o i l u s but  only balancing  Diomede and  Pandarus  also demonstrating that t h e i r versions  l o v e are not worth s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n as codes o f b.  Criseyde It  put  i s i n an e x a m i n a t i o n o f the  considers  of  seen most c l e a r l y .  in itself.  Criseyde  i s the  t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n c o o l l y and r a t i o n a l l y .  once s m i t t e n by l o v e , never q u e s t i o n s end  character  Criseyde  Andreas  f o r w a r d c o u r t l y l o v e as, p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y s p e a k i n g ,  a reason f o r existence  and  life.  P e r s o n i f i e s the R a t i o n a l Approach t o C o u r t l y Love  t h a t Chaucer's i n t e n t i o n s are had  of  a l l of h i s e x i s t e n c e ;  w i l l i n g l y enters  but  one  who  Troilus,  t h a t i t i s the be a l l  Criseyde  knowingly  and  i n t o the c o u r t l y l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  an  almost i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r i o s i t y as t o whether l o v e i s e v e r y t h i n g i t s exponents make i t out t o be,  and  she has  a good  d e a l o f s c e p t i c i s m as t o whether i t i s . At f i r s t ,  aware o f the  inherent  dangers of  accepting  u n h e a l t h y attempt t o r e c o n c i l e b o t h . E t i e n n e G i l s o n e x p r e s s e s very l u c i d l y i t s u n r e a l i t y ; A "pure c a r n a l l o v e " i s a m a n i f e s t a b s u r d i t y f o r anyone who c o n s i d e r s the e x c l u s i o n o f the c a r n a l element i n l o v e as the f i r s t c o n d i t i o n o f i t s purity. Grant t o l e C h a p e l a i n t h a t i n h i s awkward p o s i t i o n he does what he can, the h e a r t o f the d i f f i c u l t y i s none the l e s s t h a t the two systems are n e c e s s a r i l y "non-communicating," h e r m e t i c a l l y s e a l e d a g a i n s t each o t h e r , because they make use o f the same word " l o v e " i n o p p o s i t e s e n s e s . The M y s t i c a l Theology o f S t . B e r n a r d , t r a n s . A. H. C. Downes (London: Sheed and Ward, 1955), p . 191. The l o v e t h a t Chaucer i s examining i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y v e n e r e a l : its goddess i s Venus.  72 T r o i l u s as a l o v e r , she w i l l not that  The  "renneth sone i n g e n t i l h e r t e " p r e v e n t s h e r ,  Pandarus had  pity  as  so c o n f i d e n t l y p r e d i c t e d , from r e j e c t i n g  T r o i l u s ' s p l e a , hut him  commit h e r s e l f .  she makes c l e a r i n h e r f i r s t  letter  to  t h a t she w i l l g i v e no more t h a n s i s t e r l y f r i e n d s h i p t o  relieve his distress: She n o l d e nought ne make h i r e s e l v e n honde I n l o v e ; hut as h i s s u s t e r , hym t o p l e s e She wolde ay f a y n , t o doon h i s h e r t e an ese.  ( I I , 1223-5) And  this,  s i g n i f i c a n t l y , a f t e r the r e a d e r has  apparently  seen h e r  s m i t t e n by l o v e h e r s e l f i n the memorable scene  where she  e x c l a i m s on s e e i n g T r o i l u s r i d e by,  drynke?"  This a t t r a c t i o n notwithstanding,  "Who  she  yaf  i s determined  n o t t o take on the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f a c o u r t l y l o v e The  r e a s o n s why  she  the utmost importance i n a n a l y s i s of h e r c h a r a c t e r  remarked how T r o i l u s was  she due  I t has  of  and  already  of  been  s t r e s s e s the f a c t t h a t h e r d e c i s i o n t o t o h i s "moral v e r t u grounded upon  and because h i s "resoun b r i d l e d e h i s d e l y t " .  To  examined i n c o n j u n c t i o n considers  love  trouthe" appreciate  f u l l y h e r c o n s c i o u s and r a t i o n a l m o t i v e s t h i s must  In i t she  affair.  a l t e r e d t h a t d e c i s i o n are  Chaucer's m o t i v e s i n so c r e a t i n g i t .  me  be  w i t h h e r l o n g s o l i l o q u y i n Book I I .  e v e r y p o s s i b l e advantage and  tage o f t a k i n g T r o i l u s as a l o v e r .  On  disadvan-  the d e b i t s i d e  she  can e n v i s i o n the l o s s of h e r freedom, the p o s s i b l e l o s s o f h e r r e p u t a t i o n , the danger t h a t T r o i l u s w i l l  eventually  73 l o s e i n t e r e s t i n h e r , and the p a t e n t e m o t i o n a l i n v o l v e d i n a c c e p t i n g the c o d e — " f o r stormy l y f . " two  ( I I , 778)  considerations:  l o v e i s y e t the mooste  On the c r e d i t  first  stress  s i d e t h e r e are  only  t h a t T r o i l u s would make the  p e r f e c t l o v e r , "For out and out he  i s the w o r t h i e s t / Save  o n l y E c t o r " ; s e c o n d l y , t h a t l o v e would a t l e a s t p r o v i d e end i n l i f e , which she i s a t the time fyn  lacking.  an  "To what  l y v e I t h u s ? " she asks h e r s e l f , and i t i s the chance  t h a t l o v e w i l l p r o v i d e an end i n l i f e  t h a t i s the most  c o m p e l l i n g r e a s o n f o r h e r change of h e a r t — o r , t o he more a c c u r a t e , h e r change o f mind, f o r h e r i n t e l l e c t i s d e f i n i t e l y i n c o n t r o l o f h e r emotions a t t h i s p o i n t . The  q u e s t i o n most prominent i n h e r mind i s whether  l o v e can p r o v i d e a s u i t a b l e end i n l i f e , and t h i s she decide: 794)  "To what f y n i s swich l o v e I kan n a t see," ( I I ,  i s the e x p r e s s i o n o f h e r doubt.  S i n c e she  cannot  r e s o l v e t h i s doubt she d e c i d e s t o f i n d out by t r i a l , in  cannot  and  a s p i r i t o f experiment she makes h e r d e c i s i o n , f o r  which t h a t n o t h i n g u n d e r t a k e t h ,  "he  / Nothyng n'acheveth."  ( I I , 806-7) Here i n t h i s speech we have C r i s e y d e w i t h a l l the care o f a p h i l o s o p h e r weighing in  e v e r y aspect o f c o u r t l y l o v e  o r d e r t o determine whether i t can be i n i t s e l f a s u f -  ficient  end f o r e x i s t e n c e .  The  o n l y way  she can f i n d  out  i s by t r y i n g i t , but she would n o t have committed h e r s e l f to  t h i s course u n l e s s h e r l o v e r had  o f f e r e d e v e r y chance  o f success "because o f the n o b i l i t y o f h i s c h a r a c t e r .  It  remained f o r h e r t o f i n d out the r e s u l t o f h e r experiment. Her she  experiment i s Chaucer's experiment a l s o .  i s a necessary  i t was n e c e s s a r y ,  Since  f a c t o r i n t h e s i t u a t i o n he has s e t up, i f the c o n c l u s i o n was t o be v a l i d ,  that  he make h e r as p e r f e c t a p r o t a g o n i s t as T r o i l u s has been shown t o be:  a w a t e r t i g h t case c o u l d o n l y be made f o r the  code i f t h e r e were no l a t e n t f l a w s o r weaknesses i n t h e other experimental  f a c t o r s — i n the environment o r t h e two  persons i n v o l v e d .  Chaucer had t a k e n p a i n s , as we have  seen, t o a v o i d any c o n f l i c t i n g moral i s s u e by i s o l a t i n g the s t o r y i n an e t h i c a l l y n e u t r a l m i l i e u .  He had a l s o  g i v e n T r o i l u s t h e maximum o f c o n s t a n c y and i n t e g r i t y . Criseyde  seems by h e r v e r y f a l s i n g o f T r o i l u s the weak l i n k  i n t h e argument. c.  C r i s e y d e ' s A c t i o n s R e f l e c t a C o n s i s t e n t Approach t o C o u r t l y Love We have one e x t r e m e l y s t r o n g c l u e , however, t h a t  Chaucer d i d n o t i n t e n d h e r t o be so, t h a t i n f a c t h e r i n f i d e l i t y r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g t h e cause o f t h e t r a g e d y was the r e s u l t o f an i n e v i t a b l e t r a g i c n e c e s s i t y o f t h e whole dramatic  situation.  the e n d i n g o f I I  The c l u e l i e s i n the way he a l t e r e d ffilostrato.  Boccaccio  had w i t h the  g r e a t e s t o f b i t t e r n e s s blamed C r e s s i d a f o r t h e c a l a m i t y t h a t b e f e l l h i s hero and warned h i s r e a d e r s t h a t a l l women  are  untrustworthy: Such was t h e end t h a t came t o t h e i l l conceived love of T r o i l u s f o r Cressida. . . . such was t h e end o f t h e v a i n hopes o f T r o i l u s i n base C r e s s i d a . . . . A young woman i s f i c k l e and d e s i r o u s o f many l o v e r s . . . . She h a t h no f e e l i n g f o r v i r t u e o r r e a s o n , i n c o n s t a n t e v e r as l e a f i n t h e wind. (VII, 28-30)  Chaucer, on t h e c o n t r a r y , blames n o t woman b u t l o v e f o r t h e tragedy  and warns h i s r e a d e r s  worldly  love:  not to put t h e i r trust i n  0 yonge, f r e s s h e f o l k e s , he o r she, I n which t h a t l o v e up groweth w i t h youre age, E e p e y r e t h horn f r o w o r l d l y v a n y t e , And o f youre h e r t e up c a s t e t h t h e v i s a g e To t h i l k e God t h a t a f t e r h i s ymage Yow made. . . . (V, 1835-40) Considering  t h a t t h e god who has dominated t h e poem i s Love  ( v a r i o u s l y p e r s o n i f i e d as Venus o r Cupid) t h e r e u n m i s t a k e a b l e c o n t r a s t i n t h i s passage w i t h t h a t a f t e r h i s ymage yow made."  i s an  " t h i l k e God  By obvious i n f e r e n c e  Chaucer i s condemning c o u r t l y l o v e w i t h i t s f a l s e which t h e l o v e r g i v e s w o r s h i p .  god t o  Moreover Chaucer s p e c i -  f i c a l l y absolves  women from t h e blame t h a t B o c c a c c i o has  heaped on them.  Men, he says, a r e j u s t as o f t e n t o blame  f o r f i c k l e n e s s as women; and he warns "every  g e n t i l woman":  B e t h war o f men, and h e r k n e t h what I s e y e i (V, 1785) Chaucer goes out o f h i s way t o t r y and minimize t h e  g u i l t C r i s e y d e has t h i s he  i n c u r r e d i n b e t r a y i n g T r o i l u s , and  c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the t o l e r a n t and  headed Pandarus, her own Cryseyde; / And, (V, 1732-3)  God  u n c l e , who  level-  "I hate,  ywys,  woot, I wol hate h i r e evermore."  I t i s sometimes assumed t h a t Chaueer p l a y s  down h e r g u i l t because he had he had  exclaims,  in  created.  S i n c e he  grown t o l o v e the  character  i s , f o r a l l h i s human sympathy,  an a r t i s t o f superb c o n t r o l and detachment, such an assumpt i o n seems q u e s t i o n a b l e .  What e l s e would account f o r h i s  minimizing  Why  of her g u i l t ?  s h o u l d he  say, f o r i n s t a n c e ,  o f h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Diomede: Men  seyn - I not - t h a t she y a f hym (V,  Why  s h o u l d he  hire herte.  1450)  so o b v i o u s l y e x c u l p a t e  her:  Ne me ne l i s t t h i s s e l y womman chyde P o r t h e r t h a n the s t o r y e wol devyse. (V, 1093-4) and I w i s , I wolde excuse h i r e y e t f o r (V, The why  answer may  routhe.  1099)  become c l e a r e r when one  any p e r s o n excuses a n o t h e r .  The  considers  obvious reasons are  out o f l o v e f o r the d e f a u l t e r o r out o f a p p r e c i a t i o n of the circumstances r e a s o n why  i n which he  acted.  The  l a t t e r i s s u r e l y the  Chaucer sympathized w i t h h i s h e r o i n e  and  Pandarus d i d n o t , f o r Pandarus c o u l d not c l e a r l y see  why how  the r u l e s o f the  code, s p e c i f i c a l l y the  by i t , determined C r i s e y d e ' s  actions.  s e c r e c y demanded H i s advice  to T r o i l u s  t o elope "though a l t h i s town c r i d e on t h i s thyng" i s evidence enough t o s u b s t a n t i a t e h i s l a c k of And  appreciation.  i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s same l a c k of u n d e r s t a n d i n g  t o which the r e a d e r i s p r o n e .  We  t e n d t o t h i n k t h a t because  the poem i s a romance i t i s m e r e l y a romance, whereas Chaucer has based on and  made abundantly c l e a r t h a t i t i s a romance circumscribed  by the t e n e t s  o f the code.  The  c r y p t i c p l e a of Chaucer, " t h a t thow be understonde" b e g i n s t o make sense i f the t r a g e d y i s viewed i n t h i s l i g h t . not,  the cause of the  a r i l y as the  code but  t r a g e d y must be u n d e r s t o o d not as C r i s e y d e ' s  weakness o f  we  do not  s t e a d f a s t l y r e f u s e d t o concede.  appreciate  Chaucer's i n t e n t i o n s we  and  are  forced Criseyde's  matching T r o i l u s i n n o b i l i t y o f s o u l she  t o a c t c o m p l e t e l y i n c o n s i s t e n t l y i n b e t r a y i n g him. impossible,"  this  Inevitably i f  e v e n t u a l l y t o f a c e the apparent ambivalence o f character:  prim-  character  o r p o s s i b l y as the weakness of women i n g e n e r a l , Chaucer has  If  says A r t h u r Mizener, "to show i n d e t a i l  seems "It i s . . .  t h a t h e r b e t r a y a l o f T r o i l u s i s a n a t u r a l consequence of her character."  To determine whether o r not  consequence o f the code Chaucer's p o r t r a y a l o f must be  Criseyde  examined i n some d e t a i l .  "Character  PMLA.  i t is a  and A c t i o n i n the Case o f  54 (1939), P. 66.  Criseyde,"  78 There i s at t h i s p o i n t one  obvious d i f f i c u l t y t o be  d e a l t w i t h , namely t h a t C r i s e y d e does seem t o have an i n c i p i e n t flaw: be"  ( I I , 450).  "she  was  the f e r f u l l e s t e wight t h a t might  A p a r t from t h i s she i s d e s c r i b e d as a non-  p a r e i l among women.  Chaucer a g a i n uses an a r t i s t i c  we have a l r e a d y n o t i c e d * ^ t o make t h i s p o i n t c l e a r :  device he  i n t r o d u c e s h e r as such and then r e i n f o r c e s h i s d e s c r i p t i o n l a t e r i n the poem almost would o v e r l o o k i t .  as i f he were a f r a i d the  reader  H i s f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o h e r draws  a t t e n t i o n t o h e r beauty and  graciousness:  Nas non so f a i r , f o r passynge e v e r y wight So a u n g e l i k was h i r n a t i f beaute, That l i k a t h i n g i n m o r t a l seemed she, As d o t h an hevenyssh p e r f i t c r e a t u r e , That down were sent i n scornynge o f n a t u r e . (I, Pandarus a l i t t l e  101-5)  f u r t h e r adds t o t h i s encomium w i t h a c a t a -  logue o f s u p e r l a t i v e s : Ne I nevere saugh a more bountevous Of h i r e e s t a t , n' a g l a d d e r , ne of speche A f r e n d l y e r , n'a more g r a c i o u s A kynges h e r t e semeth by h y r s a wrecche. ( I , 885-9) l Having e s t a b l i s h e d C r i s e y d e ' s " a u n g e l i k " n a t u r e Chaucer n o t h i n g more about i t d i r e c t l y u n t i l — o f middle  says  a l l places—the  o f the f i n a l book, when she i s about t o b e t r a y T r o i l u s : ^1 r e f e r t o the r e i t e r a t i o n o f T r o i l u s ' s n o b i l i t y a t the end of Book I I I and Book IV, and o f Chaucer's wish t o be understood, e a r l y i n Book I and j u s t b e f o r e the e p i l o g u e .  79 . . . P a r a d i s s t o o d formed i n h i r e yen And w i t h h i r e r i c h e beaute evere more S t r o f l o v e i n h i r e ay, which o f hem was more. She sobre was, ek symple, and wys w i t h a l , The b e s t y n o r i s s h e d ek t h a t myght be, And goodly o f h i r e speche i n g e n e r a l , C h a r i t a b l e , e s t a t l i c h , l u s t y and f r e ; Ne nevere mo ne l a k k e d h i r e p i t e ; (V, S u r e l y t h e r e must be a v e r y cogent  816-23) r e a s o n f o r the author  t o h a l t the n a r r a t i v e t o c o n f i r m the beauty o f the h e r o i n ' s character.  I t seems as though Chaucer were s a y i n g ,  "Before  we p r o c e e d w i t h the s t o r y l e t us be q u i t e sure about Criseyde's s t e r l i n g character."  L e s t t h i s be r e g a r d e d as  too h y p o t h e t i c a l , the p r e c e d i n g t h r e e and f o l l o w i n g two v e r s e s w i l l bear i t o u t .  They c o n s t i t u t e a s t a r t l i n g  r e c a p i t u l a t i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the t h r e e cont e s t a n t s i n the love t r i a n g l e .  S t a r t l i n g because o f the 66  c u r i o u s , i t e m i z e d way i n which i t i s done  and because i t  seems so s u p e r f l u o u s :  we a l r e a d y know a l l the r e l e v a n t  f a c t s and t o reproduce  them a t t h i s p o i n t seems t o a c h i e v e  n o t h i n g except reasonable  t o h a l t the f l o w o f the n a r r a t i v e .  Iti s  t h e n t o suppose t h a t Chaucer's aim was t o ensure  t h a t the r e a d e r was q u i t e c e r t a i n o f t h e nature  o f the  a c t o r s who were about t o p l a y out the l a s t a c t i n the drama. Diomede i s " i n h i s nedes p r e s t and corageous," "hardy, t e s t i f , s t r o n g and c h i v a l r o u s o f dedes," " o f tonge large." T r o i l u s i s "Yonge, f r e s s h e , s t r o n g , and hardy as l y o u n , / Trewe as s t i e l . " (V, 800-31)  80 That Chaucer wanted t o c r e a t e C r i s e y d e f r e e o f t a i n t of wantonness may  be a p p r e c i a t e d by comparing h e r  with Boccaccio's heroine. developed  any  How  p a i n s t a k i n g l y Chaucer has  the image o f C r i s e y d e ' s modesty and  delicacyl  I t needed the w i l i e s t o f Pandarus's a r t i f i c e s t o d i s p o s e of  h e r r e s o l u t i o n t o l o v e T r o i l u s as a s i s t e r .  I f he  n o t t r i c k e d the p a i r i n t o the same room and h e l p e d i n t o bed  had  Troilus  one wonders i f t h e i r l o v e would e v e r have been  consummated.  C r i s e i d a , on the o t h e r hand, has  almost  the s t a r t an unabashed p h y s i c a l d e s i r e f o r T r o i l o .  from  No  sooner are t h e y f r i e n d s than she i s s i g h i n g t o h e r s e l f , "Would t h a t I were now  i n h i s sweet arms, p r e s s e d f a c e t o  ( I I , 117)  f a c e w i t h him."  I n the bedroom scene she  p l a y s a p a s s i o n t h a t i s f a r removed from the and d e l i c a c y of C r i s e y d e .  dis-  tenderness  I n s h o r t , the t o t a l  ennobling  in  Chaucer's hands of the h e r o i n e i s so pronounced as h a r d l y  to  need emphasis.  She  i s , whether by d e s i g n o r a c c i d e n t ,  the a n t i t h e s i s of a l l the female v i c e s mentioned by Andreas in for  the De R e p r o b a t i o n e .  the v i c e s which he  not c e n t e r i n g one's l i f e  g i v e s as  and l o v e on a woman.  S i n c e Chaucer's s t u d i o u s e l i m i n a t i o n o f any to  d a l l i a n c e as the r e a s o n f o r C r i s e y d e ' s f a l l  apparent,  we must now  reasons  tendency  i s so  d e a l w i t h h e r t i m i d i t y as b e i n g  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the t r a g e d y and r e c o n c i l e t h i s w i t h the q u i e t s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r she shows i n o t h e r ways. after his f i r s t  Soon  d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r , Chaucer remarks t h a t  she s t o o d i n the temple  "debonaire o f c h e r e , / With f u l  a s s u r e d l o k y n g and manere."  ( I , 181-2)  But a g a i n s t t h i s  s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e must be weighed abundant t e x t u a l t h a t she l a c k e d a c e r t a i n f o r t i t u d e o f s p i r i t . l i n e that introduces her i s : sore i n drede,"  ( I , 95)  evidence The  "For o f h i r e l i f she was f u l  and the second l a s t  l i n e of her  f i n a l d e s c r i p t i o n c o n t a i n s the much-quoted p h r a s e , of  corage."  Her f i r s t  first  "slydynge  c o n s i d e r a t i o n when Pandarus p u t s  T r o i l u s ' s case b e f o r e h e r i s f e a r o f what p e o p l e would t h i n k i f h e r name were t o be connected w i t h the p o s s i b l e suicide  o f t h i s unknown s u i t o r : And i f t h i s man s i e here hymself, a l i a s I In my p r e s e n c e , i t wol be no s o l a s . What men  wolde o f h i t deme I kan not  seye:  ( I I , 459-61) So apparent  i s h e r t i m i d i t y t h a t C. S. Lewis  sees i t as  the m a i n s p r i n g o f h e r b e h a v i o u r , m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t she m o t i v a t e d by f e a r "of l o n e l i n e s s , o f o l d age, l o v e and o f h o s t i l i t y ; feared."^ to  One  was  of death, of  o f e v e r y t h i n g i n d e e d t h a t can be  does n o t have t o h o l d such an extreme  view  r e a l i z e t h a t Chaucer, w h i l e e n n o b l i n g the h e r o i n e as he  found h e r i n I I F i l o s t r a t o . has d e l i b e r a t e l y i n t r o d u c e d i n t o h e r make-up t h i s one f a t a l weakness. Par from b e i n g an a r t i s t i c  i n c o n s i s t e n c y t h i s weak-  ness i s ( i f the drama i s viewed w i t h i n the frame o f the The A l l e g o r y o f Love, p .  185  82 c o u r t l y l o v e code) the f a c t o r which r e s o l v e s the apparent problem o f t h e i n c o n s i s t e n c y o f h e r a c t i o n s .  I t enables  her t o a c t c o n s i s t e n t l y i n b e t r a y i n g T r o i l u s and i n f a c t makes i t i n e v i t a b l e t h a t she w i l l do s o . s u r e s t c l u e t o the a u t h o r ' s t r a g i c First  A  plan.  o f a l l i t must be admitted t h a t a c e r t a i n  t i m i d i t y i s not incompatible ness.  I t provides the  w i t h s e n s i t i v i t y and g r a c i o u s -  Granted t h i s , more l i g h t may be thrown on the problem  by s u p p o s i n g t h a t Chaucer had c r e a t e d h i s h e r o i n e  with  great  courage and s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r .  The poem would i n such  a case n e v e r have become a t r a g e d y ,  f o r the a f f e c t i o n o f  the l o v e r s would have endured.  Criseyde  would e i t h e r have  acceded t o T r o i l u s ' s p l a n t o " s t e l e awey b i t w i x e us tweye" (IV, 1503) o r she would have made some attempt t o l e a v e the Greek camp.  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t Chaucer never says  t h a t t h e r e was any o b s t a c l e i n the way o f h e r l e a v i n g o r any  attempt o r s e r i o u s i n t e n t i o n on h e r p a r t t o do s o . I f  Criseyde  had been courageous such a l a c k o f a c t i o n would  have been t o t a l l y out o f k e e p i n g w i t h h e r c h a r a c t e r . she  Since  i s not, i t i s quite consistent with i t . Looked a t from a d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t ,  asked H e c t o r f o r p e r m i s s i o n t h e y had e l o p e d  i f T r o i l u s had  t o have C r i s e y d e  stay or i f  o r i f she had e v e n t u a l l y r e t u r n e d  their  r e l a t i o n s h i p would have become one n o t o f c o u r t l y l o v e b u t something a k i n t o m a r r i a g e .  The c r i t e r i o n p a r e x c e l l e n c e  o f c o u r t l y l o v e which the a u t h o r , Pandarus, T r o i l u s and  83 Criseyde  insist  on i s s e c r e c y .  Chaucer has  a t t e n t i o n o f the r e a d e r t o i t .  ( I I , 40)  drawn the  Pandarus e n j o i n s  i t upon T r o i l u s i n an e x t r e m e l y l o n g , d e t a i l e d and  serious  passage.  than  (Ill,  254-329)  T r o i l u s "were l e v e r e ded  h i r e d i f f a m e " by a l l o w i n g " d i s c l a u n d r e t o h i r e name." (IV, 564-5)  And  C r i s e y d e e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e s b e f o r e com-  m i t t i n g h e r s e l f t o the a f f a i r t h a t b e i n g found out be the worst m i s f o r t u n e  could  t h a t c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y happen:  Now s e t t e a caas: the h a r d e s t i s ywys, Men myghten demen t h a t he l o v e t h me. What d i s h o n o u r were i t unto me, t h i s ? ( I I , 729-31) T h i s b e i n g so, i t i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l e breaking  that  the  of the c o u r t l y l o v e commandment of s e c r e c y would  mean the end  o f the a f f a i r as Chaucer had p l a n n e d i t .  d e c i s i o n whether or not t o break i t i s , as John  The  Bayley  remarks, "the moral c l i m a x and p i v o t o f the t a l e , f a r more than Criseyde's  subsequent i n f i d e l i t y .  Keeping t o the  r u l e s v i r t u a l l y k i l l s T r o i l u s , but he does keep t o them; while  the heat of the c r i s i s engenders a moral c o l l a p s e 68  i n Criseyde envisage  from which she n e v e r r e c o v e r s . "  She  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p o u t s i d e o f the code and  pathetic l i s t  of excuses she  gives to T r o i l u s ,  cannot the  especially  h e r l e t t e r from the Greek camp, i s i n e f f e c t a s e r i e s o f r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s by which she may The  Characters  evade t h i s f a c t .  o f Love, p.  82.  She  is  t o r n between h e r l o v e f o r T r o i l u s and h e r dependence on code, and  the l a t t e r i s the  stronger  d r a m a t i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , must be, a l r e a d y o u t l i n e d , t h a t i f she  the  motivation—and,  f o r the  simple  reason,  chooses the former she  has  chosen m a r r i a g e , o r a t l e a s t a q u a s i - m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n preference mutually  t o the code; and  the two  are  antithetical,  exclusive. To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s p o i n t comparison may  between the T r o i l u s and romance, The  Chaucer's o t h e r l o n g  Knight's Tale.  The  be made  chivalric  l a t t e r approximates more  c l o s e l y t o a modern l o v e s t o r y i n so f a r as s e c r e c y i s not made a s i n e qua non mate g o a l .  and marriage i s seen as the  ulti-  Compare the a l a c r i t y w i t h which Palamon t e l l s  A r c i t e o f the l o v e by which he has been s m i t t e n and  the  l e n g t h o f time i t takes Pandarus t o worm T r o i l u s ' s s e c r e t from him.  Even when the d u a l l o v e a f f a i r becomes known t o  Theseus and h i s whole c o u r t t h e r e i s no n a t u r e o f the romance.  The  a l t e r a t i o n i n the  romantic element o f the  i s not dependent on s e c r e c y and  story  i t f i n d s i t s culmination  in  marriage• The  Knight's l i t t l e  t h i s c l e a r but  epithalamion  not  o n l y makes  throws i n t o c o n t r a s t C r i s e y d e ' s  the u n d e s i r a b i l i t y o f marriage ( I I , 750  views  f f . ) , which are  e s s e n t i a l t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the n a t u r e o f the exemplified  i n the  Troilus:  on  love  so  {  85 Betwixen hem was maad anon the bond That h i g h t e matrimoigne o r mariage By a l the c o n s e i l and t h e baronage, And thus w i t h a l l e b l i s s e and melodye Hath Palamon ywedded Emelye. And God, t h a t a l t h i s wyde w o r l d h a t h wroght, Send hym h i s l o v e t h a t h a t h i t deere aboght; ( K n i g h t ' s T a l e . 11. 30?A-3100) These  sentiments a r e t o t a l l y removed from t h e code  o f c o u r t l y l o v e t h a t C r i s e y d e i s f o l l o w i n g , i n which and marriage a r e c o m p l e t e l y i n c o m p a t i b l e .  love  The Seventh  D i a l o g u e i n the De Amore i s t h e debate between a man o f t h e h i g h e r n o b i l i t y and a woman o f t h e simple n o b i l i t y as t o whether t r u e l o v e i s p o s s i b l e i n m a r r i a g e .  The man has the  l a s t word on t h e matter: I am g r e a t l y s u r p r i s e d t h a t y o u wish t o a p p l y t h e term "love t o t h a t m a r i t a l a f f e c t i o n which husband and w i f e are expected t o f e e l f o r each o t h e r a f t e r m a r r i a g e , s i n c e everybody knows t h a t l o v e can have no p l a c e between husband and w i f e . They may be bound t o each o t h e r by a g r e a t and immoderate a f f e c t i o n b u t t h e i r f e e l i n g cannot take the p l a c e o f l o v e , because i t cannot f i t under t h e t r u e d e f i n i t i o n o f love.6-9 T h i s i s t h e o p i n i o n e x p r e s s e d by C r i s e y d e i n h e r s o l i l o q u y on t h e b e n e f i t s t o be g a i n e d by t a k i n g a l o v e r .  Specifi-  c a l l y she r e j e c t s t h e i d e a o f l o v e w i t h i n marriage  because  she would l o s e h e r independence: I am myn owene womman, wel a t e s e , I thank i t God, as a f t e r myn e s t a t , R i g h t yong, and stonde unteyd i n l u s t y l e s e , Withouten j a l o u s i e o r swich debat: S h a l noon housbonde seyn t o me "Chek mat!"  Op. c i t . . p . 17  F o r e i t h e r t h e y ben f u l o f j a l o u s i e , Or m a i s t e r f u l l , o r l o v e n n o v e l r i e . (II, She  750-6)  f i n a l l y d e c i d e s on a c o u r t l y l o v e a f f a i r w i t h T r o i l u s  because she f e e l s she c a n t r u s t him n o t t o dominate h e r , whereas i f she were t o marry him he would have, so t o speak, the l e g a l r i g h t t o do t h i s .  Within the p r o t e c t i o n  o f the code she c a n have l o v e w i t h independence and the service out  o f h e r l o v e r as w e l l ,  and i f T r o i l u s s h o u l d  turn  t o be " m a i s t e r f u l l " she would be j u s t i f i e d under the  r u l e s o f t h e code i n t e r m i n a t i n g t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p .  She  never f o r a moment c o n s i d e r s e n t e r i n g  that  i n t o the "bond  h i g h t e matrimoigne o r mariage", because i t had n o t h i n g t o o f f e r h e r t o compare w i t h these advantages. Palamon a r e b l e s s e d by the "God t h a t h a t h wroght," she, by c o n t r a s t ,  E m i l y and  a l t h i s wyde w o r l d  r e l i e s on the b l e s s i n g s o f  " b l i s f u l Venus". The  e x i g e n c i e s o f the s t o r y t h a t  Chaucer borrowed  from B o c c a c c i o p r o h i b i t m a r r i a g e , i t i s t r u e ; heroine that alternative  b u t the new  Chaucer moulded s e t s marriage f o r t h as an even though she t u r n s i t down.  She d e l i b e r -  a t e l y seeks r e f u g e i n c o u r t l y l o v e from the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and  hazards of marriage.  I n a v e r y r e a l sense h e r d e c i s i o n  i s n o t t o l o v e T r o i l u s but t o accept t h e code; and much as her  l o v e f o r him grows i t i s n o t enough t o p r e v e n t h e r  making the same d e c i s i o n  when she t a k e s Diomede f o r a l o v e r .  I t i s the code as much as T r o i l u s t h a t  i s t o h e r "a wal o f  s t i e l / and  she I d from e v e r y d i s p l e s a n c e . "  Diomede i s another, her,  ( I I I , 74-9-50)  though l e s s worthy, w a l l t o p r o t e c t  and i n a c c e p t i n g him  she  i s acting inexorably  c o n c i s t e n t l y w i t h the c h a r a c t e r she has  and  already displayed.  Her f e a r s , e s p e c i a l l y o f s l a n d e r , and h e r dependence the code combine t o produce the i n e v i t a b l e  on  tragedy.  T r o i l u s knows t h i s even though, because of h i s l o v e for  C r i s e y d e , he t r i e s t o evade the f a c t and put the blame  on f a t e .  Before he has  time t o r a t i o n a l i z e the s i t u a t i o n  his speech on f r e e c h o i c e h i s r e a l f e e l i n g s are seen i n h i s initial enforced  emotional  r e a c t i o n t o the news o f  Criseyde's  departure: Thus am I l o s t , f o r aught t h a t I kan see. F o r c e r t e y n i s , syn t h a t I am h i r e knyght, I moste h i r e honour l e v e r e han t h a n me I n e v e r y c a s , as l o v e r e ought of r i g h t . Thus am I w i t h d e s i r and r e s o n twight:. D e s i r f o r t o destourben h i r e me r e d e t h , And r e s o n n y l n a t , so myn h e r t e d r e d e t h . (IV, 568-74)  And  w e l l might h i s h e a r t be f u l l  C r i s e y d e w i l l consent  to dispense  t h e y can never be t o g e t h e r Chaucer h i m s e l f has  of d r e a d ,  f o r unless  w i t h the code he knows  again. a little  e a r l i e r made the same  point:: Love hym made a l p r e s t t o don h i r e byde, And r a t h e r dyen than she sholde go; But resoun seyde hym on t h a t o t h e r syde, (IV, 162-4)  in  Pandaxus a l s o sees t h i s c l a s h between l o v e and r e a s o n , f o r he  chides  T r o i l u s f o r h o l d i n g so adamantly t o the p a t h o f  r e a s o n and t h e code: Devyne n o t i n r e s o u n ay so depe Ne c o r t e i s l y . . . . (IV,  589-90)  I t i s c l e a r from t h i s t h a t the code i s seen as a course o f a c t i o n based on r e a s o n , and thus we a r e f a c e d w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t t h i s c o u r s e , v o l u n t a r i l y chosen, i s t h e cause o f t h e t r a g e d y . Criseyde but  had c o n s i d e r e d  Of a l l t h e people i n the s t o r y  only  t h a t t h e code might l e a d t o woe;  she had t a k e n a gamble on i t ,  a gamble which seemed  l i k e l y t o pay o f f o n l y because o f T r o i l u s ' s s t e r l i n g character.  She knew she was b a n k i n g a g a i n s t heavy odds on  the permanence o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p and o f t h e h a p p i n e s s i t p r o m i s e d , and she was w e l l aware t h a t a s t r o n g body o f o p i n i o n , perhaps t h e g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d one, would have considered  h e r gamble a m i s t a k e .  A t the f i r s t  sign of  t r o u b l e i n h e r a f f a i r w i t h T r o i l u s , when Pandarus has t r i c k e d h e r i n t o b e l i e v i n g T r o i l u s was j e a l o u s o f H o r a s t e , she  r e c a l l s that  opinion:  " 0 God!" quod she, "so w o r l d l y s e l y n e s s e , Which c l e r k e s c a l l e n f a l s f e l i c i t e e , Imedled i s w i t h many a b i t t e r n e s s e i P u l angwissous t h a n i s , God woot,"_quod she, " C o n d i c i o u n o f veyn p r o s p e r i t e e ; 0 b r o t e l wele o f marines j o i e (Ill,  unstable!" 814-20)  Once t h e c l o u d has p a s s e d , however, she her p u r s u i t o f f a l s e f e l i c i t y promise.  continues  which o f f e r s such glowing  When t h e i r l o v e i s consummated the promise seems  t o he f u l f i l l e d :  the e c s t a s y seems a b s o l u t e  and i n d e s t r u c -  tible. T h i s i s the p o i n t a t which Chaucer as narratow i n t o emphasize t h a t p h y s i c a l l o v e i s indeed cing f e l i c i t y .  He makes the s t r o n g e s t  a very  steps  convin-  case f o r n a t u r a l l o v e  as opposed t o s u p e r n a t u r a l : T h i s i s no l i t e l thyng o f f o r t o seye; T h i s p a s s e t h e v e r y w i t f o r t o devyse; F o r ech o f hem gan o t h e r e s l u s t obeye. F e l i c i t e , which t h a t t h i s e c l e r k e s wise Comenden so, ne may nought here s u f f i s e ; T h i s j o i e may nought w r i t e n be w i t h i n k e ; T h i s p a s s e t h a l t h a t h e r t e may bythynke. (Ill,  1688-94)  One o f the wise c l e r k s t o whom he makes r e f e r e n c e St. Paul, f o r there First  c o u l d be  i s a p o s s i b l e echo o f a passage i n the  E p i s t l e t o the C o r i n t h i a n s : Eye Nor  has n o t seen n o r e a r h e a r d , has i t e n t e r e d i n t o the human h e a r t ,  What God has p r e p a r e d f o r those who l o v e him. ( I . C o r . 2, 9-) The  code o f l o v e a p p a r e n t l y  o f f e r s a b l i s s as i n e f f a b l e as  that of the b e a t i f i c v i s i o n . p l a i n e s t terms t h a t t h e r e lovers' ecstasy;  Chaucer has s t a t e d i n t h e  i s nothing  the i l l u s i o n  i l l u s o r y about t h e  y e t t o be demonstrated i s  t h a t t h e code can ensure the c o n t i n u a n c e o f such  ecstasy.  As the s t o r y p r o g r e s s e s  the course  l o v e r s are hound p r o v e s t o he which has  grown w i t h i n the  o f "resoun" to which the  self-destructive.  The  s h e l t e r o f the code cannot  s u r v i v e o u t s i d e i t ; the promised h a p p i n e s s t u r n s t o The  love  c r u x of the t r a g e d y  tragedy.  i s , as has been seen t h a t  the l o v e r s have made of c o u r t l y l o v e t h e i r one  end  existence.  that i t  not be  C r i s e y d e has  always been c o n s c i o u s  so, n a t u r a l l y enough s i n c e she knows t h a t as  o b j e c t o f T r o i l u s ' s worship she has  a l l h i s "wele or wo she  / The  The  the  He has made h e r  w e l l and r o o t e , "  i s a f t e r a l l o n l y a human b e i n g ,  f e c t woman.  may  l i m i t a t i o n s which  T r o i l u s , b l i n d e d by l o v e , cannot see.  but  of  of  ( I I I , 1472-3)  a fallible  imper-  d u l l p a i n of t h i s t r u t h comes t o T r o i l u s  only a f t e r Criseyde's  l e t t e r from the Greek camp.  Only then  he . . . u n d e r s t o d t h a t she Nas nought so kynde as t h a t h i r e oughte be. And f i n a l l y he woot now out o f doute, That a l i s l o s t t h a t he h a t h ben aboute.  (V, 1641-5) T h i s i s the f i n a l d i s m i s s a l o f the code and c h a r a c t e r s who  l i v e d w i t h i n i t s frame.  C r i s e y d e , and T r o i l u s ' s death has no drama i s over. ficient  end  We  the  care no more f o r  significance.  The  C o u r t l y l o v e has been r e v e a l e d as an i n s u f -  in life,  and  Criseyde's  too t r a g i c a l l y been f u l f i l l e d .  The  forebodings  have a l l  c o n c l u s i o n t o be drawn  from the poem, a foreshadowing o f the e p i l o g u e , i s  expressed  i n a n u t s h e l l by C r i s e y d e when she h e a r s the news of  her  91  exchange f o r A n t e n o r . it  Though she l a t e r t r i e s t o r a t i o n a l i z e  away h e r h i t t e r e x c l a m a t i o n e x p r e s s e s the c e r t a i n t y o f  h e r womanly i n t u i t i o n t h a t t h i s development means the end o f the a f f a i r : Endeth thanne l o v e i n wo? Ye o r men And a l l e w o r l d l y b l i s s e as t h y n k e t h (IV,  384-5)  liethi me.  V THE THE  EPILOGUE, THE CONCLUSION OP THE QUEST: REPUDIATION OP THE TRUTH OP COURTLY LOVE  In the e p i l o g u e  the stage s h i f t s from c l a s s i c a l  t o the f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  I t i s an abrupt change, one  t h a t demands a sharp re-adjustment o f o u r v i s i o n . a u t h o r , who up t i l l  Troy  The  now has been p l a y i n g the p a r t o f an  i m p a r t i a l n a r r a t o r , now changes h i s r o l e t o t h a t o f commentator and p r e s e n t s  us w i t h the f i n d i n g s o f the experiment  i n l o v e t h a t he has s e t up and o b s e r v e d . P i r s t he a b s t r a c t s T r o i l u s from the t r a g i c scene and t a k e s him up t o t h e e i g h t h sphere, where he can l o o k down w i t h a l l the detachment o f Chaucer h i m s e l f and p u t the whole drama i n t o the p e r s p e c t i v e have.  Chaucer would want h i s r e a d e r s t o  T r o i l u s i s , i n e f f e c t , given the b e n e f i t o f a  Christian  viewpoint:.  And down from thennes f a s t e he gan avyse T h i s l i t l e spot o f e r t h e , t h a t w i t h the se Embraced i s , and f u l l y gan d e s p i s e T h i s wrecched w o r l d , and h e l d a l v a n i t e To r e s p e c t o f the p l e y n f e l i c i t e That i s i n hevene above. . . . (V, 1814-19) Now T r o i l u s c a n see l i f e  sub s p e c i e a e t e r n i t a t i s . and the  f a l s e f e l i c i t y o f t h e code o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s made apparent when he sees the " p l e y n f e l i c i t e " o f heaven.  T h i s i s what  he has  l e a r n e d from a l l h i s e x p e r i e n c e ;  t h i s too i s the  c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Chaucer has drawn from the The  modern r e a d e r e x p e r i e n c e s  a c c e p t i n g such a simple  finding.  tragedy.  some d i f f i c u l t y i n  I t seems h a r d l y an ade-  quate a r t i s t i c balance  t o the g r e a t j o y o f the l o v e r s  and  the d e a t h o f T r o i l u s .  But perhaps the d i f f i c u l t y and  sense  o f d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n may  be  medieval i d e a of tragedy. C h r i s t i a n was  t o l o s e God  not come about by chance: w i l l e d i t by s i n . cept of tragedy  l e s s e n e d i f note i s t a k e n o f the The  supreme m i s f o r t u n e  i n the next l i f e  f o r the  and t h i s  could  i t c o u l d not happen u n l e s s  Consequently the m e d i e v a l had no  con-  i n the Greek sense of an i n e s c a p a b l e  o r i n the modern sense of d i s a s t e r f o l l o w i n g from  he  fate  an  i n c i p i e n t f l a w i n the p e r s o n a l i t y which i s t u r n e d by  cir-  cumstance i n t o a d i s i n t e g r a t i n g f a c t o r .  for  Tragedy was  Chaucer and h i s contemporaries "a d i t e e o f p r o s p e r i t e e f o r a tyme, t h a t endeth i n wrecchedness. prosa  2, 1.70.)  There was  tragedy  (Boece, Book I I ,  no u l t i m a t e t r a g e d y  f o r the m e d i e v a l because God l e a s t ) and  11  f o r him was  him.  T h i s r e a l i z a t i o n Chaucer has  her could  everything,  t h a t a f t e r a l l h i s sorrow t h e r e i s the p r o s p e c t happiness.  lost  g r e a t e s t c o n s o l a t i o n he  have i s the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t he has not l o s t  at  Troilus's  i s t h a t he has made C r i s e y d e h i s a l l and The  earth  a l l ( i n theory  c o u l d be l o s t o n l y by f r e e w i l l .  through no f a u l t o f h i s .  to  on  of e t e r n a l  c o n t r i v e d to give  94  S i n c e T r o i l u s was n o t a C h r i s t i a n he had n o t "been g u i l t y o f any moral f a u l t i n c e n t e r i n g h i s l i f e  on C r i s e y d e *  C o u r t l y l o v e was n o t s i n f u l p e r s e . as Andreas had maint a i n e d i n h i s De R e p r o b a t i o n e . code was  Chaucer had shown t h a t the  opposed t o r e a s o n n o t because i t was  intrinsically  wrong, n o t because i t i d o l i z e d woman, but because i t l e d eventually to g r i e f . There are no p e r s o n a l r e c r i m i n a t i o n s i n the e p i l o g u e , because the cause o f the t r a g e d y l i e s n o t w i t h the l o v e r s but w i t h the demands o f the code.  The condemnation o f the  "blynde l u s t , the which t h a t may n o t l a s t e "  (V, 1824) i s  t h e r e f o r e not due t o o v e r - p i e t y on Chaucer's p a r t but t o the a r t i s t i c r e q u i r e m e n t s o f the poem as he has c o n s t r u c t e d it,  f o r i t i s T r o i l u s ' s b l i n d l y f o l l o w i n g the code t h a t has  led to a l l h i s grief.  We may be sure he would n o t have  f o l l o w e d i t i f he had e a r l i e r had the e n l i g h t e n m e n t Chaucer g r a n t e d him i n the e p i l o g u e . A f u r t h e r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Chaucer sees the code as the cause o f the t r a g e d y l i e s i n the p e r f u n c t o r y way he d i s m i s s e s the l o v e r s a f t e r we are sure t h e y are p a r t e d f o r ever.  I f the poem had been p u r e l y a romance s u r e l y Chaucer  would n o t have l e f t C r i s e y d e i n the u n s a t i s f a c t o r y limbo t h a t he does:  a f t e r h e r l a s t l e t t e r t o T r o i l u s she  d i s a p p e a r s from view.  just  Nor would he have given. T r o i l u s ' s  f a t e on e a r t h such a b r i e f t r e a t m e n t .  Chaucer mentions  r a t h e r v a g u e l y t h a t he sought f o r Diomede i n b a t t l e —  "And o f t e tyme I fynde t h a t t h e y m e t t e " — a n d  then dismisses  the hero i n one b r i e f l i n e :  " D e s p i t o u s l y hym  fierse Achille."  T h i s s i x word coda would be  (V, 1806)  s l o u g h the  r i d i c u l o u s l y i n s u f f i c i e n t t o c l o s e the s t o r y had i t been m e r e l y a romance.  There would i n e f f e c t be no s o l u t i o n a t  all. Nor would the t h r e e s t a n z a s d e s c r i b i n g T r o i l u s i n the e i g h t h sphere be any more s a t i s f a c t o r y .  I t i s small  comfort, i f we have i d e n t i f i e d o u r s e l v e s w i t h the h e r o , t o l e a r n t h a t he i s now  l a u g h i n g a t those v e r y woes t h a t have  e l i c i t e d our sympathy.  It is,  t o s a y the l e a s t ,  fru-  s t r a t i n g t o f i n d t h a t the l o v e and sorrow t h a t have been t o us so r e a l and so moving are summarily d i s m i s s e d as b e i n g o f no r e a l  consequence. One modern c r i t i c has blamed Chaucer f o r n o t s e e i n g  t h a t Henryson's was the o n l y " t r u e s o l u t i o n , which produces a r e a l — o n e might s a y the r e a l — c a t h a r s i s . had the l a s t and r i g h t word."^  0  But i f ,  F o r Henryson  as t h i s  thesis  m a i n t a i n s , the poem i s n o t j u s t a l o v e s t o r y but a p h i l o s o p h i c quest i n f i c t i o n a l form, t h e n t h e r e i s no n e c e s s i t y for a catharsis.  The l o g i c a l e n d i n g o f the poem i s a s t a t e -  ment o f the r e s u l t o f the q u e s t . And j u s t as soon as T r o i l u s , as a reward f o r h i s v i r t u e and c o n s t a n c y , has had h i s eyes opened  P a u l Baum, OT>. c i t . . p .  164  Chaucer  96 proceeds t o s t a t e the r e s u l t s o f h i s o b s e r v a t i o n , and, s h o r t o f numbering them, he c o u l d h a r d l y have s t a t e d them in  a more obvious and emphatic Swich Swich Swich Swich Swich  fyn fyn fyn fyn fyn  fashion:  hath, l o , t h i s T r o i l u s f o r l o v e l hath a l h i s grete worthynessel h a t h h i s e s t a t r e a l above, h i s l u s t , swich f y n h a t h h i s n o b l e s s e ! h a t h f a l s e worldes b r o t e l n e s s e i  Lo h e r e , o r payens c o r s e d o l d e r i t e s , Lo h e r e , what a l l e h i r e goddes may a v a i l l e ; Lo h e r e , t h i s wrecched worldes a p p e t i t e s ;  (V,  1828-51)  T h i s i s the r e s u l t of c o u r t l y l o v e ; t h i s i s what a n a t u r a l i s t i c , pagan p h i l o s o p h y , even i n i t s most form, comes t o .  idealistic  T r o i l u s ' s l o v e , n o b i l i t y and v i r t u e have  been wasted on the f i n i t e  o b j e c t on which he has  lavished  them. We  are f a c e d t h e r e f o r e w i t h the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t i f  the code w i l l not work w i t h two p r o t a g o n i s t s p e r f e c t l y equipped by n a t u r e and environment  t o make i t an u l t i m a t e  f e l i c i t y i t cannot ever p r o v i d e an a b s o l u t e end i n l i f e . And  i f t h i s i s t r u e i n a pagan m i l i e u where t h e r e i s no  moral c o n f l i c t i n v o l v e d , a f o r t i o r i i t must be t r u e i n a Christian  one.  Chaucer has t a k e n the double t r u t h expounded i n the De Amore and t e s t e d the p h i l o s o p h i c a l p a r t of i t , namely t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e i s "the t h i n g from which the h i g h e s t good in  this l i f e  takes i t s o r i g i n "  (p. 20.).  Andreas i n the  De Reprobatione had appealed o n l y t o r e l i g i o n t o r e f u t e  t h i s f i n d i n g o f n a t u r a l r e a s o n and p r e s e n t e d no arguments.  rational  Chaucer, without a p p e a l i n g t o r e l i g i o n ,  has  demonstrated p r a g m a t i c a l l y the f a l l a c y i n t h i s o p i n i o n .  He  has l e t the s t o r y develop the t r u t h , and the t r u t h i s t r a g i c a l l y demonstrated.  F o r a time T r o i l u s and C r i s e y d e do  f i n d w i t h i n the code a h a p p i n e s s so supreme t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o d e s c r i b e , but the c o u r t l y l o v e which  has  f o s t e r e d i t p r o v e s u l t i m a t e l y t o be the o r i g i n a l s o o f g r i e f , i n f i d e l i t y and d e a t h :  the amour c o u r t o i s o f the  code, f o r a l l the good i t may produce, has p r o v e d t o be "fals  a  felicitee". The double t r u t h t h e o r y has thus i n the  specific  i n s t a n c e o f c o u r t l y l o v e been t r i e d and found wanting; not through a f o r m a l l y reasoned argument but from the p r a c t i c a l example o f the code i n a c t i o n .  The c o n c l u s i o n t h a t must be  drawn from the t r a g e d y i s t h a t t h e r e i s o n l y one t r u t h c o u r t l y l o v e — t h e C h r i s t i a n one.  Those who  would argue  t h a t such l o v e i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y d e f e n s i b l e as a way l i f e have been proved wrong.  Eeason  about  of  ( i n the form o f  e m p i r i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n ) and r e l i g i o n b o t h g i v e the same verdict:  p h i l o s o p h y and t h e o l o g y l e a d t o the one same t r u t h .  BIBLIOGRAPHY Andreas C a p e l l a n u s . The A r t o f C o u r t l y Love. Translated by John J . P a r r y and e d i t e d by P. W. Locke, New York: F r e d e r i c k Ungar, 1957* Augustine. 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