Tag Archives: hero simultaneously contends

Narration in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

Shows how the narrative structure emphasizes Boethian philosophy in this work by Geoffrey Chaucer.

This paper asserts that Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer is a treatise on Boethian philosophy more than an epic romance. The narrator is treated as a character whose purpose is to emphasize the deterioration of the poetic structure by displacing the audience, even as the hero simultaneously contends with his own emotional conflict and ultimate demise. Because Pandarus is created in Chaucer’s own image (Waswo 10), he serves a pivotal role as a vehicle for Chaucerian irony in the narration scheme itself. Pandarus embodies the pacing of the narration and the emotion of the narrator himself. Both Pandarus and the narrator claim that their actions are fueled by compassion for the lovers, yet they both exhibit bizarre personal gratification in the services they perform. Some critics have even observed how the narrator participates with delight in Pandarus’ machinations to bring the lovers together. In Books II and III, as Pandarus dashes from place to place arranging the lovers’ meetings, the narration itself speeds up (Waswo 10).