O Love, O Charite! Contraries Harmonized in Chaucer's Troilus

Synopsis

Amajor contribution to the scholarly dialogue on Chaucer's art, this incisive and brilliant new reading of Tro ilus as both psychological realism and moral allegory seeks to reconcile conflicting approaches to the poem. Rowe's study of form and meaning finds that the conception of the cosmic order depicted in the poem is primarily concordia discors and that Chaucer's poem is an imitation of the structure he saw in the universe, making it a harmony of contraries. Hence, Rowe argues, the poem is not simply the tragedy it purports to be but a divine comedy, an image of that love which insures that the tragedy of all that comes to be, only to pass away, is part of a larger divine comedy that returns all, in the end, to God.

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