Chaucer's use of Bocaccio
Chaucer's use of the Troy story
Chaucer's use of the narrator
Chaucer's use of Boethius
What makes Pandarus tick? Criseyde?
The structure of the Troilus
Lady Fortune, Dame Nature, and the goddess Venus met over a cup of tea to discuss two problems: the predicament of the Black Knight and that of the tercel eagle. What did they discuss--and how did their discussion end?
You may either maintain the fiction (allegory) in your answer or not, as you choose. Your essay (in whatever form it takes) should be as coherent, as well organized, and as well written as you can make it. Cast your net as widely as you wish, but do not drag in extraneous matter just to show me you know it. Everything you write should be germane to your argument/demonstration. Feel free to use direct quotations from either the background material or the texts you have read (but do not feel obliged to do so). In any case, be specific. Don't lose your perspective: the exam is worth 15% of your final grade. Your exam is due back on Friday at noon.
As we say in Holland: Sterkte! (which means: Strength!)
Answer two of the following three questions. All are huge questions; you will have to set your own limits. Do so--ruthlessly. You define the territory you will investigate and make those boundaries clear to me.
1. Which is the greater work of literature, Troilus & Criseyde or The Canterbury Tales? Why? Be precise.
2. Chaucer's view of women in The Canterbury Tales is amazingly complex, humane, respectful, and optimistic. Do you agree or disagree? Be specific.
3. Would you describe The Canterbury Tales as a roadside drama, a portrait of late medieval society, an essay on human nature, an investigation of sin and redemption, or a short story collection? or would you describe it in yet another way? Why? (You need not deal with all of these characterizations.) Be trenchant.
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