Scene outline of Chaucer's Troilus, by Donald R. Howard & James Dean, eds., Signet edition, 1976.
The following scenario divides the five books of the poem into their component scenes and offers a synopsis of the action, with line numbers. The outline is meant to be used as a guide or roadmap in helping the reader through the complicated action of the poem.

Book 1

1-56 Addressed to Tisiphone, one of the Furies, in the form of a bidding-prayer to lovers, the Proem tells us the form of the work and its theme, and forewarns us of its outcome.

57-133 Calkas, the soothsayer, knowing that Troy will fall, deserts to the Greeks (57-91). His daughter Criseyde, left behind by her father, seeks the protection of Hector.

134-546 April. Troilus sees Criseyde in the temple of Pallas Athena, and as he mocks lovers is struck by the God of Love (134-322). In his palace he thinks of her and sings of Love, complaining of his plight.

547-1092 Pandarus persuades Troilus to reveal what lady he loves, has him repent to the God of Love, and promises help. At the end we see Pandarus conceiving a plan and Troilus ennobled by Love.

Book 2

1-49 Proem addressed to Clio, muse of history.

50-595 May 3. Pandarus, rising depressed by his own ill success in love, rushes off to Criseyde, teases her, urges her to cheer up, and after elaborate rhetorical preparation reveals Troilus's love to her in an idealized account. He asks her to pity Troilus, claims regard for her honor, and reminds her of advancing age.

596-931 Criseyde, alone, sees Troilus pass (596-658). In a long meditation she rehearses to herself the pros and cons of a love affair, revealing her fears and desires (659-812). Joining her women in the garden, she hears Antigone sing a song of love, then goes to bed and dreams of a white eagle who painlessly takes her heart and gives her his.

932-1757 Pandarus in his bisiness undertakes the following steps of his plan:
1) he supervises Troilus's letter to Criseyde (932-1092);
2) he delivers the letter to Criseyde and talks her into answering it (1093-246); he urges her to meet and speak with Troilus, but she demurs (1247-302);
3) he delivers Criseyde's letter to Troilus; more letters are exchanged (1303-400);
4) he visits Deiphebus to arrange a meet- ing with Criseyde (1401-60);
5) he tells Criseyde of her enemies' malice and of the meeting at Deiphebus's 1461-91); he advises Troilus to be present at Deiphebus's house but to pretend he has a fever and go to bed there (1492- 554);
6) he brings Crideyde to Deiphebus, suggests she see Troilus alone, and leads Criseyde in for the first meeting between them (1555-757).

Book 3

1-49 Addressed to Venus, goddess of Love, the proem also invokes Calliope, muse of epic poetry.

50-231 Pandarus brings Criseyde to Troilus's room in Deiphebus's house, where Troilus proclaims his intent.

232-504 Pandarus addresses Troilus seriously about preserving Criseyde's honor, and Troilus reassures him (227-420). Time passes, and we learn that they see each other and exchange letters (421-504).

505-1554 At Criseyde's house, Pandarus invites her to dinner; there is rain coming (547-94). At Pandarus's house, Troilus, concealed, watches them dine. After supper there is a terrible rain, and Pandarus convinces Criseyde to stay the night (595-658). Pandarus puts Criseyde in a private chamber, brings Troilus to it through a trap door (659-742), and persuades Criseyde to admit Troilus with a trumped-up story of Troilus's jealousy over Horaste (743-951). She reassures Troilus and weeps; Troilus, thinking Pandarus's trick has failed, faints (952-1127). Pandarus rushes back to the bed, helps revive Troilus; the lovers are now left in bed (Pandarus retires); they exchange vows, spend the night in bliss, and part regretfully at dawn.

1555-820 Pandarus warns Troilus about Fortune (1583-666). Time passes; we learn that the lovers spend other nights together, and we see Troilus mature in understanding, chivalry, and virtue.

Book 4

1-28 Proem on Fortune, addressed to Mars and the three Furies.

29-343 Calkas arranges to have Criseyde exchanged for Antenor, and Troilus complains against Fortune, col- lapsing into despair.

344-658 Pandarus and Troilus discuss what is to be done; Pandarus suggests a new love affair (393-427), but Troilus rejects the idea out of hand. Pandarus then suggests they elope, but Troilus explains why he cannot in honor do anything to stop her departure or abduct her.

659-945 At her palace Criseyde is visited by some women and hides her dread at leaving Troy (659-735). Alone, she meditates sorrowfully on this turn of events (736-805); Pandarus tells her of Troilus's distress and urges her to give encouragement.

946-1127 Troilus in a temple meditates upon predestination (946-1082, a passage drawn from Boethius). Pandarus reassures him, and sends him to her.

2218-701 Troilus visits Criseyde. Criseyde faints and Troilus, thinking she is dead, is about to kill himself, but she revives and restrains him (1149-246). They speak of the exchange. Troilus at the last moment suggests they elope, but she presents idealistic arguments against eloping and promises to deceive her father and return to Troy in ten days. Troilus leaves in the morning with foreboding.

Book 5

1-14 The narrator darkly mentions the Fates. Three years have passed since Troilus first saw Criseyde in the temple.

15-196 Troilus consigns Criseyde to the Greeks and Diomede; Diomede immediately offers Criseyde his friendship and protection.

197-686 Alone in woe, Troilus has bad dreams (197-273). Pandarus tries to cheer him up at Sarpedon's villa, but they leave after only a week (274-518). Troilus, miserable, awaits her return, remembering the past.

687-1099 Criseyde among the Greeks expresses her determination to return, but two months are to pass (687-770). On the tenth day after leaving Troy, Criseyde entertains Diomede, who speaks of love (771-1015). Criseyde decides to remain with the Greeks and to accept Diomede as her lover.

1100-666 On the tenth day after parting, Troilus and Pandarus wait for Criseyde's return. Pandarus sees, and Troilus slowly realizes, that she will not return. He dreams of a boar embracing Criseyde and writes her a letter (1233-421); her reply, only described, is brief and vague. Cassandra interprets the dream of the boar correctly, but Troilus rejects the interpretation (1440-533). Troilus writes her often; she sends a tasteless reply, quoted in full, which Troilus regards as strange (1583-645). Hope lost, Troilus finds on the captured coat of Diomede his own brooch that he had given her and knows she is no longer to be trusted.

1667-743 Troilus complains of his ill fortune, the worse because he still loves her. Pandarus can only say that he hates Criseyde and is sorry.

1744-869 The narrator, with an apology for giving women a bad name (1765-85), bids farewell to his book (1786-99), and briefly recounts Troilus's death in battle and his ascent to the eighth sphere (1744-827), draws a moral about the transience of earthly joys and the inadequacy of paganism (1828-55), dedicates his poem to Gower and Strode, asks the protection of the Trinity, and prays that we be worthy of Christ's mercy.