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Chaucer and the Poets

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Chaucer and the Poets

An Essay on Troilus and Criseyde

Winthrop Wetherbee

256 Pages | 15 x 22 inches
Paperback
ISBN: 9781501707230
Cornell University Press

In this sensitive reading of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Winthrop Wetherbee redefines the nature of Chaucer’s poetic vision. Using as a starting point Chaucer’s profound admiration for the achievement of Dante and the classical poets, Wetherbee sees the Troilus as much more than a courtly treatment of an event in ancient history—it is, he asserts, a major statement about the poetic tradition from which it emerges. Wetherbee demonstrates the evolution of the poet-narrator of the Troilus, who begins as a poet of romance, bound by the characters’ limited worldview, but who in the end becomes a poet capable of realizing the tragic and ultimately the spiritual implications of his story.

Reviews

"There is no doubt that this book is one of the most important works, not only on Troilus, but on Chaucer's poetry as a whole, to have appeared in recent years. Without putting forward elaborate theoretical propositions, without an excessive use of secondary material, without unnecessary jargon, Winthrop Wetherbee has written something with which all Chaucerians (and many medievalists) will have to reckon in the future."—Speculum

"This book takes a distinguished place in the controversy over Chaucer's reading of the classics and, more generally, over the nature of classical influence in later medieval poetry. Wetherbee argues convincingly that Chaucer knows several of the Latin classics—especially Vergil, Ovid, and Statius—directly, thoroughly, and in sufficient detail to make complicated, subtle allusions to their poetry."—Modern Language Quarterly

About the Author

Winthrop Wetherbee is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Cornell University.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Chaucer and the Poets is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.