Selected Papers from the IAUPE Malta Conference in 2010
Chaucer, His Boethius, and the Narrator of His Troilus: Harold Kaylor
Chaucer, His Boethius, and the Narrator of His Troilus Harold Kaylor Troy State University, Alabama Gret necessite of prowesse and virtu is enc- harged and comaunded to yow, yif ye not dissi- mulen; syn that ye worken and do [...] beforn the eyen of the judge that seeth and demeth alle thinges. (Boece, V.p6.305-10)1 Introduction Chaucer produced his translation of Boethius’s Consolatio about 1380, and he wrote the Troilus between about 1382 and 1386. That many verbal and thematic affinities exist between Chaucer’s Boece and his Troilus is unquestioned.2 How- ever, some of the larger, structural influences of the Boece upon the Troilus also are worthy of attention. Chaucer certainly employed features of the cosmological model found in the Consolatio in his Trojan romance, and he undoubtedly drew upon experiences and insights gained while translating Boethius’s Latin work into English as he constructed the Troilus. With such structural Boethian influence in mind, readers of the Troilus observe a fictional translator working within the universe, or the narrative space and time, of Chaucer’s romance, even as that translator himself observes and comments upon events that unfold within the universe of a Latin history, written sometime earlier by a fictional historian, Lollius. The Troilus also is a romance in which the readers outside the work and the translator within it participate in semi-authorial foreknowledge of the events that occur in Lollius’s history that is contained within the romance. 1 The Riverside Chaucer. Ed. Larry D. Benson. 3rd ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin,...
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