The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Laird, Edgar S. "Astrology and Irony in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars." 6 (1972): 229-31.
In the astrological progress of Venus, Venus and Mercury arrive in "sextile" (230) aspect in a way commonly described as "pryvy and secret loving" (229). This aspect suggests that Venus becomes Mercury's mistress, and it includes betrayal as one of the pains of love.
Parr, Johnstone, and Nancy Ann Holtz. "The Astronomy-Astrology in Chaucer's The Complaint of Mars." 15 (1981): 255-66.
The positions of the planets during Chaucer's time can now be accurately calculated, and Chaucer's references to the planets show precisely the year in which the "Complaint of Mars" is set. Readers cannot use this knowledge to date the poem precisely, however, because Chaucer had the knowledge to predict such planetary movement.
Stokes, Myra. "The Moon in Leo in Book V of Troilus and Criseyde." 17 (1982): 116-29.
Chaucer adds descriptions of the moon and stars to suggest the slowness of the earthly progression of Troilus and Criseyde's love. He carefully connects Criseyde's breach of faith with the moon's departure from Leo, the sign of the lion previously associated with Troilus. The association of the lovers with planetary motion implies that it follows a similar, inevitable process. Criseyde's association with the planets has a dual significance: Troilus sees her as a guiding star though she is most like the moon. Chaucer follows a similar pattern in his "Complaint of Mars" which, like Troilus and Criseyde, presents loving and losing as necessary. In an appendix, Stokes discusses reasons why the eighth sphere to which Troilus ascends must be the Primum Mobile.