The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Tkacz, Catherine Brown. "Samson and Arcite in the Knight's Tale." 25 (1990): 127-37.
In the Knight's Tale Arcite promises Mars to cut his hair, and Arcite's vow recalls that of Samson. Chaucer borrows from that tradition and alters the material in the Teseida to create this parallel. Roman de la Rose, a homily in MS Harl.45, fol. 101b, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Kyng Alisaunder, the Fall of Princes, the Letter of Cupid, Valerius ad Ruffinum, Vox clamantis, Confessio amantis, and Somme le Roi all speak of Samson and Solomon as fools for love. Chaucer also borrows from a variant on this tradition that perceives Samson as a suicidal lover. Arcite's vow is the direct opposite of Samson's and draws attention to Arcite's self-betrayal.
Yeager, R. F. "'O Moral Gower': Chaucer's Dedication of Troilus and Criseyde." 19 (1984): 87-99.
Gower, best known for his works in Latin and French at the time Chaucer wrote Troilus and Criseyde, was Chaucer's poetic counterpart. Chaucer's reference to Gower, who had a reputation for focusing on morality in a broad sense, would help readers of Troilus and Criseyde to interpret the poem correctly. Gower's declamatory stance at the beginning of Vox clamantis and his opinion of worldly love parallels Troilus's stance in the eight sphere at the end of Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer's evocation of Gower suggests ways his audience might read the combination of pagan and Christian elements in Troilus and Criseyde.