The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Zimbardo, Rose A. "Creator and Created: The Generic Perspective of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." 11 (1977): 283-98.
Troilus and Criseyde expresses Chaucer's concern with the inability of the artist to imitate the unknowable larger cosmos in which the author participates. When humans create ordered worlds, they imitate God, but the human creations are subject to mutability and so will collapse. The poet-narrator is a Pandarus-like figure, detached from experience in order to create a different reality. The epilogue forces readers to recognize that the created will always be more limited than the creator. The tragedy is that humans can never escape from mutability. Chaucer's attempt to see things from God's point of view results in only a partial vision. Inconstant Criseyde is associated with Nature's changes. Pandarus realizes that all the things Troilus thought were immutable do change and that those changes are integral parts of being human. Chaucer uses Troilus to depict the changes occasioned throughout life. The Muses Chaucer introduces at the beginning of some books are also indicative of the movement within the books and within Troilus's romance with Criseyde.