The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Astell, Ann W. "Orpheus, Eurydice, and the 'Double Sorwe' of Chaucer's Troilus." 23 (1989): 283-99.
The phrase "double sorwe" (I.1) is a key to understanding Troilus and Criseyde. The poem is split into two parts and parallels the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, though Boethian philosophy undergirds the poem. As in the treatment of the Orpheus and Eurydice story by Bernardus, Troilus's love for Criseyde is connected to a desire to know God, which Troilus reveals in the "Canticus Troili." Troilus must, however, continually struggle with the problem of loving in a fallen world. This conflict appears most clearly in the despair that both Troilus and Criseyde experience once Criseyde is chosen to be traded for Antenor. In the end readers recognize the "tension between philosophy and poetry, moralitee and myth" (296). Troilus's love for Criseyde transforms him, finally leading him to seek the divine.