Tragic Argument of Troilus and Criseyde

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Jenni Nuttall includes Dr. Morgan as one of the four greatest names in the scholarship of England's greatest love poem, Troilus and Criseyde.
This book is an argument about the argument of the poem Troilus and Criseyde. The author makes no claim to provide a summary of the extensive critical work that has accumulated around Troilus and Criseyde but sets out to demonstrate that Chaucer’s poem is single, self-consistent, and coherent throughout. In consequence Troilus and Criseyde can once again be considered as Chaucer’s finished masterpiece in which profundity of thought is matched by clarity of form and eloquence of style.


“The author’s study of Troilus and Criseyde is a remarkable achievement. It must rank as one of the most thorough and detailed monographs on the poem ever attempted. The book is encyclopaedic, and yet, at the same time, it manages successfully to develop and sustain an argument about Chaucer’s poem. The book is well grounded in medieval thought, medieval literature, and, most importantly, in Middle English language. It is an indication of the nature of the scholarship that has gone into this book that the most frequently cited reference is the Middle English Dictionary. This is used expertly to draw out the nuances of Chaucer’s language, to debate interpretations, and to guard against any too fanciful readings of Chaucer’s intentions ... The book is concerned above all to demonstrate that Troilus and Criseyde develops an argument that reflects medieval theological, philosophical, and ethical ideas ... The thoroughness of this book’s scholarship is the foundation for its argument.” – (from the Preface) Dr. William Marx, University of Wales

“This work is an immensely erudite and sensitive reading of Chaucer’s greatest poem. Despite the complexities of the discussion, Dr. Morgan manages to maintain a liveliness and accessibility to his prose that makes his book a pleasure to read ... He is exceptionally detailed in his analysis, balanced in his approach, and sure-footed in his evaluation of the poem’s meaning, nuances, and places in Chaucer’s oeuvre. Always astute, always empathetic to the needs of the reader, Dr. Morgan delivers a tour-de-force of literary criticism in this book, and his work deserves a wide audience.” – Professor Elaine Treharne, University of Leicester

“An impressive and significant work, it expounds the poem with particular references to its contemporary philosophical, poetic and linguistic context. Substantial cross-reference is therefore made not only to the work’s immediate source (Boccaccio’s Filostrato), but extensively to Aquinas and Dante, and to a less degree Chaucer’s own other works ... Dr. Morgan’s formidable knowledge ... makes the book both unique and important as a study of Troilus, and it deserves a wide and attentive readership among Chaucerians ... ” – Professor Helen Cooper, University of Cambridge

"Presents a new interpretation of [Troilus and Crisyde]." - Medium Ævum

Table of Contents

Preface by Dr. William Marx
Volume I:
1. The Philosophy of Love
2. Love in the Soul of Troilus
3. Troilus and the Malady of Love
4. The Characterisation of Criseyde
5. The Go-Between
6. The Consummation of Love
7. Fortune and Free Will
Bibliography of Works Cited

Other Literature - Chaucer Books