Geoffrey Chaucer

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Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote ‘The Canterbury Tales’ between 1387 and 1400.

Thirty pilgrims travelling to Canterbury who kill time by telling stories

Also wrote other stuff such as Troilus and Criseyde, The book of the Duchess and The Parliament of Fowls

Troilus and Criseyde

Criseyde, the daughter of the seer Calchas, lives alone in Troy after her father abandons the Trojans to help the Greeks. Eventually she catches the eye of Troilus, a man who had previously scoffed at love, and becomes the object of his overwhelming desire. With the help of Criseyde’s uncle Pandarus he wins her love but soon loses it when the Greeks and the Trojans conduct an exchange of prisoners. Calchas, who knows of Troy’s imminent destruction, persuades the Greeks to exchange Antenor for his daughter and thus saves her from the doomed city. Criseyde promises Troilus that she’ll return to him after ten days but once she’s back in the care of her father she realizes the impossibility of her promise. Resigned to her fate, Criseyde yields to the flirtations of Diomedes, and her love for Troilus fades. When Deiphobus wins the armor of Diomedes, Troilus discovers a brooch he gave Criseyde upon her departure pinned to it. Heartbroken, he tries to find Diomedes and take his revenge during battle but after slaying many is in his turn killed by Achilles. As his spirit goes to heaven he reflects on the absurdity of all life itself.

The poem begins with a sleepless poet who lies in bed reading a book. The poet reads a story about Ceyx and Alcyone and wanders around in his thoughts. Suddenly the poet falls asleep and dreams a wonderful story. He dreams that he wakes up in a beautiful chamber by the sound of hunters and hunting dogs. The poet follows a small hunting dog into the forest and finds a knight dressed in black who mourns about losing a game of chess. The poet asks the knight some questions and realizes at the end of the poem that the knight was talking symbolically...