Geoffrey Chaucer specifies that his Troilus and Criseyde is a "tragedye" (V.1786). He avoided rewriting Dante's Commedia (later designated The Divine Comedy), giving us instead a human tragedy, which he based on the plot of Boccaccio's Il Filostrato and on the structure and imagery of the Dantean masterpiece. As Winthrop Weatherbee points out, "Chaucer has appropriated the resources of the greatest Christian poet [Dante] to show us through Troilus' experience what love is in itself, as well as what, being merely human, it cannot be . . . " (145). By contrasting Troilus' story with that of Dante's Pilgrim in the Commedia, Chaucer questions the condemnation of sexual love within a Christian universe.
© 1995 by the Board of Student Publications, University of Northern Iowa
"Dantean Allusions in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde,"
Draftings In: Vol. 8:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/draftings/vol8/iss1/3