The Character of Criseyde Viewed in Relation to Women from the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer

Publication Year



literature, women, gender, Chaucer, character development, heroines


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Gender and Sexuality | Women's Studies


The tradition of Chaucerian scholarship is a long and substantial one in which a great deal of study has been done concerning the characters created by Chaucer. Attracting a great amount of attention is the lovely heroine of Troilus and Criseyde. Criseyde has been a frequent topic of critical observation and it is in this psecific area of scholarship that this paper will follow. Each critic who has treated Crseyde has approached her with his own explanation of her weakness or her infidelity, often in relation to the medieval codes of Love, or the idea of Fate. The object of this paper will be a critical study of Criseyde as a character, in the light of other feminine characters whom Chaucer has created. Through an examination of these women one may achieve a clearer picture of Criseyde, and arrive at some conclusions regarding her actions and reactions to her circumstances.

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