Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Chauncey Wood




Chapter One is devoted to a survey of critical approaches to imagery, particularly as they apply to medieval literature. The primary focus centres on the exegetical tradition, and the work done by Robertson, Kaske and Huppé. The importance of this school is illustrated first through selections from general works on Chaucer by Beryl Rowland and Chauncey Wood, and then through articles by Van and Barney based specifically on Troilus and Criseyde.

Chapters Two, Three, and Four are based on an examination of three different images in Troilus and Criseyde. Nautical imagery is approached by means of a study of the traditional symbolic values attached to the various components of this category -- the sea, ships, voyages, and stars. Chapter Three investigates the classical and contemporary elements of bird imagery and the way in which this enhances the meaning of the poem. Chapter Four is concerned with Chaucer's use of fire imagery in the poem, primarily as an image of concupiscence. The thesis as a whole is designed to improve our understanding of Troilus and Criseyde through an examination of Chaucer's approach to imagery, and to re-emphasize the importance of an understanding of the poem drawn from contemporary medieval interpretations of symbolic elements.

McMaster University Library

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