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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Temporal Distance Throughout Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

According to Morton W. Bloomfield, “The aspect of temporal distance is one most constantly emphasized throughout the poem” Troilus and Criseyde. In his essay “Distance and Predestination in Troilus and Criseyde,” Bloomfield observes the voluntary distance that Chaucer uses to separate himself and his medieval audience from the characters that he has created. Through this observation readers are able to better understand the differences between the time period in which Chaucer lived and the time period in which he placed his characters. Although there is a predominant sense of distance that separates the characters from Chaucer and his medieval audience, Bloomfield does not discuss how this affects present day readers of the text or how this distance continues to expand as a result of changes that have occurred throughout time. Comparing the modern perceptions of religion and familial relationships through suicidal context introduces modern readers of the epic story of Troilus and Criseyde to the temporal distance that separates their understanding of the text from the understanding that would have been expected of a medieval audience.

Presenter: Chelsea McOmber (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 11:30 am (Session II)