The Representation of the Love Triangle in Chaucer

The Representation of the Love Triangle in The Book of Duchess, The House of Fame and The Parliament of Fowls. The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame and The Parliament of Fowls are the first three major works of the poet, Chaucer. Each of these poems is seemingly related to love. One view that reveals itself throughout the three poems is the human ability or inability to balance love on three levels, configured in a triangle as the love of God, man or woman, and country. Romantic or courtly love seems to be a downfall of the triangle for many of Chaucers characters, for example, the man in black in The Book of Duchess and the aristocratic birds in the Parliament of Fowls. Chaucer seems quite aware of the problems associated with courtly love, which may be why he pinpoints romantic love as the specific subject of his poems. Ironically, Chaucer does not claim to know of romantic love from experience, yet he is well learned and cultured in the subject, most likely because of reading the works of Ovid and the Bible. Possibly, Chaucer is trying to alert his audience to the dangers of passionate love, which is very attractive, but also destructive and places its participants at odds with fate and society when it becomes the main focus or obsession. Christian views of sexual love, is seen as selfish and distracts from the love of the individual soul for God. However, courtly love is viewed as an aristocratic behavior that is elegant and graceful, glamorizing the basic needs of reproduction. The act of courtly love is for the lover to plead for the womens mercy and grace. The women is put upon a pedestal and treated as a goddess until she decides to grant him mercy, which leads to a sexual relationship. Nature has well designed the body to reproduce and want to reproduce, and we as humans have made this desire and natural process into a contest of who will win the best love. The best love is really about having se…

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