1. b) Read the passage from Troilus and Criseyde [in the right column] and answer all three questions. (i) Translate the following lines into good modern English prose.
Of Troilus gan in hire herte shette
His worthynesse, his lust, his dedes wise,
His gentilesse, and how she with hym mette… (1-4)
ANS: ‘Criseyde too, in the very same manner, enclosed in her heart Troilus’s noble qualities, his vigor, his careful actions, his politeness, and how she met* him… ‘
God help me so, ye caused al this fare,
Trowe I,’ quod she, ‘for al youre wordes white.
O, whoso seeth yow knoweth yow ful lite.’
ANS: ‘“…God protect me for I know you brought about all these doings,” she said, “despite all your innocent words. Oh, whoever looks at you knows* you very little.”’
1. b) (ii) Explain the meaning and use of ‘Love’ (line 5) and ‘God’ (line 30).
l.5, Criseyde gives thanks to the God of Love here, imagining that her romance with Troilus has been ordained by a divine force. This reminds the reader of Troilus’s first sight of Criseyde in the temple of Pallas Athena in Book I, where the God of Love is described as being angered by Troilus’ mockery of lovers and repays him by striking him with love sickness. Although references to Love elsewhere in T&C seem less about a god than a simple personification of the emotion, for instance, when the narrator describes Love as having his dwelling within Criseyde’s eyes.
l.30, the narrator alludes to the exemplar of forgiveness – the Christian God – whom Jesus begged to forgive his murderers ‘for they know not what they do’. The narrator’s reference draws an implicit comparison between that magnanimous act and Criseyde’s forgiveness of Pandarus for tricking her. It is a proverbial phrase, which makes what might seem like a tasteless juxtaposition less forceful. However, the disparity between acts does raise the question of how generous Criseyde is really being when she always suspected Pandarus might have ulterior motives in inviting her to dinner.