885 this blewe ryng: what are the traditional associations of blue, which make the offered present of a ring set with a blue gem especially meaningful here?
887 Save I myself: a sexual innuendo?
890 Ye haselwodes shaken!: scholarship has concluded that the meaning of this is now irretrievable on several levels – so what would you guess that Pandarus means? First, it is unclear whether Pandarus is saying ‘You are shaking hazel trees!’ or ‘Yes, hazel trees do shake!’ But it is also a puzzle what either would imply, other than to express exasperation and characterize Criseyde’s response as ineffective. Trees may be shaken to make the fruit drop (i.e. ‘You’re going nutting!’ – perhaps ‘You’re trifling’?). On the other hand, hazel trees move easily in the wind (i.e. ‘Yes indeed, hazel trees shake – amazing! – can you please try saying something a bit more to the point’?).
891-2 a stoon That myghte dede men alyve maken: Pandarus reminds Criseyde that she lacks one of the magic rings of romance, set with gems that can revive the dead – he is blackmailing Criseyde with the threat that Troilus will die unless she receives him at once in her bedroom in the middle of the night. What are the implications of allusions to popular romance in Troilus and Criseyde?
896 O tyme ilost, wel maistow corsen slouthe!: what have you noticed about allusions in T&C to time, failing to make use of time, and the perils of indolence in love?
901 feffe hym with a fewe wordes white: ‘endow him with a few fair words’. In which other contexts does Pandarus refer to his manipulation of language, and with what effect?
905 with his deth he wol his sorwes wreke: what other use is made in the narrative of Troilus’s supposedly imminent death because of love?
907 He wol to yow no jalous wordes speke: why does Pandarus have to anticipate this?
914 I wol myself be with yow al this nyght: in what sense does Pandarus keep this promise and what are the implications for your reading of the poem?
915 youre owen knyght: a medieval ‘knight’ in ancient Troy? What is the effect of references in T&C to medieval social practice?
919 so like a sooth at prime face: ‘so like a true thing at first sight’. What does this legalistically cautious observation suggest about Criseyde?
924 No wonder is, syn she did al for goode: this last line resolves Criseyde’s reported thought process – what is the effect of the syntax in this stanza, 918-24?
925-8 As wisly God at reste / My soule brynge … If that I hadde grace: do you see a larger strategy in the deployment of Christian prayers and allusions in the mouths of the characters?
933 Dulcarnoun called is ‘flemynge of wrecches’: Pandarus is picking up on Criseyde’s describing herself as being ‘at dulcarnoun’ (i.e. in a state of perplexity, as if confronted with Euclid’s geometrical proposition known by that Arabic name). But actually, Pandarus (or Chaucer?) here mistakenly confuses one Euclidean proposition with a quite different and challenging problem in geometry, known as ‘the banishment of wretched dunces’. How does Pandarus – despite his error of fact – exploit this allusion in order to flatter his niece?
944 That I honour may have, and he plesaunce: what does Criseyde understand by her honour, and where else, and in what ways does she refer to it?
951 For love of God! And Venus I the herye [I praise thee]: what is the role of the coexistence in the poem of references to Christian belief and the pagan gods, especially Venus?
952 soone hope I we shul ben alle merye: where else does Pandarus apparently identify his own happiness with the lovers’?
956 But Lord, so she wex sodeynliche red!: what is the incidence and significance of blushing in the poem?
962 Nece, se how this lord kan knele!: love causes a prince to kneel in supplication. How does the poem deal with the difference in rank between the lovers?
967, 971 Kan I naught seyn … But wel fynde I: the narrator’s sources record Criseyde’s kiss, but not her state of mind in keeping Troilus kneeling. How else and to what effect is information declared to be unavailable in the poem?
969-70 in the wise Of dewete, as for his observaunce: ‘in the way of due courtesy, as part of his respectful attentiveness [towards her]’. What is the significance of such etiquette, here or elsewhere in T&C?
976 Upon youre beddes syde al ther withinne: Pandarus refers to the space inside Criseyde’s curtained (i.e. ‘four-poster’) bed. This is one of various enclosed spaces described within Troy – what is their role in the poem?
978 he drow hym to the feere: ‘he withdrew to the fireplace’. A bedroom with a fireplace is one aspect of the distinctly well-appointed interiors in which the poem’s action takes place. Where else in T&C is this of significance?
979-80 fond his contenaunce … an old romaunce: ‘he assumed the appearance of glancing over an old romance’. What might be the implication of Pandarus’s looking at an old romance at this very point in the action? (Or at least, of his pretending to do so). Why an ‘old’ romance in particular, and what are the associations of the English word ‘romance’ in Chaucer’s day …?
983 Al thoughte she: ‘even if she thought’ (al here introducing a concessive clause with subject-verb order inverted – see also 3.998 below).
987 Thus to hym spak she of his jalousie: here begins Criseyde’s lengthy (nine-stanza) speech gently reproaching Troilus for his jealousy. How would you characterize the way in which she develops her argument, its style, diction, tone?
994 This drof me: only this last line of the stanza completes the sense of the single sentence which forms this stanza (3.988-94). The next two stanzas (995-1008) are formed of a single sentence. How does syntax here express Criseyde’s character?