This article examines Chaucer’s response to Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy in Troilus and Criseyde. I argue that Chaucer responds to a tension that he perceives in Boethius’s Consolation regarding the relationship between this world and the divine, in particular the value to be placed on romantic love. This tension is at the heart of the most recent critical discussion of Boethius’s text. I consider the morally improving qualities of romantic love and suggest that Chaucer envisages a version of romantic love that is a bridge between this world and the divine, rather than a divide.
Simone Fryer-Bovair completed her PhD, ‘Handling Virtue: Chaucer’s Narrative Art’, at the University of Bristol. She is currently raising her young children when not reading and thinking about Chaucer.