This essay analyzes the final stanzas of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde in order to challenge the critical commonplace that the poem’s ending is fraught, fragmented, unsatisfactory, or ultimately inconclusive. It questions the traditional view that the ending is a conspicuous departure from the poetic mode of the earlier poem, as well as the view that the final stanzas are dominated by an ideological struggle between earthly and divine love. Through a close reading of the final five stanzas of the poem—and with particular attention to their echoes throughout the larger work— the essay seeks to elucidate how Chaucer’s poetics of desire continue to resonate throughout the poem’s close. The result, the essay contends, is an ending of celebration, circumspection, and profound imagination that strives for love both earthly and divine.


Volume 2 of the digital version of the Journal of Undergraduate Research corresponds to Volume 4 of the physical version. When citing an article please denote Volume 4 as recommended in the Recommended Citation.

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