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Word Count: 2,484
Lady Fortune Friend or Foe The face of Fortune in Chaucers Troilus and Criseyde Lady Fortune and her wheel are two of the most enduring symbols in mankinds history Witness the popular game show Wheel of Fortune While it may seem silly it proves that something of this concept has stayed with in our psyche even today The question of fortune is paramount is Chaucers Troilus and Criseyde Chaucer gives the reader characters with completely conflicting ideas of Lady Fortune and her affect on their lives By examining Boethiuss Consolation of Philosophy the reader can hope to find an answer for these differing views on fortune Firstly Boethiuss influence on Chaucer and the persona of Fortune that he presents must be examined Once this is established as a benchmark the reader can fully understand the misconceptions Troilus has regarding fortune Troilus clings as Boethius does in his Consolation of Philosophy to the memory of his faithful service to Fortune Finally the character of Pandarus must be addressed He of all Chaucers chara cters has a firm grip on the reality of the Lady Fortune and her ever-changing nature In fact a close examination of the text of Troilus and Criseyde will show that Chaucer gives Pandarus a very similar role to that of Lady Philosophy in The Consolation of Philosophy Boethiuss Consolation of Philosophy Boethiuss work deals with the universal experience of suffering He finds himself imprisoned and under threat of execution As Boethius begins to expound his sorrows and blame fickle Fortune p 35 he finds himself comforted by none other than Lady Philosophy Their discussion is presented at length for the reader to pass judgment on The section particularly confronting Boethiuss misconceptions of Fortune and is of interest to this argument is found mainly in Book II Lady Philosophy points out to Boethius exactly what the root of his problem is at the beginning of this section You are wasting
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