Chaucer's Poetry

Love Versions: Revisiting Classic Sources in "The House of Fame" College

Allusions to ancient mythology are sprinkled within all genres of writing. Many authors have built upon the ideas of these well-known tales and adapted them into new crafts of literature. One such author if Geoffrey Chaucer. In nearly all his works, Chaucer weaves in aligning tales from famous mythology to accentuate his themes and further his point. Although these allusions to mythology can frequently be seen, significant changes are often added, sculpting the old tale into something new. Chaucer adapts many stories, changing elements and altering the original intent of the tale. While Chaucer does this to accentuate his themes, in some instances, Chaucer's meddling creates an entirely new reading of the old stories all together. One such story added and elaborated upon by Chaucer is the tale of Dido and Aeneas originating from Virgil’s Aeneid. Chaucer’s revision of the tale is found in his work “The House of Fame” from the book Love Visions; in this, Chaucer manipulates the story of Dido and Aeneas in order to warn audiences of the dangers of love and the fleeting desires of men. Chaucer changes the personality of Virgil’s characters, the conflict in the tale, and the overall theme of the narrative, consequently altering the...

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