Troilus and Criseyde

Chaucer's Use of "Tender" in Troilus and Criseyde

Chaucer is known for his talent at pushing his readers to step outside their preconceived notions regarding genre, characters, and themes. In addition to this, Chaucer uses words with double meanings to create ambiguity and depth throughout his works. Troilus and Criseyde is no different in this respect. Throughout Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer uses the word "tendre" several times, using its various meanings to make the reader question the intentions of the characters.

According to the Middle English Dictionary, the adjective form of "tendre" has seven different meanings in medieval texts. Chaucer employs all but two of those meanings in Troilus and Criseyde. The meanings that Chaucer employs are as follows: "Immature, young; unsophisticated, innocent, naÃve; also unblemished, spotless"; "Physically sensitive, esp. to pain; susceptible to injury, vulnerable;...easily injured, fragile"; "Of a plant, part of a plant: fresh, new-grown; not hardy, delicate"; "Physically weak; debilitated, enfeebled, morally week, unable to resist temptation; also impressionable"; "Sorrowful, heartfelt; piteous, painful, touching; (b) easily moved; of the heart: compassionate,...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1207 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9317 literature essays, 2417 sample college application essays, 417 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in