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TroilusPaperFINAL - 14 December 2007 Professor B.G Harding...

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14 December 2007 Professor B.G. Harding ENG 3542-001 Pandare, Provider of Pleasure? Geoffrey Chaucer’s tale of Troilus and Criseyde is rich and complex as well as saturated with ambiguity in the functions of the narrator and the character of Pandare. The narrator serves the function of telling the story, but leaves the question of reliability to the reader. Pandare is an unreliable character functioning as an uncle, a teacher, a manipulator, and a voyeur within the text. Pandare is Criseyde’s uncle, but is also the facilitator and impetus to the relationship between Troilus and Criseyde. The Middle English Dictionary defines pandare as “a provider as pleasure” as well as “a personal name”(MED). Pandare provides Troilus and Criseyde with the pleasure of love, although it is transient, the narrator provides the reader with a story although the story does not last forever as well. The reader is left to question the narrator’s role with his confusing and misleading story telling, just as Pandare’s role as the facilitator of love. Pandare and the narrator both serve as manipulators of the story and are unreliable because both character’s motives can be left to questioning. Pandare is the impetus to the relationship of Troilus and Criseyde. He is responsible for bringing the two lovers together. Pandare first comes to Criseyde to tell her of Troilus’s devotion and love to her. In this scene we learn Criseyde’s own reverence and respect for her uncle. Criseyde claims that he is the only man whom she loves and trusts and wishes to hear what is on his mind, “But for the love of God I yow biseche, / As ye ben he that I love moost and triste, / Lat be to me youre fremde manere
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speche, / And sey to me, youre nece, what yow liste"(II, 246-249). The reader is thus privy to the relationship that Criseyde and Pandare share and understands that it is a trusting exchange between the two from the dialogue. Pandare then instructs Troilus how to properly communicate via letter writing to Criseyde. When Pandare tells Troilus how to write letters, he frames his response by saying that Troilus is wise enough to know how to write a letter, but then continues to explain to him exactly what he should do in order to be successful in his writing. Pandare says:
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TroilusPaperFINAL - 14 December 2007 Professor B.G Harding...

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