Sarah's Reviews > Chaucer's Translation of Boethius's De Consolatione Philosophiæ

Chaucer's Translation of Boethius's De Consolatione Philosophiæ by Boethius
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bookshelves: english-lit, medieval-lit

Going into De Consolantione Philosophiae, I didn't know it was a translation. Thankfully, I wasn't misled for too long! Therefore, I can't really judge it truly as a work of Chaucer, but simply Boethius' lamentations told through the words graciously given to the reader by Chaucer.

I have to admit that as intriguing and as lengthy as this work is, I had a very hard time sticking to it and staying interested. While the discussion Boethius brings up is poignant and thought-provoking, maybe it's the Middle English translation that's got me falling asleep on it. However, looking that, I can see the pain and suffering of the author, who may or may not have committed a crime for which he would die a painful death. From this suffering comes a message about why God lets bad things happen to people. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't mean that Boethius whines and whines forever. I could compare this work to modern self-help books.... except better. There's quite a potent, spiritual message to be construed that is worth digging through Chaucer's flowery translation for.
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Reading Progress

March 16, 2016 – Started Reading
March 16, 2016 – Shelved
March 16, 2016 – Shelved as: english-lit
March 16, 2016 – Shelved as: medieval-lit
March 20, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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RK-ïsme The kind of book that is at once enticing and off-putting. Nice review.


message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam There is a notable difference with Chaucer's version. Am I right in thinking he rendered it all into prose? In a more closely fitting form it is actually prose interspersed with poetry, so that may be where Chaucer's version lacks a little bit compared to other translations.


Sarah Well Sam, I haven't had any experience with any other version of this book but I think it is safe to say that Chaucer's version is different. It still reads as if it were his own work stylistically if that makes any sense. Like I said, at first I sort of thought it was Chaucer's work mistakenly, but quickly found out it is not.


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