The Gladiatorial Combat of auctores in Chaucer's House of Fame.
Dependence on literary tradition established by the textual legacy of prestigious Latin authors characterized the period of the composition of the House of Fame, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's early works. Authoritative Latin writers "auctores "provided the works of medieval writers with invaluable truths', which contributed to the credibility of medieval texts, though robbing them of certain amount of originality. However, in authorizing their works by utilizing the material produced by auctores, medieval writers faced a dilemma "they discovered that the authoritative literary material that comprised the invaluable truths was often contradictory, confusing and inaccurate, as reflected in Book III of the House of Fame: "Oon seyde Omere made lyes, feynynge in hys poetries- (ll. 1477-78). Consequently, the credibility of the truths and the credibility of those who uttered them were questioned by those aware of the problem. The House of Fame reveals Chaucer's awareness of the problem. Chaucer's revision of the Aeneas and Dido episode depicted in Book I of the House of Fame represents a product of the divergent and conflicting literary traditions established by two authoritative giants of the Middle Ages, Virgil and Ovid. This revision, built on carefully selected conflicting poetical/historical truths of both auctores, produces a new Aeneas, simultaneously Virgilian and Ovidian. Aeneas of the House of Fame, I shall argue, possesses three distinguished faces: that of a hero, a traitor, and a victim of heterosexual desire.
Chaucer places his rendering of the Aeneas and Dido episode within a dream-vision. The choice of the form of a dream-vision often brings a number of advantages for the writer. A dream-vision allows the author to examine questions that cannot be considered by reason alone and that may require a visionary assistance or an epiphany.