|Abstract||This dissertation is a source and idea study which attempts to demonstrate the aesthetic and philosophical analogies in selected works of Dante and Chaucer. The comparisons herein presented have been organized by approaching the two medieval poets in the area of love, its theory and practice, as they conceive and present it. Chaucer's numerous textual borrowings from Dante in this area attest to his familiarity with the Italian poet's greatest work, the Divine Comedy. The tone of the context in which the borrowings are used also attests to the similarity of outlook which links his treatment of love to that of Dante. In spite of the differences in temperament which have been pointed out by many commentators, Dante and Chaucer demonstrate alike the courtly background which influences their concept of love, and both treat of the tension between human love, that of creature for creature, and divine love, that of creature for Creator. The first chapter attempts to present a synthesis of the medieval Italian outlook on love, with references to the origins, and development of this outlook. The aristocratic principle of hierarchy was applied to the practice of love and art, resulting in the group of poets who extolled the superior qualities of the gentle heart in the practice and understanding of love. Although Provencal sensuality provided a model for these Italian poets, the infusion of Franciscan and Neo-Platonic mysticism into the work or such poets as Guinicelli and Cavalcanti paved the way for Dante's apotheosis of Beatrice as the "highest that Nature can achieve," a link between man and God. In the second chapter Chaucer's most frequent borrowing from Dante, Francesca's assertion in the Inferno's fifth canto that "Amor . . . al cor gentil ratto s'apprende" is investigated with relation to the context in which Chaucer uses the line. A discussion of Francesca's place in the gentle-heart tradition, as well as the aesthetic impressiveness of the encounter between Dante and the two lovers, precedes the treatment of Chaucer's borrowings of the particular line. Chaucer's linguistic borrowings from Dante and those similarities in his outlook on love which indicate a Dantean influence ae exhibited in the Troilus and Criseyde are presented in the third and fourth chapters of this study. Various conventions concerning the presentation of love in literature which the two poets shared are first investigated, as wall as the special indebtedness to Dante which one discovers in the Proems and Hymns of Chaucer' B narrative. The particular conventions of the gentle heart in which both poets participated literarily are next listed, followed by a discussion of the peculiarly paradoxical relationship of love and sorrow which likewise characterizes both men's work. The possible influences of Dante upon Chaucer's portrayal of Pandarus conclude the third chapter. In the fourth chapter an attempt is made to relate Dante and Chaucer on a broader philosophical basis, to demonstrate the similarity of their total view of love. Chaucer's lovers, Troilus and Criseyde, are compared with Dante's lovers: himself and Beatrice, who attained salvation, and Francesca and Paolo, who are eternally damned. The attitude of both poets toward human, earthly love is similar, for both recognize that the true goal of the soul lies in God and not in an earthly love. Nonetheless, both poets depict the latter in all its beauty and pathos, even while recognizing and affirming the rightness of God's demands, that Love which expresses itself both in mercy and in justice.