Chaucer's Boece is a close translation of the De Consolatione Philosphiae written by the Latin author Boethius c.523, while he was imprisoned awaiting his death. The work was frequently translated into the vernaculars, among others at the court of King Alfred into Old English and by Jean de Meun into French. The text was highly regarded and often commented upon during the Middle Ages because of its philosophical neoplatonic and ethical impact.
The work offers a regular alternation of prose and verse sections and is classified as a Menippean Satire. It consists of a dialogue between the narrator and Lady Philosophy. Because of its autobiographical allusions the narrator is very often identified with Boethius, the author, though he evidently manipulated his self-representation for literary effects. During their conversation Lady Philosophy succeeds in giving comfort to the imprisoned Boethius by logically distinguishing between various forms of goods, such as the partial, contingent and apparent goods, which are sharply contrasted to the 'one true good', a concept very similar to the Christian God.
Boethian influence can be found nearly everywhere in Chaucer's poetry, e.g. in Troilus and Criseyde, The Knight's Tale, The Clerk's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, The Parson's Tale and The Tale of Melibee, in the character of Lady Nature in The Parliament of Fowls and some of the shorter poems, such as Truth, The Former Age and Lak of Stedfastnesse.