The House of Fame, composed between 1374 and 1385, is one of Chaucer's most cryptic poems and commonly held to be unfinished, although the overall disposition of the poem is neatly structured in three books of altogether 2158 octosyllabic lines. Each book is introduced by a proem or an invocation.

The poem opens with a proem on dreams and the invocation to the god of sleep.

In Book I the narrator dreams of a Temple of Glass in which he sees episodes from the Aeneid especially the story of Aeneas and Dido painted on the wall. Then an eagle who will take the dreamer to the House of Fame.

In Book II the eagle takes the dreamer in the air and shows him the world from different angles and distances. During the flight the eagle instructs him on Fame's nature in philosophical and scientific reasoning.

Book III depicts the dreamer in the Palace of Fame where he meets famous classical poets and historians. After Fame's pompous arrival various groups present their pleas to her; some petitions are conceded, others are refuted in a very arbitrary way. The dreamer utters that he wants to hear new tidings of Love. In the end, there appears 'a man of gret auctorite ...' and the poem breaks off without telling the audience who this figure may be or whether the dreamer has found what he was looking for.

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The House of Fame