Kai Wiegandt
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‘Expectation whirls me round’
Hope, fear and time in Troilus and Cressida
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Hope and fear are the emotions that are lending themselves most easily to a metadramatic reading of Troilus and Cressida because they highlight the fact that the play draws on a well-known story. This chapter argues that, by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, William Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It discusses the relationship between hope, fear and future as exhibited by the play. The play thus manages to pursue an aesthetic double strategy of movere and of initiating a conscious discourse on historicity. The chapter explores how Shakespeare uses this relation in an aesthetic strategy that seeks to unhinge the idea that a play is incapable of transcending a point of view defined by its historical situation. Literary works such as Ovid's Metamorphoses or Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde provide models for emotions such as hope and fear.

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Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare

Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida


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