Paul Strohm
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The space of desire in Chaucer’s and Shakespeare’s Troy
in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Geoffrey Chaucer's and William Shakespeare's fictional Troys are shadowed and abetted by each poet's experience of London. Both imaginary Troys reduplicate London's public and, especially, private gardens. Shakespeare's city is similarly gossip-filled. Gossip is, in fact, the Trojans' favourite game. Troilus's stewe seems as a place of mounting and almost debilitating erotic excitement, functioning like one of Wilhelm Reich's twentieth-century orgone boxes to feed and stoke desire. Pandarus's 'gear' comprises his own connivance and also the crucial fittings of erotic encounter, bed and chamber: a fusion of place and purpose. The chamber promises to become a privileged erotic arena by fostering privacy even as it protects reputation but it turns out to be a highly permeable line of defence. The chamber is not just a place of solitude but, equally often, a putatively private social space.

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Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare

Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida


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