Arrogant authorial performances
Criseyde to Cressida
in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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This chapter traces the poetological and literary-historical dimension of arrogance in Geoffrey Chaucer's and William Shakespeare's treatments of the story of Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida. It situates arrogance within recent discussions of authorship, starting with Patrick Cheney's work on the deeply embedded bid to literary fame in Shakespeare's works, his counter-authorship. In Chaucer's Troilus, a poetics of arrogance emerges as the basis for alternative articulations of literary authorship, developed in the interplay between the Poet and 'his' Criseyde. Shakespeare's Troilus, however, inverts the Chaucerian conception of authorship: Cressidan humility is displaced as authorial arrogance. By Shakespeare's time, arrogant performances had become cornerstones of courtly self-presentation, associated with the Inns of Court where Troilus might have first been staged. The binary of medieval Trojans and Renaissance Greeks seem to organize the opposition of humble Trojan poets and supercilious Greek playwrights.

Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare

Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida


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