Changing emotions in Troilus
The crucial year
in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga is a perfect vehicle for tracing the history of emotions, in that it offers an unparalleled darkening of mood over time. This chapter refers to William Thynne's great Chaucerian opera omnia and specifically to his including Robert Henryson's Testament of Cresseid immediately after Troilus and Criseyde. Giovanni Boccaccio marks the turn from pre-articulate emotional excess to regulated literary expression. James Simpson describes how Renaissance England essentially reduced and simplified the rich multiplicity of medieval literary forms and registers. Geoffrey Chaucer recognizes the popular aspects of Boccaccio's ottava rima verse form because many of its tags, tropes and epithets derived from the street singers of cantare are shared by an equivalent English verse tradition: tail rhyme romance. There is a solid internal evidence of William Shakespeare's familiarity with the Testament, or with the Troilus-Testament complex.

Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare

Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida

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