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Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida

For the last three decades or so, literary studies, especially those dealing with premodern texts, have been dominated by the New Historicist paradigm. This book is a collection of essays explores medieval and early modern Troilus-texts from Chaucer to Shakespeare. The contributions show how medieval and early modern fictions of Troy use love and other emotions as a means of approaching the problem of tradition. The book argues that by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It is a spectacle of which tells something about the play but also about the relation between anticipatory emotion and temporality. The sense of multiple literary futures is shaped by Shakespeare's Chaucer, and in particular by Troilus and Criseyde. The book argues that the play's attempted violence upon a prototypical form of historical time is in part an attack on the literary narratives. Criseyde's beauty is described many times. The characters' predilection for sententiousness unfolds gradually. Through Criseyde, Chaucer's Poet displaces authorial humility as arrogance. The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The poem appears to be linking an awareness of history and its continuing influence and impact on the present to hermeneutical acts conspicuously gendered female. The main late medieval Troy tradition does two things: it represents ferocious military combat, and also practises ferocious literary combat against other, competing traditions of Troy.

The crown, persuasion and lordship

own. The complexities and political dilemmas which arose from this close connection become abundantly clear from the narratives of justice that appear in contemporary histories and chronicles. Lords who are invited to make a decision between mercy and justice all too often are persuaded by sweet words and plump for the wrong option. Counsel can both support a judge in coming to the right decision and lead a king into disastrous judicial missteps. The ambivalent relationship, and sometimes uneasy accommodation, between

in Justice and mercy

master narratives of barbarian history. The question of particularity in reception raises a final issue. Studies of individual responses to Bede’s thought remain rare, those of responses to his historical writings even more so. 11 Having started the hares of reception, reinterpretation and reuse, my intention in the remainder of this paper is to pursue them through a limited landscape: the relationship

in Frankland
Laywomen in monastic spaces

4 Negotiated devotions and performed histories: laywomen in monastic spaces Introduction Male monastic spaces – although theoretically closed to women – formed another vibrant stage for female performance in Metz. In this chapter, I continue to investigate the relationships among performance, gender, history, and devotion through a study of two Messine monasteries and their roles in the religious observances of laywomen. During the fifteenth century, both the Celestine priory and the Benedictine community of St-Arnoul housed performances by and for Catherine

in Performing women
Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and literary defacement

tradition, are as follows: Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s French verse Roman de Troyes (c. 1160); 4 Guido delle Colonne’s Latin prose Historia destructionis Troiae (1287); 5 the English, alliterative verse Destruction of Troy, by John Clerk (1385–1400); 6 John Lydgate’s English verse Troy Book (1412–20); 7 and William Caxton’s English prose The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1473). 8 Shakespeare also, of

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Reading, space and intimacy in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

English literary history. This penchant for order and symmetry emphasizes what Allen J. Frantzen has identified as one of the text’s principal aesthetic devices, namely the ubiquitous occurrence of framing of all types and on all levels. 1 This holds especially true for the way in which the action is staged: frequently, we encounter enclosed spaces opening up onto other spaces which may themselves

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
The crucial year

The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga is a perfect vehicle for tracing the history of the emotions, in that it offers an unparalleled darkening of mood over time. This saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The conceit of the work, as laid out in its prose prologue, is that

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s refurbishment of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida occupies an intermediate position, first, in its belated appearance in the Folio between Henry VIII and Coriolanus : between ‘history’ and ‘tragedy’, and then in its title between two ‘tragedies’, Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra. This might suggest a number of generic reasons for

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Performing the politics of passion: Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida and the literary tradition of love and history

. On the one hand, the New Historicism’s insistence on a discursive synchronicity threatens to efface the extent to which texts themselves interrogate their own moment in history. After all, texts from the past may well be capable of seeing themselves as belonging to a textual tradition or a specifically intertextual dialogue that both bridges and questions the boundaries of a text’s specific moment in

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Hope, fear and time in Troilus and Cressida

fear play in the construction of an open future? Moreover, the play’s specific configuration of hope and fear appears to serve a metatheatrical reflection on the play’s status in (literary) history. Indeed, it seems that Shakespeare’s treatment of hope and fear can be understood as a strategy enabling him to break free from existing expectations about an early modern play which is a remake of both

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare