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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.

leaders conclude that battles will be determined by their own single combat; avowed enemies become sworn brothers because they each kept their word. 2 Shuger's formulation explains why descriptions of events in Ireland in Henry Sidney's Memoirs sometimes read like passages out of Malory's Knights of King Arthur. The early modern chivalric code, largely an honour code, bound both Irish and English military servitors, like ‘Black

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code

was pockmarked from a childhood illness and paints him as ‘hot-tempered’ and ‘arrogant’ (xii). Alan Stewart tells us that Sidney's reputation as ‘England's hero, its shepherd-knight, its greatest courtier poet’ was dreamed up by Leicester, ‘a master-propagandist’, who was interested in excusing his own shortcomings as a military commander (7). 24 According to Stewart, Elizabeth ‘belittled’ Sidney, forcing

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
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. The Shepheardes Calender not only treats Edmund Grindal sympathetically, but also attacks John Aylmer (Elmer, Elmore as Morrill), then Bishop of London. We know that Spenser's next patron was Arthur, Lord Grey of Wilton, a military man who had previously acted as the patron of George Gascoigne, but we do not know when their relationship began. In this study of the early Spenser, the text of Familiar Letters is used to suggest that

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
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Lettice, Countess of Essex. In this vexed political context, the Privy Council started considering experienced military commanders as lord deputies of Ireland. In terms of immediate policy, Elizabeth's French alliance offered a means of countering Spanish aggression, enhancing the prestige of England's queen by the alliance, and, perhaps, underlining Leicester's political unimportance. The Spanish ambassador Mendoza, who seems to have been

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

. After receiving his B.A. from King's College, he was granted the fellowship at Pembroke in 1570; he credited Sir Thomas Smith, a neighbour, perhaps even a kinsman, with assistance in gaining this appointment. 17 In the marginalia to his Livy that can be dated in 1570 or early 1571 Harvey reports witnessing a fascinating debate on Elizabethan military strategy deriving from Livy's ‘Marcellus’ and

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

(1578). 32 Harvey, somewhat quixotically, urges Oxford, who had published poetry, to devote himself to military service in a passage used by Oxfordians to support his authorship of Shakespeare's plays. 33 Duncan-Jones, Life , 156. Harvey, Works

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Heads or tales?

mimetic complicity between an age’s political occupations and its intellectual preoccupations seems determined to validate itself. In any case, that presumption, by and large, has governed recent approaches to early modern theatrical warfare: an impressive array of contemporary cultural documents on military subjects has been mustered, then pressed into the service of textual explication. The orientation

in French origins of English tragedy

submissive love. This was not only a way of exerting her control over a large number of active and ambitious men who depended on the crown for employment; it was also a useful element of foreign policy. She supported privateers, not armies. The Armada victory was her major military triumph, and she made the most of it. But she was resolved to keep England out of the European power struggles, and

in Spectacular Performances
The heroic lives and afterlives of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

measure of swagger in these years in the theatrics which were often used to quell the appetite for military combat at Elizabeth’s court. In 1586 he first participated at the age of twenty-one in the Accession Day tilts and, in 1592, we learn that Uppon the coronation day at nyght ther cam two Knightes armed vpp into the pryvy

in Essex