Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida

by A. S. Kline, Geoffrey Chaucer

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Overview

A complete modernisation by A. S. Kline. Published with selected illustrations.

Troilus and Criseyde is a re-telling, in the Middle English vernacular, of the legendary tale of Troilus and Cressida, which is set during the Trojan War. Chaucer composed the poem in rime royale, probably in the 1380's and the finished and highly polished work is often considered his finest achievement. The narrative appears to have been based by Chaucer on the tale Il Filostrato in Boccaccio's Decameron, and though a tragedy in essence Chaucer introduced elements of humour, while drawing a sensitive portrait of Troilus as the deserted lover, and Criseyde as the unfortunate betrayer. Classed as a courtly romance, the poem helped to bring the Medieval Renaissance to English literature, with a subtle blend of classical story, medieval courtliness and English character depiction. The eloquent and cynical Pandarus who leads Criseyde astray (hence the obsolete term 'pandar' for a pimp or procurer), is a type that recurs in later literature, for example as the Shakespearean characters Iago in Othello and Iachimo in Cymbeline.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159115423
Publisher: Poetry in Translation
Publication date: 03/22/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer was born c1343 in London to a prosperous family of wine-merchants. Through his father’s connections, he began his official duties as page to the Countess of Ulster, the wife of Lionel, second son to the king, Edward III. Chaucer subsequently served as courtier, diplomat and civil servant while also establishing his poetic reputation. He appears to have travelled widely in Europe during his varied court career. He married Philippa de Roet, lady-in-waiting to the queen, and sister to Katherine Swynford, John of Gaunt’s third wife, and flourished under John of Gaunt’s patronage. His most prolific period of writing was during his time as comptroller of customs for the port of London, between 1374 and 1386, both Troilus and Criseyde, his finely constructed poem based on classical and Renaissance sources, and the early Canterbury Tales, his celebration of the English social landscape, dating from that time. Chaucer is thought to have died in October 1400, not long after the overthrow of his royal patron Richard II and the accession of Henry IV, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey, that being his right as a tenant of the Abbey Close, in what has become known as Poet’s Corner. His son Thomas had a significant career at the court of successive kings, and as Speaker of the House of Commons.

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