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Chaucer's Criseyde and Shakespeare's Cressida - Essay Example

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Instructor Date Chaucer's Criseyde and Shakespeare's Cressida The story of Troilus and Criseyde or Troilus and Cressida are stories of the main characters of two different versions written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1358 and by William Shakespeare in 1600s respectively…
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Chaucers Criseyde and Shakespeares Cressida
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Download file to see previous pages The story is about a female who is the main character of both the works of the two authors. In the Chaucer’s story, the character is referred to as Criseyde while in Shakespeare’s play; she is referred to as Cressida. The main difference between Criseyde and Cressida is their characters. The two authors used different tones in their work presenting their characters. Therefore, Criseyde slightly differs from Cressida depending on the authors’ presentation. According to Cope (11) the tone in the two pieces of work gives the readers different view of the character, Criseyde by Chaucer or Cressida by Shakespeare. Throughout the play by Shakespeare, the tone lurch widely between the vulgar comedy and the awful gloom. This tone makes it hard for the readers to understand or respond to the characters. The main tone in both the works is comic or sad. This is because in both, the main character ends up to be a loser. Chaucer describes Criseyde as a fearful character who is easy to manipulate while Shakespeare creates a more confident woman who somehow reflects the Boccaccio’s original character. This difference presents two different characters with different traits acting in the same role or position reflecting on the authors’ point of view. ...
On the other hand, Shakespeare presents Cressida as a more confident character. Both authors mainly wrote their works depending on their beliefs, the ages in which they lived and the depending on how women were considered in their periods. Both writers, Shakespeare and Chaucer have adjusted their character of Cressida and Criseyde according to their own ideas of the story and their plans in developing the major problem. The major problem was the contradiction between love convections that presented the woman as a major figure and social reality where she is a totally minor being to be used, manipulated and be taught obedience (Shakespeare 450). Therefore, the presentations of the information between the two writers differ depending on their nature and strength. They also wrote according to their understanding about women towards men. This is illustrated as they describe how Criseyde or Cressida related to the men, Troilus and Pandarus.  The presentation of the female main character mainly depends on the periods the authors lived in and how the women were considered to be. For instance, Chaucer lived in medieval times when women were considered as fearful being that are easily manipulated. On the other hand, Shakespeare lived about 300 years after Chaucer when changes had occurred making him to present Cressida as a self-confident character. In Chaucer’s story, the woman is forced to cope with the situation of events even though they might be against her will and accepts her fate as a woman while Shakespeare created woman who is adapted to his time which is totally different from Chaucer’s period. In general, the stories show that both women are bound to their society. For instance, Criseyde ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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