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A Comparison of Chaucer and Shakespeare for Troilus and Cressida - Essay Example

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The essay “A Comparison of Chaucer and Shakespeare for “Troilus and Cressida” describes two literary works of great writers. The author compares the play “Troilus and Cressida” by William Shakespeare and the poem of the same name by Geoffrey Chaucer…
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A Comparison of Chaucer and Shakespeare for Troilus and Cressida
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Download file to see previous pages Dodd discusses how the development of the work was seen through Chaucer’s understanding of love and that it in no way intended to reflect the belief systems that were in place during the Trojan War. The work is centered in its time period and is a result of its position in time as it related to the culture of Chaucer. The opinion of the reader cannot be formed based on contemporary beliefs about love, but the couple, as they had the appropriate rank, were developed based on medieval courtly love ideas and thus are treated as ‘courtly lovers’ by Chaucer (Dodd129). An example of this adherence to ‘courtly love’ beliefs can be seen in the way in which Troilus acts towards Cressida. Dodd states “under the system of courtly love a knight, though absolutely fearless elsewhere, must tremble before his lady” (141). Chaucer writes “And Troilus may weep in care and cold/Such is the world for those who can behold/The way it goes; there’s little of heart’s rest/God grant we learn to take it for the best” (Chaucer 5.250). However, in the next verse, Chaucer writes “The knighthood and the prowess, do not doubt it/Of Troilus, this very gallant knight” (Chaucer 5.251). These two passages specifically reflect the belief systems of courtly love as it is put forth by Dodd. The nature of love as a tragic hold on the individual can be seen reflected in the way in which Troilus responds to seeing the broach that he had given to Cressida on the clothing of Diomede. Troilus says “Cast from your mind, I see I have no part/In you and yet ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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