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Troilus and Cressida; A Love Poem in Five…
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Troilus and Cressida; A Love Poem in Five Books

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 5 of 5
bookshelves: autumn-2013, classic, historical-fiction, published-1385, poetry, epic-proportions, war, radio-4x, lit-richer, troy, love, medieval5c-16c, ancient-history
Recommended for: Laura, Susanna
Read from October 18 to 21, 2013


Listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/...

BBC BLURB: Dramatisation of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde.

One of the great works of English literature, this powerful, compelling story explores love from its first tentative beginnings through to passionate sensuality and eventual tragic disillusionment. Lavinia Greenlaw's new version for radio brings Chaucer's language up-to-date for a modern audience while remaining true to his original poetic intention.

After seeing the beautiful widow Criseyde at the temple in Troy, Troilus falls instantly in love with her. Inexperienced in love, he is unable to act on his feelings and locks himself in his room to compose love songs. Pandarus, worried for his friend, eventually persuades Troilus to tell him why he is so miserable and is delighted to hear that the cause is Troilus' love for his niece Criseyde.

Worried about her reputation, Criseyde is at first reluctant to enter into a relationship with Troilus. After much cajoling and manipulation, she reluctantly comes around to the idea. Pandarus is frustrated that the relationship is moving too slowly and engineers a complex plan to get Criseyde and Troilus in bed together.

Troilus ...... Tom Ferguson
Criseyde ...... Maxine Peake
Pandarus ...... Malcolm Raeburn
Servant/Friend ...... Kathryn Hunt
Calchas/Servant ...... Kevin Doyle
Priam/Servant ...... Terence Mann
Hector/Diomede ...... Declan Wilson

With music composed by Gary Yershon and performed by Ehsan Emam, Tim
Williams and Mike Dale.

1. Criseyde is a young widow, so her uncle Pandarus introduces her to Trojan hero Troilus.

2. Troilus and Criseyde are in love, but she's about to be handed over to the Greeks.

Directed by Susan Roberts. ( )
  mimal | Jan 1, 2014 |
Spoiler: You will hate Troilus--will truly, irrevocably HATE the man.

But don't let that stop you from reading this! As always, Chaucer shows his genius with language and plot in this work while again satirizing courtly love. I suggest reading this in a class or with another person, as there are so many little quips and comments to pick up on (I read this in a Chaucer class and was blown away). ( )
  hanbridturner | Sep 25, 2013 |
Yes, another reread of this text, my third this semester. I don't think I'm going to want to read it for a long time after this, lovely as it is. I just can't seem to get to grips with it well enough to do my essay, so I just marathoned it, alongside Shakespeare and Dryden's versions.

I read mostly for Criseyde/Cressida's character, this time. I don't know quite what to make of it, actually: she is so virtuous, and we see her in so much detail for the first part of the story, but then we see her betrayal only from Troilus' point of view -- when it seemed to me that she was the one who risked most for their love, and who was ready to put more into it. Maybe I'm too coloured by Shakespeare and Dryden, though.

(The actual edition I used was the Norton one, so my original comments on that still stand.) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
As with Shakespeare's version of this story, Chaucer deserves rereading, particularly if you're planning to write a 4,000 word paper on his version of Troilus and Criseyde. I've said pretty much all of what I want to say about his plot and characters in my original review, not so long ago, but it is interesting to read this again in light of having read Henryson and Shakespeare's work -- and in a different edition.

Barry Windeatt is, I gather, a pretty important scholar in this particular field. His notes are good and there's a lot of background information, but I prefer the Norton edition because it has the glosses printed alongside rather than beneath the poetry, making it a lot easier to peruse at a glance. The way it's printed here makes it quite difficult for the text to flow unless you're only going to need to look up a word or two here and there. (I'm immersed in Middle English at the moment and I still need the glosses for some words, so for a casual reader, that'd probably be a deal breaker...) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Modern English verse translation.
  clairabella09 | Aug 26, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geoffrey Chaucerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coghill, NevillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krapp, George PhilipModernizersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The double sorwe of Troylus to tellen,
That was how the Kyng Priamus sone of Troye
(In lovynge how his adventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of joye)
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
INTRODUCTION [to the Maldwyn Mills edition]
----
 
Troilus and Criseyde is Chaucer's greatest and most complex poems, and remained the most popular and influential single work of his from the time of its writing (c. 1385--6) until the first part of the eighteenth century, when it was overtaken by certain of the Canterbury Tales.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140442391, Paperback)

Set against the epic backdrop of the battle of Troy, Troilus and Criseyde is an evocative story of love and loss. When Troilus, the son of Priam, falls in love with the beautiful Criseyde, he is able to win her heart with the help of his cunning uncle Pandarus, and the lovers experience a brief period of bliss together. But the pair are soon forced apart by the inexorable tide of war and - despite their oath to remain faithful - Troilus is ultimately betrayed. Regarded by many as the greatest love poem of the Middle Ages, Troilus and Criseyde skilfully combines elements of comedy and tragedy to form an exquisite meditation on the fragility of romantic love, and the fallibility of humanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:51 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

"The tragedy of Troilus and Criseyde is one of the greatest narrative poems in English literature. Set during the siege of Troy, it tells how the young knight Troilus, son of King Priam, falls in love with Criseyde, a beautiful widow. Brought together by Criseyde's uncle, Pandarus, the lovers are then forced apart by the events of war, which test their oaths of fidelity and trust to the limits. The first work in English to depict human passion with such sympathy and understanding, Troilus and Criseyde is Chaucer's supreme evocation of the joy and grief inherent in love." "In his critical introduction to this original-spelling edition, Barry Windeatt discusses the traditions, sources and interpretations of Troilus and Criseyde. The poem is provided with on-page glosses, scholarly notes and full glossary, and an essay exploring metre and versification."--Back cover.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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