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Troilus and Criseyde

From Academic Kids

Troilus and Criseyde is Geoffrey Chaucer's poem in rhyme royal re-telling the tragic love story of Troilus, a Trojan prince, and Criseyde. Many Chaucer scholars regard this as his best work, even including the better known but incomplete Canterbury Tales. The comparisons are not really fair as they are very different styles: Troilus and Criseyde is a single, coherent story, whereas The Canterbury Tales is a story cycle containing many different sections with different styles representing a range of narrators.

It can be argued that Troilus and Criseyde is an example of a courtly romance, and although it does contain many common features of the genre, generic classification is an area of significant debate in most Middle English literature.

Although mentioned in Homer the story of Troilus and Criseyde was first written by Benoît de Sainte-Maure in his poem, Roman de Troie, Boccaccio re-wrote the story in his Il Filostrato which in turn was Chaucer's main source.

The poem was continued by Robert Henryson in his Testament of Cresseid.

Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida was based in part on Chaucer's poem.

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