Journal article

Repetition and Revision in Shakespeare's Tragic Love Plays

David McInnis

PARERGON | AUSTRALIAN NZ ASSOC MEDIEVAL EARLY MODERN STUDIES | Published : 2008

Abstract

Shakespeare's cynical handling of tragic love in Troilus and Cressida (1602) has confounded critics, given the tenderness of its precursor - Chaucer's medieval romance. However, six years before Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare had already experimented with tragic love (Romeo and Juliet, 1596). Significantly, Shakespeare used precisely the same source for this earlier experiment (Ann Thompson has identified Chaucer as a subsidiary source for Romeo and Juliet). Analyzing instances in Troilus and Cressida in which Shakespeare recycled and revised those motifs from Chaucer which he had already used in Romeo and Juliet helps ascertain whether previous uses of Chaucerian material affected Shakes..

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University of Melbourne Researchers