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Genre meshing in Chaucer and Shakespeare’s account of the legend of Troilus and Cressida
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 18:07 authored by Emma Hywel-Evans
This discussion aims to explore the links between the motivated manipulation of generic frameworks in legendary materials and how they can be utilised by authors to impart meaning. Chaucer and Shakespeare fashioned their own versions of the Trojan legend. This legend was critical to English history. Chaucer produced his popular poem Troilus and Criseyde, and centuries later Shakespeare wrote his play Troilus and Cressida. Though Chaucer and Shakespeare cover similar aspects of the legend, individually they both produced texts that were of problematical generic determination to their audiences and critics alike. Generic frameworks that are within individual texts can predispose the reader to knowledge connected with certain genre types. For instance, the medieval romance genre and tragedy genre both have certain familiar tropes and create expectations when poems or plays are classified as them. The adherence to, or defiance of, literary orthodoxies such as genre can also be an indication of how the authors thought of their own political and social circumstances. In order to further the discussion of the employment of genre or genres in the texts modern genre theory will be applied, as this theory allows for the inclusion of more than a singular genre in a single text.