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"Little Troilus ": Heroides 5 and Its Ovidian Contexts in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde

"Little Troilus ": Heroides 5 and Its Ovidian Contexts in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde ‘‘Little Troilus’’: Heroides  and Its Ovidian Contexts in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde by JamieC.Fumo HEN considering Chaucer’s debt to Ovid’s Heroides,itiscom- mon for our minds to fix upon that work promised by a Wsheepish Chaucer in the first lines of the narrative implosion that is the epilogue of Troilus and Criseyde: ‘‘And gladlier I wol write, yif yow leste, / Penolopeës trouthe and good Alceste’’ (.–). Chaucer appears to have relished the tension availed by the Heroides as intertext within his work—its capacity to subvert, as it does the Vir- gilian veneer of the Dido story in the House of Fame, or be subverted, as it is by Chaucer’s flattened and de-individualized reworking of the collection of complaints in the Legend of Good Women. It is doubtful, had Chaucer agreed with the many modern readers who find the Heroides to be thin, repetitive, even boring exercises, that he would have rechan- nelled them into his own poetic world as strikingly as he did, and in such writerly environs as Venus’s temple and Alcestis’s garden. Rather, I am inclined to think that Chaucer found many of his own interests reflected in what one of the most important modern defenders http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

"Little Troilus ": Heroides 5 and Its Ovidian Contexts in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde

Studies in Philology , Volume 100 (3) – Aug 4, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

‘‘Little Troilus’’: Heroides  and Its Ovidian Contexts in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde by JamieC.Fumo HEN considering Chaucer’s debt to Ovid’s Heroides,itiscom- mon for our minds to fix upon that work promised by a Wsheepish Chaucer in the first lines of the narrative implosion that is the epilogue of Troilus and Criseyde: ‘‘And gladlier I wol write, yif yow leste, / Penolopeës trouthe and good Alceste’’ (.–). Chaucer appears to have relished the tension availed by the Heroides as intertext within his work—its capacity to subvert, as it does the Vir- gilian veneer of the Dido story in the House of Fame, or be subverted, as it is by Chaucer’s flattened and de-individualized reworking of the collection of complaints in the Legend of Good Women. It is doubtful, had Chaucer agreed with the many modern readers who find the Heroides to be thin, repetitive, even boring exercises, that he would have rechan- nelled them into his own poetic world as strikingly as he did, and in such writerly environs as Venus’s temple and Alcestis’s garden. Rather, I am inclined to think that Chaucer found many of his own interests reflected in what one of the most important modern defenders

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 4, 2003

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