From Homer’s Iliad to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (and beyond) the siege of Troy has been treated as the result of and the background for a number of love stories. In the European Middle Ages, the story of Troilus and Cressida, a late invention, came in for particularly interesting treatments at the hands of major writers of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance: Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Henryson, and William Shakespeare.
After setting the stage for the medieval (and early modern) developments by reading Homer and selections from Ovid, we’ll concentrate on the variations in the characters and treatment of the Troilus and Cressida story and see what it may show us about love in a time of war and how that theme changes over the centuries.
Requirements for the course will include active participation in discussions, weekly short writing contributions, and two longer (4-5pp) papers.
Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, trans. Rev. ed. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2011. (ISBN13: 9780226470498)
Ovid. Heroides. Trans. Harold Isbell. London/New York: Penguin, 1990 (ISBN13: 9780140423556)
Gordon, R. K., ed. The Story of Troilus. Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching. Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 1978. (ISBN13: 9780802063687)
Shakespeare, William. Troilus and Cressida. Ed. Kenneth Muir. Oxford World Classic. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1982. (ISBN 9780199536535)