Sunday, June 01, 2008

Book review: Troilus and Criseyde

Chaucer's medieval epic poem about love unrequited and what happens when you get what you want. In five staves, but I only got through the first and part of the second. It's not the language - I read Shakespeare without a problem and have friends who are rabidly Ren-Faire Elizabethan. No problem picking up the lingo.

It's just tedious. There's a tremendous amount of repetition in Pandarus' dialog, and Troilus to me seems like quite the dolt. On the other hand, the widow Criseyde seems fickle and unfeeling. Perhaps all that changes later in the poem, but I don't have the patience to find out.

Troilus and Criseyde is one of the great classics of early English literature, so it's probably worth the read for that reason alone. I might pick it up one day, but I don't feel like I'll be missing much if I don't.

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