Geoffrey Chaucer, the Critical Heritage

By Derek Brewer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

country. He has the same mental completeness and consequent versatility which distinguish the German; the same love of reality; the same clearness and cheerfulness; and, in seeming contradiction to this latter characteristic, the same preference for grief over the other passions, in his poetical delineations. In minor respects, he also resembles him; and in one, not unimportant, as marking a similarity of mental organization, that, namely, of be-taking himself at the close of a long life spent in literature and affairs, to the study of the physical sciences, as if here alone the mental craving for the positive could find satisfaction.


8.

WILLIAM WATKISS LLOYD, CHAUCER’S IRONY

1856

Lloyd (1813-93), businessman and spare-time archaeologist, classical and Shakespearian scholar, is one of the first explicitly to emphasise Chaucer’s irony. He comments in his Critical Essay on [Shakespeare’s] ‘Troilus and Cressida’, in ‘Dramatic Works of Shakespeare’, ed. S.W. Singer, 10 vols, Vol. VII, pp. 316-19 (reprinted in ‘Critical Essays’, 1875).

[Of Dares Phrygius’s ‘De Excidio Troiae’:] This, far more than Homer, was the great authority in the middle ages for the incidents of the Trojan war, and largely was it drawn upon and liberally expanded in the wild and weedy literature of the semi-barbarous centuries which we perhaps fondly flatter ourselves we have escaped from. It is very difficult to say how much of what is most at variance with Homer in this story may not have been derived from other Greek sources—so multifarious, so everchanging—besides those that we can actually trace. From Dares Phrygius descended with other streams, the Troy-boke of Lydgate and the Destruction of Troy of Caxton, both probably known to Shakespeare, and thus the general circumstances of the war as well as many of the particular are recognized as the same in the play before us. Hence came the importance assigned to the Trojan relationship of Ajax and that of Calchas, the valour of Troilus as survivor and successor

-99-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Geoffrey Chaucer, the Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 512

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?