Troilus and Cressida | The Gastric Epic: Troilus and Cressida

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of Troilus and Cressida.
This section contains 11,308 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
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David Hillman, Tavistock Centre, London

Ignorance in physiologicis—that damned 'idealism.'

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo1

1. The Matter of Troy

Why did Shakespeare write Troilus and Cressida? Why, that is, did he turn his attention to a story that was so overdetermined as to have become, by the end of the sixteenth century, little more than a compilation of clichés? The Trojan story was enormously popular during the decades preceding composition of the play, and the most obvious motive suggested by this popularity is the play's commercial potential (written by an already-famous playwright, reworking material that was all the rage in contemporary London). While this motive is called into question by the Epistle attached to the play's Quarto in the second state,3 the pervasiveness and mass appeal of the matter of Troy was, I believe, nevertheless a decisive factor in Shakespeare's...

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This section contains 11,308 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Gastric Epic: Troilus and Cressida