Troilus and Cressida | Critical Essay by Juliet Dusinberre

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of Troilus and Cressida.
This section contains 7,201 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Flannery

Critical Essay by Juliet Dusinberre

SOURCE: “Troilus and Cressida and the Definition of Beauty,” in Shakespeare Survey, Vol. 36, 1983, pp. 85-95.

In the following essay, Dusinberre maintains that Shakespeare's concept of beauty resides not in the bodies of such women as Helen or Cressida, but instead in the power of language to represent beauty truthfully—something which is impossible to accomplish in the corrupt world of Troilus and Cressida.

The problem of how to define beauty is central to Troilus and Cressida. Shakespeare depicts Helen as incapable of acquiring symbolic stature and this creates in the play questions about the nature of beauty.1

In the world of Troilus and Cressida beauty is defined by the beautiful woman, whether it be Helen or Cressida. But the idea of Helen as the archetype of beauty seems to have been challenged very early by...

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This section contains 7,201 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Flannery