Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Tessie Prakas

Reader 2

Ellen Rentz

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2018 Rena Patel


The tumulus tale of Troilus and his lover Cressida has left readers intrigued in renditions written by both Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare due to their subversive nature of the authors’ chosen generic forms. Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde challenges the expectations and limitations of the narrative of the chivalric romance. Shakespeare took the story and turned Troilus and Cressida into one of his famous “problem plays” by challenging his audience’s expectations of the tragic genre. I endeavor to draw attention to the ways in which both Chaucer and Shakespeare use the conventions of the chivalric romance and tragedy to play with the imbalances in the central relationship of Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida in the story. These imbalances are the source of experimentation in both texts that allows Chaucer to imbue tragedy in the chivalric romance and allow Shakespeare to undermine tragedy itself.