Shakespeare's Sources for Troilus and Cressida
From Troilus and Cressida. Ed. William J. Rolfe. New York: American Book Co.
If Shakespeare did not draw his materials from some earlier play, he probably took "the love-story" from Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, and "the camp story" from the Recuyell of the historyes of Troye, translated and drawen out of
frenshe into englishe by W. Caxton, 1471 (from Raoul le Fevre's Recueil des Histoires de Troyes), or Lydgate's Hystorye, Sege
and dystruccyon of Troye, 1513, 1555 (from Guido di Colonna),
or both. Thersites, or at least a hint of the character, seems
to be taken from Chapman's Iliad, the first seven books of
which appeared in 1597.
Ward (Dramatic Lit, i. 433) remarks: "Though the story
of Troy has continued to furnish poetic literature — and especially that of the drama — with themes, I am not aware that
any other hand has followed Shakespeare's in reproducing the episode, mediaeval rather than antique in its essence, of Troilus and Cressida.
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Troilus and Cressida. Ed. William J. Rolfe. New York: American Book Company, 1892. Shakespeare Online. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sources/troilussources.html >.
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