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In Loving Criseyda: a novel

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As a historical event and a much-loved subject of ancient literature, the Trojan War gave birth to many well-known stories, such as The Iliad, which continue to be enjoyed today.

As a historical event and a much-loved subject of ancient literature, the Trojan War gave birth to many well-known stories, such as The Iliad, which continue to be enjoyed today. Among these is the lesser known work of Geoffrey Chaucer, titled Troilus and Criseyde. It follows the story of Prince Troilus, youngest son of King Priam and a character who is not seen in literature as often as his brothers Hector and Paris. In the 10th year of the Trojan War, Troilus meets the main protagonist, Criseyde, and falls madly in love. Criseyde herself is not in a position to love, but throughout the pages finds herself warming to the prince's favor. Through a beautifully crafted story, Chaucer evokes themes such as loyalty, selfishness, history, physical love versus spiritual love, and the role of women in society. Although it is a lesser known work of Chaucer's, in his day, Troilus and Criseyde was considered his masterpiece. My spring 2016 creative project is a novel retelling of this story entitled In Loving Criseyda. Following the plot of Chaucer's original, In Loving Criseyda is told from the perspective of an additional character: Criseyda's serving maid, Nadia. Nadia serves as the narrator and follows the plot points of the original story, offering her unique perspective on the events. Although Criseyda and Nadia come from opposite ends of society, the two find similarities in their situation and soon become friends. In befriending Criseyda, Nadia's world opens up as she begins to see the world in a new way. The novel becomes a coming of age story for Nadia in the time of the Trojan War, and her journey through love and loss.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05