TROILUS AND CRISEYDE--TEXTUAL ISSUES   

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

691. ROOT, ROBERT K. The Textual Tradition of Chaucer's Troilus. Chaucer Society Publications, First Series, No. 99. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co., and Oxford University Press, 1916. Reprint. New York: Johnson Reprint, 1967, 296 pp.

Textual analysis of the sixteen manuscripts and two early printed editions of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde which describes the texts and analyzes their variants line by line. Accounts for the complex relations among the texts by theorizing that Chaucer revised his poem. Designates the first unrevised version alpha, the revision, beta. A third version, gamma, refers to a group of corrupt manuscripts which derive from a common unreliable exemplar. Windeatt (entries 24 and 693) and Hanna (in entry 21) challenge this analysis, arguing that the variations are all scribal.

692. WINDEATT, BARRY A. "The Scribes as Chaucer's Early Critics." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 1 (1979):119-42.

Analyzes scribal variations and glosses in the manuscripts of Troilus and Criseyde to display the "earliest line-by-line literary criticism of Chaucer's poetry." Distinctively Chaucerian diction and syntax are evident where scribes adjust or explain Chaucer's original language, most often his concise expressions and compressed images. Revised as "The Scribal Medium," in Windeatt's edition of Troilus (entry 24).

693. WINDEATT, BARRY. "The Text of Troilus." In Essays on "Troilus and Criseyde". Edited by Mary Salu. Chaucer Studies, no. 3. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer; Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1979, pp. 1-22.

Examines the manuscript variants of Troilus and Criseyde and directly challenges Root's theory (entry 691) of multiple versions of the poem. The major discrepancies between the alpha and beta families of manuscripts reflect Chaucer's habits of translation rather than a change in his design for the poem. Discrepancies among all three groups of manuscripts suggest minor adjustments by the author or, more likely, scribal alteration. Revised as "The Text of the Troilus," in Windeatt's edition of Troilus (entry 24).

See also entries 20, 24, 729.

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