Troilus and Cressida - Geoffrey Chaucer, George Philip Krapp Throughout almost the entire book, Troilus and Cressida appears to be the idealized courtly romantic poem. Though set in Troy during the Greek seige, Middle English notions of love and virtue dictate Troilus’ aspirations and Cressida’s coy rebuffs. Eventually, they find each other in love.

Then it gets interesting.

Betrayal and heartache guides Troilus into Chaucer’s main theme in the final pages. The games of love and human drama are all ultimately foolish and small-minded affairs. Life is wasted on the self-absorbed infatuations which consume us. Life is about the adoration of God. It’s a quick bait-and-switch Chaucer pulls at the end.

The edition I read is a translation that attempts to mimic the rhyme of Chaucer’s English. I have no idea how accurate and true the translation is to the original. There seems to be an inherent problem in reading a translation of a poem. Where the author may have agonized over a turn of phrase, a punctuation mark or a simple word, we are always left with a shadow of the intent. In the end, unless you are going to analyze the Middle English, George Philip Krapp’s translation was easy to read, artfully composed and, at the very least, a conscientious attempt to give us the true Chaucer.