The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Benson, C. David. "Troilus and Cresseid in Henryson's Testament." 13 (1979): 263-71.
Troilus represents the pagan chivalric hero whose knightly prowess and virtue are brought into question by readers' awareness of the Fall of Troy, by Criseyde's rejection of chivalric virtues, and by a Christian awareness of the restrictions of pagan virtue. Because Fortune allows Criseyde to suffer longer, she gains insight into her world and herself. Troilus never attains this kind of knowledge. When, in Henryson's Testament of Cresseid, Troilus gives Criseyde money, readers recognize that Troilus is faithful to a memory only; he does not recognize the beggar--Criseyde. The parallel deaths of Troilus and Criseyde indicate that Criseyde has learned to look beyond herself but that Troilus has not.
Blyth, Charles. "Virgilian Tragedy and Troilus." 24 (1990): 211-18.
Troilus and Criseyde may be defined as a Virgilian tragedy placed between recorded history and the emotional response such a tragedy evokes. Gavin Douglas's translation of the Aeneid demonstrates his recognition of this position in that he alludes both to Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and to Henryson's Testament of Cresseid in his wording and by his use of rhyme royal. Virgil refers to tragedies in both the books about the fall of Troy and tragedy of Dido. To view these passages as tragic, however, readers must view them in retrospect.
Parkinson, David J. "Henryson's Scottish Tragedy." 25 (1991): 355-62.
In the Testament of Cresseid readers perceive the fascination of Middle Scots poets with solitary, often disfigured, wanderers, as Criseyde is here depicted to be. In the Testament, Henryson addresses a fundamental concern of Middle Scots poetry: the tension between the substantial topics of loss, winter, and old age and the lighter, passing topics of youth, beauty, and spring. Given this dichotomy, Henryson questions the moral validity of poetry.
Stephenson, William. "The Acrostic 'Fictio' in Robert Henryson's The Testament of Cresseid (Lines 58-63)." 29 (1994): 163-65.
Because of the acrostic fictio formed by the first letters of lines 58-63 in the Testament of Cresseid, scholars can assume that the unnamed "other source" ("uther quair") to which Henryson refers is a pretense.