About the author: Dr. Christine Herold received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently Assistant Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York.2002 0-7734-6966-4
This work significantly revises the history of literary tragedy. The first half examines the classical background regarding theories of tragedy – philosophical, theological, and literary. The second half investigates tragedy as it appears in various works of Chaucer. A pivotal central chapter demonstrates the previously missing link between Senecan and Chaucerian tragedy. Scholars of drama, especially Renaissance drama, will find this study indispensable, since it presents a challenge to the entrenched theories of the discovery of Senecan tragedy by Renaissance playwrights. It also argues that Boethius is explicitly in dialogue with the late Roman tradition, specifically Seneca, documenting a direct line of influence from Seneca’s Latin plays, through the Consolation of Boethius, to de Meun, Boccaccio and Chaucer. It contributes a corrective to a persistent blind spot in medievalist criticism that would deny the integration of classical secular influences into medieval Christian thought.