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The Motifs and Characters in the «Gest Hystoriale of the Destruction of Troy» and in the «Laud Troy Book»

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Walter Wilflingseder

Both the alliterative Gest Hystoriale of the Destruction of Troy (c. 1400) and the Laud Troy Book (c. 1400), a metrical romance, deal with the lives and feats of chivalric heroes and place special emphasis on the psychological effects of love. This book is a study of the motifs in John Clerk’s and the Laud-poet’s narratives and of their characterization of the Trojan War’s principal actors. Both writers used the same source, but their preferences for motifs and their attitudes toward the persons involved were often quite different. Thirteen illustrations, mainly from medieval Guido manuscripts, serve as a stimulus to those who want to know more about the medieval understanding of the Trojan War.