Il Filostrato is a poem by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio, and the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and, through Chaucer, the Shakespeare play Troilus and Cressida. It is itself loosely based on Le Roman De Troie, by 12th century poet Benoît de Sainte-Maure.
Il Filostrato is a narrative poem on a classical topic written in "royal octaves" and divided into eight cantos. The title, a combination of Greek and Latin words, can be translated approximately as "laid prostrate by love". The poem has a mythological plot: it narrates the love of Troilo (Troilus), a younger son of Priam of Troy, for Criseida (Cressida), daughter of Calcas (Calchas).
Although its setting is Trojan, Boccaccio's story is not taken from Greek myth, but from the Roman de Troie, a twelfth-century French medieval re-elaboration of the Trojan legend by Benoît de Sainte-Maure known to Boccaccio in the Latin prose version by Guido delle Colonne (Historia destructionis Troiae).
The plot of the Filostrato can be read as a roman à clef of Boccaccio's love of "Fiammetta". Indeed the proem suggests it. The atmosphere of the poem is reminiscent of that of the court of Naples, and the psychology of the characters is portrayed with subtle notes. There is no agreement on the date of its composition: according to some, it may have been written in 1335, whereas others consider it to date from 1340.
Boccaccio also used the name for one of the three men occurring in the character of narrators in The Decameron.
Read more about Il Filostrato: Plot Summary
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... Troilo sees the lovelorn glances of other young men attending a festival in the Palladium ... But almost immediately he sees a young widow in mourning ...