Chorus. In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed, Have to the port of Athens sent their ships, Fraught with. Free site book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Free PDF, epub, site ebook. Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy, described as one of Shakespeare's problem plays. The play ends on a very bleak note with.

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Before Priam's palace. Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS. TROILUS. Call here my varlet; I'll . A street. Enter CRESSIDA and ALEXANDER. CRESSIDA. Diomedes and Cressida, watched by Troilus, an engraving by Henry. Fuseli,. Cressida and Pandarus relaxing by the 'pool' in Sam Mendes' production. Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the public and we .

In some cases, the plays have come down to us in multiple published versions, represented by various Quartos Qq and by the great collection put together by his colleagues in , called the First Folio F.

Editors choose which version to use as their base text, and then amend that text with words, lines or speech prefixes from the other versions that, in their judgment, make for a better or more accurate text. See The Tempest, 1. All Shakespeare editors at the time took the speech away from her and gave it to her father, Prospero. At any point in the text, you can hover your cursor over a bracket for more information. Synopsis Set during the Trojan War, Troilus and Cressida recounts the love affair of its title characters.

Inside the besieged city of Troy, the Trojan prince Troilus is lovesick for Cressida.

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Cressida is drawn to Troilus, too, and her uncle, Pandarus, brings them together. Hector and Troilus join the Greeks for a feast. Cressida, meanwhile, is seduced by Diomedes.

Alone, Cressida says that while she returns Troilus's feelings, she is holding him off; she is enjoying his pursuit of her. He asks why they seem so glum and downcast for although their seven-year siege of Troy has met little success so far, they should welcome the adversity that the long war represents, since only in difficult times can greatness emerge. Nestor, the oldest of the Greek commanders, citing examples of how heroism emerges from hardship.

In response, Ulysses expresses his deep respect for what they have said, but points out that the Greek army is facing a crisis not because of the duration of the war, but because of a breakdown in authority within the Greek camp.

Instead of being united, they are divided into factions, Achilles, who refuses to fight and instead sits in his tent while his protege Patroclus makes fun of the Greek commanders. Others, like Ajax and his foul-mouthed slave, Thersites, follow this example, and so the entire army is corrupted. The others agree that this is a great problem, and as they discuss what is to be done, Aeneas appears under a flag of truce, bringing a challenge from Hector.

The Trojan prince offers to fight any Greek lord in single combat, with the honor of their respective wives as the issue. The Greeks agree to find a champion and offer Aeneas hospitality. As Aeneas is led away, Ulysses tells Nestor that this challenge is truly directed at Achilles, since only Achilles could match the great Hector in battle.

But to have Achilles fight Hector would be dangerous, because if Achilles lost, it would dishearten the entire army. Therefore, Ulysses suggests, they should have Ajax fight Hector instead; even if Ajax loses, they can still claim that Achilles would have won in his place. At the same time, by choosing Ajax as their champion, they will infuriate Achilles and perhaps goad him into rejoining the war, bringing with him all his soldiers.

Nestor, impressed with Ulysses's intelligence, agrees to the plan.

Thersites, a foul-mouthed ruffian, refuses to obey and instead curses his master and the Greeks with equal vigor, provoking Ajax to beat him. Achilles and Patroclus come upon them and he includes them in his curses.

Troilus and Cressida

Offended at Patroclus' request he stop, he replies "I will hold my peace when Achilles' brooch bids me, shall I? They send him away, and Achilles tells Ajax the news of Hector's challenge to any brave Greek warrior. The selection of the warrior has been put to a lottery otherwise, Achilles says as he leaves, he would have been the only possible choice, a remark that produces a sneer from Ajax.

Hector, supported by his brother Helenus, argues eloquently that while the theft of Helen may have been a brave act, she cannot be worth the great and bloody price they are paying to keep her.


When he is done speaking, his sister Cassandra, a prophetess who is considered mad, dashes in and cries that if they do not let Helen go, Troy will burn. When she is gone, Troilus dismisses her warning as ravings, and argues that they must keep Helen for the sake of their honor and Paris supports him. Hector retorts that this is why young men cannot be trusted to make moral decisions. He goes on to report the challenge that has been sent out to the Greeks, and how he hopes it will bring Achilles to the field.

When Patroclus and Achilles appear, he calls them fools; Patroclus moves to strike him, but Achilles holds him off.

They see the Greek commanders Agamemnon, Ulysses, Nestor, and Diomedes approaching, accompanied by Ajax, and Achilles quickly retires to his tent. When Agamemnon asks to see him, Patroclus tells the general that Achilles is ill. Agamemnon grows angry, but Achilles refuses to emerge, and tells Ulysses, who goes in to see him, that he still refuses to fight the Trojans. Agamemnon suggests that Ajax go in and plead with Achilles, but Ulysses declares that doing so would be insulting to Ajax, and then he, with the other Greek commanders, praises Ajax profusely, saying that he is the best of their warriors.

They agree to leave Achilles in his tent, and decide that Ajax will be their champion against Hector the next day. When they come in, he compliments Helen profusely, and asks her to excuse Troilus if Priam asks about him at dinner that night.

Paris and Helen ask where Troilus will be dining, and Pandarus refuses to tell him but they both guess that he will be in pursuit of Cressida, and they make bawdy jokes about it as they depart to greet the returning warriors. He goes out, leaving Troilus giddy with expectation, and brings in Cressida; after urging them to embrace, Pandarus departs.

Left alone, they profess their love for one another, and each pledges to be faithful to the other. Cressida declares that if she ever strays from him, she hopes that people will say of false lovers that they were as false as Cressidas. He asks that they exchange the Trojan commander Antenor, for his daughter, so that he might be reunited with her. Agamemnon agrees, and orders Diomedes to supervise the exchange. On Ulysses's advice, the Greek commanders then file past Achilles's tent, and scorn the proud warrior, ignoring his greetings and making him uneasy.

He goes to Ulysses and asks him why he is being scorned, and Ulysses tells him that he is no longer a hero and he will be forgotten quickly. He tells, and suggests that Achilles could restore his fame and honor if he stopped dallying with enemy women and took the field. When Ulysses is gone, Patroclus tells Achilles to follow Ulysses's advice; seeing that his reputation is at stake, and Achilles agrees.

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Thersites comes in and reports that Ajax is now striding about the camp, completely puffed up with his own importance.

Patroclus persuades the foul-tongued slave to talk Ajax into bringing Hector, safely conducted by Agamemnon, to Achilles' tent after their fight the next day, so that Achilles may speak with Hector. Aeneas goes to fetch Cressida, remarking that this exchange will deal a heavy blow to Troilus; Paris concurs, but says regretfully that they have no choice: "the bitter disposition of the time will have it so.

With great bitterness, the Greek replies that both deserve her, since both are fools, willing to pay a great price in blood for a whore. Pandarus comes in and makes several bawdy jokes about their recent lovemaking; suddenly, there is a knock at the door, and Cressida hides Troilus in her bedroom.How could communities, Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities, Peaceful commerce from dividable shores, The primogenitive and due of birth, Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place?

I will leave all as I found it, and there an end.

Aeneas enters, and demands that Pandarus fetch Troilus. Had I so good occasion to lie long As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business Should rob my bed-mate of my company.

Why should I war without the walls of Troy, That find such cruel battle here within? At that moment, a trumpet sounds, calling them all to the Greek camp for the duel between Hector and Ajax.