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Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
(/ˈtrɔɪləs ... ˈkrɛsɪdə/) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1602. It was described by Frederick S. Boas as one of Shakespeare's problem plays. The play ends on a very bleak note with the death of the noble Trojan Hector
Hector
and destruction of the love between Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida. The work has in recent years "stimulated exceptionally lively critical debate".[2] Throughout the play, the tone lurches wildly between bawdy comedy and tragic gloom, and readers and theatre-goers have frequently found it difficult to understand how one is meant to respond to the characters. However, several characteristic elements of the play (the most notable being its constant questioning of intrinsic values such as hierarchy, honour and love) have often been viewed as distinctly "modern", as in the following remarks on the play by author and literary scholar Joyce Carol Oates:

Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida, that most vexing and ambiguous of Shakespeare's plays, strikes the modern reader as a contemporary document—its investigation of numerous infidelities, its criticism of tragic pretensions, above all, its implicit debate between what is essential in human life and what is only existential are themes of the twentieth century. ... This is tragedy of a special sort—the "tragedy" the basis of which is the impossibility of conventional tragedy.[3]

Contents

1 Characters 2 Synopsis 3 Sources 4 Date and text 5 Performance history

5.1 Modern revivals

6 References 7 External links

Characters[edit]

The Trojans

Priam, King of Troy Priam's children: Cassandra
Cassandra
(a prophetess), Hector, Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus, Helenus, and Margareton (bastard) Andromache, Hector's wife Aeneas, a commander and leader Antenor, another commander Calchas, a Trojan priest who is taking part with the Greeks Cressida, Calchas's daughter Alexander, servant to Cressida Pandarus, Cressida's uncle

The Greeks

Agamemnon, King of the Greeks and leader of the Greek invasion Achilles, prince Ajax, prince Diomedes, prince Nestor, wise and talkative prince Ulysses, King of Ithaca (In some editions, the character is referred to as Odysseus.) Menelaus, King of Sparta, brother to Agamemnon Helen, wife to Menelaus, living with Paris Thersites, a deformed and scurrilous low-class "fool" Patroclus, friend of Achilles

Synopsis[edit]

Cressida
Cressida
by Edward Poynter

Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
is set during the later years of the Trojan War, faithfully following the plotline of the Iliad
Iliad
from Achilles' refusal to participate in battle, to Hector's death. Essentially, two plots are followed in the play. In one, Troilus, a Trojan prince (son of Priam), woos Cressida, another Trojan. They have sex, professing their undying love, before Cressida
Cressida
is exchanged for a Trojan prisoner of war. As he attempts to visit her in the Greek camp, Troilus
Troilus
glimpses Diomedes
Diomedes
flirting with his beloved Cressida, and decides to avenge her perfidy. While this plot gives the play its name, it accounts for only a small part of the play's run time. The majority of the play revolves around the leaders of the Greek and Trojan forces, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and Priam, respectively. Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and his cohorts attempt to get the proud Achilles
Achilles
to return to battle and face Hector, who sends the Greeks a letter telling them of his willingness to engage in one-on-one combat with a Greek soldier. Ajax is originally chosen as this combatant, but makes peace with Hector
Hector
before they are able to fight. Achilles
Achilles
is prompted to return to battle only after his dear friend and possible lover, Patroclus, is killed by Hector
Hector
before the Trojan walls. A series of skirmishes conclude the play, during which Achilles
Achilles
catches Hector
Hector
and has the Myrmidons kill him. The conquest of Troy
Troy
is left unfinished, as the Trojans learn of the death of their hero. Sources[edit]

The first page of Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida, printed in the First Folio
First Folio
of 1623

The story of Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
is a medieval tale that is not part of Greek mythology; Shakespeare drew on a number of sources for this plotline, in particular Chaucer's version of the tale, Troilus
Troilus
and Criseyde, but also John Lydgate's Troy
Troy
Book and Caxton's translation of the Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye.[4] Chaucer's source was Il Filostrato by Boccaccio, which in turn derives from a 12th-century French text, Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie [5] The story of the persuasion of Achilles
Achilles
into battle is drawn from Homer's Iliad
Iliad
(perhaps in the translation by George Chapman), and from various medieval and Renaissance retellings. The story was a popular one for dramatists in the early 17th century and Shakespeare may have been inspired by contemporary plays. Thomas Heywood's two-part play The Iron Age also depicts the Trojan war and the story of Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida, but it is not certain whether his or Shakespeare's play was written first. In addition, Thomas Dekker and Henry Chettle
Henry Chettle
wrote a play called Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
at around the same time as Shakespeare, but this play survives only as a fragmentary plot outline. Date and text[edit]

Title page, 1609 quarto edition

The play is believed to have been written around 1602, shortly after the completion of Hamlet. It was published in quarto in two separate editions, both in 1609. It is not known whether the play was ever performed in its own time, because the two editions contradict each other: one announces on the title page that the play had been recently performed on stage; the other claims in a preface that it is a new play that has never been staged. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 7 February 1603, by the bookseller and printer James Roberts, with a mention that the play was acted by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, Shakespeare's company. No publication followed, however, until 1609; the stationers Richard Bonian and Henry Walley re-registered the play on 28 Jan. 1609, and later that year issued the first quarto, but in two "states". The first says the play was "acted by the King's Majesty's servants at the Globe"; the second version omits the mention of the Globe Theatre, and prefaces the play with a long epistle that claims that Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
is "a new play, never staled with the stage, never clapper-clawed with the palms of the vulgar".[6] Some commentators (like Georg Brandes, the Danish Shakespeare scholar of the late 19th century) have attempted to reconcile these contradictory claims by arguing that the play was composed originally around 1600–02, but heavily revised shortly before its 1609 printing. The play is noteworthy for its bitter and caustic nature, similar to the works that Shakespeare was writing in the 1605–08 period, King Lear, Coriolanus, and Timon of Athens. In this view, the original version of the play was a more positive romantic comedy of the type Shakespeare wrote ca. 1600, like As You Like It
As You Like It
and Twelfth Night, while the later revision injected the darker material – leaving the result a hybrid jumble of tones and intents. The Quarto
Quarto
edition labels it a history play with the title The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid, but the First Folio
First Folio
classed it with the tragedies, under the title The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida. The confusion is compounded by the fact that in the original pressing of the First Folio, the play's pages are unnumbered, the title is not included in the Table of Contents, and it appears to have been squeezed between the histories and the tragedies. Based on this evidence, scholars believe it was a very late addition to the Folio, and therefore may have been added wherever there was room. Performance history[edit]

An 1804 print based on a Henry Fuseli
Henry Fuseli
painting of Act V, Scene II: Cressida
Cressida
and Diomedes
Diomedes
flirt.

The play's puzzling and intriguing nature has meant that Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
has rarely been popular on stage, and neither during Shakespeare's own lifetime nor between 1734 and 1898 is there any recorded performance of the play. In the Restoration, it was rewritten by John Dryden, who stated that he intended to uncover the "jewels" of Shakespeare's verse, hidden beneath a "heap of rubbish" (not only some "ungrammatical" and indecorous expressions, but also much of the plot). In addition to his "improvements" to the language, Dryden streamlined the council scenes and sharpened the rivalry between Ajax and Achilles. Dryden's largest change, though, was in the character of Cressida, who in his play is loyal to Troilus
Troilus
throughout. The play was also condemned by the Victorians for its explicit sexual references (though the sex, while explicitly and importantly present, is portrayed satirically and highly negatively). It was not staged in its original form until the early 20th century, but since then, it has become increasingly popular, especially after the First World War, owing to its cynical depiction of immorality and disillusionment. Because certain aspects of the play, such as the breaking of one's public oaths during a protracted wartime and the decay of morality among Cressida
Cressida
and the Greeks resonated strongly with a discontented public, the play was staged with greater frequency during and after this period. Modern revivals[edit] The BBC broadcast a modern-language and modern-dress version by Ian Dallas as The Face of Love in 1954, which was then staged by RADA
RADA
at the Vanbrugh Theatre
Vanbrugh Theatre
in 1956, providing Albert Finney with his first lead stage role.[7] In July 2009, the Hudson Shakespeare Company
Hudson Shakespeare Company
of New Jersey presented a production as part of their annual Shakespeare in the Parks series. Director Jon Ciccarelli set the action in ancient Greece but sought to put a modern twist on the action by comparing the title pair to Romeo and Juliet and posing the question: would their relationship have lasted if they had lived? Ciccarelli hypothesized that Shakespeare knew the answer and that it was that it would have not. He stated that Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
pine for each other, like their more famous counterparts, and share a passionate evening; however, the morning after Troilus
Troilus
is eager to leave. Cressida
Cressida
is later exiled from Troy and quickly takes up with another man proving love is fickle and fleeting. Other notable departures show that the Greek heroes are anything but heroic, showing Shakespeare satirized revered figures like Achilles
Achilles
as childish and barbaric, and sympathized with the pragmatic Hector.[8] The Public Theater
Public Theater
has produced three revivals, in 1965, 1995, and 2016.[9][10] References[edit]

^ From an edition of Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
by the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery ^ Bate, Jonathan; Rasmussen, Eric, eds. (2007). Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida. The Royal Shakespeare Company. p. xvi. ISBN 1588368785.  ^ Oates, Joyce Carol (1966/1967). The Tragedy
Tragedy
of Existence: Shakespeare's Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida. Originally published as two separate essays, in Philological Quarterly, Spring 1967, and Shakespeare Quarterly, Spring 1966. ^ Palmer, Kenneth (ed., 1982). Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
(Arden Shakespeare: Second Series). London: Methuen. ^ Theodore Morrison, The Portable Chaucer, Viking Press, 1949, p. 363. ^ Halliday, F.E. (1964). A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964, Baltimore: Penguin; pp. 501–3. ^ [1] ^ Meyers, Joe (31 August 2009). "Shakespeare meets '300'". The Connecticut Post.  ^ Zinoman, Jason (July 13, 2016). "' Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida' brings love and war to Central Park". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2016.  ^ Clement, Olivia (July 19, 2016). " Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
kicks off in Central Park tonight: The Public Theater's free outdoor revival begins performances at the Delacorte Theater". Playbill. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida.

The History of Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
– HTML version of this title. Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
– plain text from Project Gutenberg Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
Homepage, Internet Shakespeare Editions. Links to text editions, book facsimiles, performances, and internet sites. Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
public domain audiobook at LibriVox SparkNotes Chapter Summaries and Study Guides Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
on Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida

v t e

William Shakespeare

Plays

Tragedies

Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida

Comedies

All's Well That Ends Well As You Like It The Comedy of Errors Cymbeline Love's Labour's Lost Measure for Measure The Merchant of Venice The Merry Wives of Windsor A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing Pericles, Prince of Tyre* The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Twelfth Night The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsmen* The Winter's Tale

Histories

King John Edward III* Richard II Henry IV

1 2

Henry V Henry VI

1* 2 3

Richard III Henry VIII*

See also

Problem plays Late romances Characters

A–K L–Z Ghost character

Chronology Performances Settings Quarto
Quarto
publications First Folio Second Folio

Poems

Shakespeare's sonnets

comparison to Petrarch

A Lover's Complaint The Phoenix and the Turtle The Rape of Lucrece Venus and Adonis

Apocrypha

Plays

Arden of Faversham The Birth of Merlin Cardenio* Double Falsehood Edmund Ironside Fair Em Locrine The London Prodigal Love's Labour's Won The Merry Devil of Edmonton Mucedorus The Puritan The Second Maiden's Tragedy Sejanus His Fall Sir John Oldcastle Sir Thomas More* The Spanish Tragedy Thomas Lord Cromwell Thomas of Woodstock Vortigern and Rowena A Yorkshire Tragedy

Poems

The Passionate Pilgrim To the Queen

Life and works

Birthplace and childhood home Bibliography

Complete Works of William Shakespeare Translations

Early editions Editors English Renaissance theatre Globe Theatre Handwriting Lord Chamberlain's Men/King's Men

The Theatre Curtain Theatre

New Place Portraits Religious views Sexuality Spelling of his name Stratford-upon-Avon Style

Legacy

Attribution studies Authorship question Influence Memorials Screen adaptations Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare Quarterly

Shakespeare's Globe
Shakespeare's Globe
(replica) Bardolatry Titles of works taken from Shakespeare

Family

Anne Hathaway (wife) Susanna Hall
Susanna Hall
(daughter) Hamnet Shakespeare
Hamnet Shakespeare
(son) Judith Quiney
Judith Quiney
(daughter) Elizabeth Barnard
Elizabeth Barnard
(granddaughter) John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare
(father) Mary Arden (mother) Gilbert Shakespeare
Gilbert Shakespeare
(brother) Joan Shakespeare (sister) Edmund Shakespeare (brother) Richard Shakespeare (grandfather) John Hall (son-in-law) Thomas Quiney
Thomas Quiney
(son-in-law) Thomas Nash
Thomas Nash
(grandson-in-law)

* Shakespeare and other authors Lost

v t e

William Shakespeare's Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida

Characters

Trojans

Priam Hector Deiphobus Helenus Paris Troilus Cassandra Andromache Aeneas Pandarus Cressida Calchas Helen

Greeks

Agamemnon Menelaus Nestor Ulysses Achilles Patroclus Diomedes Ajax Thersites Myrmidons

Sources

Troilus
Troilus
and Criseyde Troy
Troy
Book Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye

Adaptations

The Face of Love (1954, TV) Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
(1981, TV)

Related

Trojan War Trojan War
Trojan War
in popular culture Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus Shakespearean problem play "Bitch"

v t e

Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus
Troilus
and Criseyde

Characters

Troilus Cressida Achilles Antenor Calchas Diomede Helen Pandarus Priam Cassandra Hector Paris Deiphobus

Source

Il Filostrato (12th century) Roman de Troie
Roman de Troie
(12th century)

Operas

Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
(1954)

Plays

Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida
Cressida
(1602)

Poetry

"The Testament of Cresseid" (15th century)

Linguistic contributions

Words first used in The Oak and the Reed "The pot calling the kettle black" Cowbell "At sixes and sevens"

Related

Sir Giles Goosecap "To Her Inconstant Lover" Il Canzoniere Amoryus and Cleopes

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 177810040 LCCN: n81088076 GND: 4099372-3 SUDOC: 027471357 BNF:

.