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Troilus and Cressida

William Shakespeare


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Description

Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy, described as one of Shakespeare's problem plays. The play ends on a very bleak note with the death of the noble Trojan Hector and destruction of the love between Troilus and Cressida. Throughout the play, the tone lurches wildly between bawdy comedy and tragic gloom.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 190 pages in the PDF version, and was originally written in 1602.

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Excerpt from 'Troilus and Cressida'

Troy. Before Priam's palace.

Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS

TROILUS

Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again:
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within?
Each Trojan that is master of his heart,
Let him to field; Troilus, alas! hath none.

PANDARUS

Will this gear ne'er be mended?

TROILUS

The Greeks are strong and skilful to their strength,
Fierce to their skill and to their fierceness valiant;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,
Less valiant than the virgin in the night
And skilless as unpractised infancy.

PANDARUS

Well, I have told you enough of this: for my part,
I'll not meddle nor make no further. He that will
have a cake out of the wheat must needs tarry the grinding.

TROILUS

Have I not tarried?

PANDARUS

Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry
the bolting.

TROILUS

Have I not tarried?

PANDARUS

Ay, the bolting, but you must tarry the leavening.

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