Troilus and Cressida


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Ajax, armed, Agamemnon, Achilles, Patroclus,

Menelaus, Ulysses, Nestor, Calchas, and trumpeter


Here art thou in appointment fresh and fair,
appointment (n.) 1 equipment, effects, weaponry

Anticipating time. With starting courage,
starting (adj.) bounding, eager, energetic

Give with thy trumpet a loud note to Troy,

Thou dreadful Ajax, that the appalled air
dreadful (adj.) 1 inspiring dread, causing fear, daunting

May pierce the head of the great combatant,

And hale him hither.
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul
trumpet (n.) 1 trumpeter; herald, announcer See Topics: Stage directions


                         Thou, trumpet, there's my purse.

Now crack thy lungs, and split thy brazen pipe;

Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek
bias (adj.) swollen like the biased side of a bowl
sphered (adj.) puffed out into the shape of a sphere, rounded,
villain (n.) 2 scoundrel, rogue, rascal

Outswell the colic of puffed Aquilon.
Aquilon (n.) north wind

Come, stretch thy chest, and let thy eyes spout blood;

Thou blowest for Hector.

Trumpet sounds


No trumpet answers.


                         'Tis but early days.


Is not yond Diomed, with Calchas' daughter?


'Tis he; I ken the manner of his gait.
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement
ken (v.) 3 know, be acquainted with

He rises on the toe; that spirit of his

In aspiration lifts him from the earth.

Enter Diomedes with Cressida


Is this the Lady Cressid?


                         Even she.


(kissing her)

Most dearly welcome to the Greeks, sweet lady.


Our general doth salute you with a kiss.


Yet is the kindness but particular;
particular (adj.) 1 personal, special, private

'Twere better she were kissed in general.
general, in by everyone


And very courtly counsel; I'll begin.

He kisses her

So much for Nestor.


I'll take what winter from your lips, fair lady.

He kisses her

Achilles bids you welcome.


I had good argument for kissing once.
argument (n.) 8 cause, reason [for a dispute]


But that's no argument for kissing now;

For this popped Paris in his hardiment,
hardiment (n.) display of valour, daring deed
pop (v.) arrive unexpectedly, move in suddenly

And parted thus you and your argument.

He kisses her
gall (n.) 2 bitterness, spitefulness, vindictiveness
scorn (n.) 1 mockery, taunt, insult, act of derision
theme (n.) 1 subject, subject-matter, topic of discourse



O deadly gall, and theme of all our scorns,

For which we lose our heads to gild his horns.


The first was Menelaus' kiss; this, mine –

He kisses her again
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart

Patroclus kisses you.


                         O, this is trim!


Paris and I kiss evermore for him.


I'll have my kiss, sir. – Lady, by your leave.


In kissing, do you render or receive?


Both take and give.


                         I'll make my match to live,

The kiss you take is better than you give;

Therefore no kiss.


I'll give you boot; I'll give you three for one.
boot (n.) 3 additional element, something added to the bargain


You are an odd man; give even, or give none.
odd (adj.) 1 eccentric, peculiar, unusual


An odd man, lady? Every man is odd.
odd (adj.) 2 singular, unique, individual


No, Paris is not; for you know 'tis true

That you are odd, and he is even with you.
odd (adj.) 3 alone, single, solitary


You fillip me o'the head.
fillip, fillop (v.) strike smartly against, tap against, touch


                         No, I'll be sworn.


It were no match, your nail against his horn.

May I, sweet lady, beg a kiss of you?


You may.
desire (v.) 1 request, wish, ask [for]


                         I do desire it.


                                                         Why, beg then.


Why then, for Venus' sake, give me a kiss –

When Helen is a maid again, and his.


I am your debtor; claim it when 'tis due.


Never's my day, and then a kiss of you.


Lady, a word; I'll bring you to your father.

Exit with Cressida


A woman of quick sense.
quick (adj.) 2 lively, animated, vivacious
sense (n.) 5 mind, power of reason, wits


                         Fie, fie upon her!

There's a language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,

Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
look out (v.) 1 show, appear, manifest
wanton (adj.) 5 sexually hot, passionate, sportive

At every joint and motive of her body.
motive (n.) 3 instrument, agent, moving organ

O, these encounterers, so glib of tongue,
encounterer (n.) flirt, coquette, tease

That give accosting welcome ere it comes,
accosting (n.) [unclear meaning] making of advances, coming on
coasting (adj.) [unclear meaning] approachable, ready, friendly

And wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts
table (n.) 1 writing tablet, memo pad, notebook
unclasp (v.) reveal, display, divulge

To every tickling reader! Set them down
set down (v.) 2 log, make note, put on record
tickling (adj.) 2 aroused, titillated, excited

For sluttish spoils of opportunity
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty

And daughters of the game.
game (n.) 3 game of love, amorous play



The Trojan's trumpet.


                         Yonder comes the troop.

Enter all of Troy: Hector, Paris, Aeneas, Helenus,

Troilus, and attendants


Hail, all you state of Greece! What shall be done

To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan

A victor shall be known? Will you the knights

Shall to the edge of all extremity

Pursue each other, or shall be divided

By any voice or order of the field?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
order (n.) 1 arrangement, disposition, direction
voice (n.) 3 authoritative opinion, judgement
will (v.), past form would 1 desire, wish, want

Hector bade ask.
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell


                         Which way would Hector have it?


He cares not; he'll obey conditions.
condition (n.) 10 accepted rule, agreed procedure


'Tis done like Hector –
securely (adv.) 2 over-confidently, carelessly, heedlessly


                          But securely done,

A little proudly, and great deal disprizing
disprise, disprize (v.) undervalue, disparage, hold in contempt

The knight opposed.


                         If not Achilles, sir,

What is your name?


                         If not Achilles, nothing.


Therefore, Achilles, but, whate'er, know this:

In the extremity of great and little,

Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector;

The one almost as infinite as all,

The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well,
weigh (v.) 3 judge, rate, assess the value of

And that which looks like pride is courtesy.

This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood,

In love whereof half Hector stays at home;

Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek

This blended knight, half Trojan and half Greek.


A maiden battle, then? – O, I perceive you.
maiden (adj.) 4 without bloodshed

Enter Diomedes
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


Here is Sir Diomed. – Go, gentle knight;

Stand by our Ajax. As you and Lord Aeneas

Consent upon the order of their fight,
consent (v.) agree, concur, acquiesce
order (n.) 1 arrangement, disposition, direction

So be it, either to the uttermost

Or else a breath. The combatants being kin
breath (n.) 8 breather, exercising, breath of fresh air

Half stints their strife before their strokes begin.
stint (v.) 2 limit, hold back, restrain

Hector and Ajax prepare to fight
opposed (adj.) 1 opposite, facing


They are opposed already.


What Trojan is that same that looks so heavy?
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


The youngest son of Priam, a true knight,

Not yet mature, yet matchless; firm of word,

Speaking in deeds, and deedless in his tongue;
deedless (adj.) performing no deeds, inactive

Not soon provoked, nor being provoked soon calmed;

His heart and hand both open and both free;
free (adj.) 1 liberal, lavish, generous

For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows,

Yet gives he not till judgement guide his bounty,
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence

Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath;
breath (n.) 1 utterance, speech, voice
impair (adj.) [unclear meaning] unworthy, dishonourable; harmful, injurious

Manly as Hector, but more dangerous;

For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
subscribe (v.) 4 submit, yield, give in

To tender objects, but he in heat of action
object (n.) 1 spectacle, sight, object of attention
tender (adj.) 6 pitiable, pathetic, moving

Is more vindicative than jealous love.
vindicative (adj.) vindictive, punitive, revengeful

They call him Troilus, and on him erect

A second hope, as fairly built as Hector.

Thus says Aeneas, one that knows the youth

Even to his inches, and with private soul
inches, even to his every inch of him, from top to toe
soul (n.) 3 conscience, heart, inner being

Did in great Ilium thus translate him to me.
translate (v.) 2 explain, interpret

Alarum. Hector and Ajax fight
action (n.) 2 engagement, combat, fighting


They are in action.


Now, Ajax, hold thine own!


                         Hector, thou sleep'st;

Awake thee!


His blows are well disposed – there, Ajax!
disposed (adj.) 1 arranged, placed, distributed

Trumpets cease


You must no more.


                         Princes, enough, so please you.


I am not warm yet; let us fight again.


As Hector pleases.


                         Why, then will I no more.

Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son,

A cousin-german to great Priam's seed;
cousin-german (n.) first cousin

The obligation of our blood forbids

A gory emulation 'twixt us twain.
emulation (n.) 1 ambitious rivalry, contention, conflict

Were thy commixion Greek and Trojan so
commixion, commixtion (n.) commixture, make-up, physical blending

That thou couldst say ‘ This hand is Grecian all,

And this is Trojan; the sinews of this leg
sinew (n.) 1 muscle

All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood

Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
dexter (adj.) [heraldry] of the right side

Bounds in my father's ’ – by Jove multipotent,
bound (v.) 2 contain, enclose, confine
multipotent (adj.) most powerful

Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member
Greekish (adj.) Greek, Grecian
member (n.) 2 limb, piece of a body

Wherein my sword had not impressure made
impressure (n.) imprint, impression, indentation, stamp

Of our rank feud; but the just gods gainsay
gainsay (v.) 1 contradict, say the contrary, forbid
rank (adj.) 10 violent, heated, intemperate

That any drop thou borrowed'st from thy mother,

My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword

Be drained! Let me embrace thee, Ajax:

By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms;
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

Hector would have them fall upon him thus.

Cousin, all honour to thee!


                         I thank thee, Hector.

Thou art too gentle and too free a man.
free (adj.) 3 noble, honourable, worthy
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence

A great addition earned in thy death.
addition (n.) 2 attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]


Not Neoptolemus so mirable –
mirable (adj.) wonderful, marvellous

On whose bright crest Fame with her loud'st oyez
oyes, oyez (n.) hear ye [town crier's ‘Oyez’]

Cries ‘ This is he ’ – could promise to himself

A thought of added honour torn from Hector.


There is expectance here from both the sides
expectance (n.) expectant state, watchful anticipation

What further you will do.


                         We'll answer it;

The issue is embracement. Ajax, farewell.
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


If I might in entreaties find success,

As seld I have the chance, I would desire
desire (v.) 3 invite, welcome, request the presence of
seld (adv.) seldom, rarely

My famous cousin to our Grecian tents.


'Tis Agamemnon's wish; and great Achilles

Doth long to see unarmed the valiant Hector.


Aeneas, call my brother Troilus to me,

And signify this loving interview
interview (n.) face-to-face meeting
signify (v.) report, make known, declare

To the expecters of our Trojan part;
expecter (n.) person awaiting news
part (n.) 2 side, camp, party

Desire them home. – Give me thy hand, my cousin;
desire (v.) 1 request, wish, ask [for]

I will go eat with thee, and see your knights.

Agamemnon and the rest come forward


Great Agamemnon comes to meet us here.


The worthiest of them tell me name by name;

But for Achilles, mine own searching eyes

Shall find him by his large and portly size.
portly (adj.) stately, majestic, dignified


Worthy of arms, as welcome as to one

That would be rid of such an enemy! –

But that's no welcome: understand more clear,

What's past and what's to come is strewed with husks

And formless ruin of oblivion;

But in this extant moment, faith and troth,
extant (n.) 2 current, present, immediate
faith (n.) 4 reliability, dependability, trustworthiness
troth (n.) 1 truth, good faith See Topics: Swearing

Strained purely from all hollow bias-drawing,
bias-drawing (n.) turning away from the truth, crooked dealing
hollow (adj.) 1 empty, false, insincere
strained (adj.) 3 refined, purified, distilled

Bids thee with most divine integrity
divine (adj.) 2 godlike, sacred, blessed

From heart of very heart, great Hector, welcome.


I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.
imperious, emperious (adj.) imperial, majestic, sovereign


(to Troilus)

My well-famed lord of Troy, no less to you.


Let me confirm my princely brother's greeting:

You brace of warlike brothers, welcome hither.


Who must we answer?


                         The noble Menelaus.


O, you, my lord? – By Mars his gauntlet, thanks!

Mock not that I affect th' untraded oath;
affect (v.) 3 assume, display, put on, practise in an artificial way
untraded (adj.) unconventional, unaccustomed, unfamiliar

Your quondam wife swears still by Venus' glove.
quondam (adj.) former, erstwhile, previous

She's well, but bade me not commend her to you.
bid (v.), past form bade 3 pray, entreat, beg, ask
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


Name her not now, sir; she's a deadly theme.
theme (n.) 1 subject, subject-matter, topic of discourse


O, pardon; I offend.


I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Labouring for destiny, make cruel way
destiny (n.) 1 divine power, fate [one of the three destinies] See Topics: Classical mythology
labour for (v.) 2 do the work of, exert oneself on behalf of

Through ranks of Greekish youth; and I have seen thee,
Greekish (adj.) Greek, Grecian

As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,

And seen thee scorning forfeits and subduements,
forfeit (n.) 1 someone defeated and in danger of death
subduement (n.) someone overcome in a fight

When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i'th' air,
advanced (adj.) raised up, held high, uplifted

Not letting it decline on the declined,
decline (v.) 2 fall, descend, come down
declined (n.) vanquished person, someone brought down

That I have said unto my standers-by:
stander-by (n.) bystander, onlooker, spectator

‘ Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!’

And I have seen thee pause and take thy breath,

When that a ring of Greeks have hemmed thee in,

Like an Olympian wrestling. This have I seen;
Olympian (n.) athlete in the Olympic games; or: Olympian god

But this thy countenance, still locked in steel,
countenance (n.) 2 expression, look, face
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

I never saw till now. I knew thy grandsire,
grandsire (n.) 1 grandfather See Topics: Family

And once fought with him: he was a soldier good,

But by great Mars, the captain of us all,

Never like thee. Let an old man embrace thee;

And, worthy warrior, welcome to our tents.


'Tis the old Nestor.


Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,

That hast so long walked hand in hand with time;

Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.
reverend (adj.) revered, worthy, respected


I would my arms could match thee in contention,
contention (n.) quarrel, dispute, strife

As they contend with thee in courtesy.


I would they could.



By this white beard, I'd fight with thee tomorrow.

Well, welcome, welcome! – I have seen the time –


I wonder now how yonder city stands

When we have here her base and pillar by us.
base (n.) 2 foundation, supporting structure


I know your favour, Lord Ulysses, well.
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

Ah, sir, there's many a Greek and Trojan dead

Since first I saw yourself and Diomed

In Ilium, on your Greekish embassy.
embassy (n.) 2 ambassadorial role, function as ambassador
Greekish (adj.) Greek, Grecian


Sir, I foretold you then what would ensue.

My prophecy is but half his journey yet;

For yonder walls, that pertly front your town,
pertly (adv.) 2 boldly, audaciously, impudently

Yond towers, whose wanton tops do buss the clouds,
buss (v.) kiss wantonly, smack against
wanton (adj.) 2 casual, gentle

Must kiss their own feet.


                         I must not believe you.

There they stand yet, and modestly I think
modestly (adv.) without exaggeration, in due measure

The fall of every Phrygian stone will cost

A drop of Grecian blood. The end crowns all;

And that old common arbitrator, Time,
arbitrator (n.) 1 one who brings to a conclusion, resolver

Will one day end it.


                         So to him we leave it.

Most gentle and most valiant Hector, welcome.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

After the general, I beseech you next

To feast with me, and see me at my tent.


I shall forestall thee, Lord Ulysses, thou!
forestall (v.) 1 prevent, stop, intercept, waylay

Now, Hector, I have fed mine eyes on thee;

I have with exact view perused thee, Hector,
view (n.) 2 inspection, examination

And quoted joint by joint.
joint (n.) limb, body part
quote (v.) 1 closely observe, note, examine


                         Is this Achilles?


I am Achilles.


Stand fair, I pray thee; let me look on thee.
fair (adv.) 8 in full view


Behold thy fill.


                         Nay, I have done already.


Thou art too brief; I will the second time,

As I would buy thee, view thee limb by limb.


O, like a book of sport thou'lt read me o'er;
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport

But there's more in me than thou understand'st.

Why dost thou so oppress me with thine eye?


Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body

Shall I destroy him? – whether there, or there, or there? –

That I may give the local wound a name,

And make distinct the very breach whereout
breach (n.) 3 tear, gap, hole

Hector's great spirit flew: answer me, heavens!


It would discredit the blest gods, proud man,

To answer such a question. Stand again:

Think'st thou to catch my life so pleasantly
pleasantly (adv.) gratifyingly, satisfyingly

As to prenominate in nice conjecture
conjecture (n.) 4 forecast, prediction, prognostication
nice (adj.) 2 fine, precise, particular, subtle
prenominate (v.) name beforehand, specify in advance

Where thou wilt hit me dead?


                         I tell thee, yea.


Wert thou the oracle to tell me so,

I'd not believe thee. Henceforth guard thee well,

For I'll not kill thee there, nor there, nor there;

But, by the forge that stithied Mars his helm,
helm (n.) 1 helmet
stithy (v.) forge, hammer out

I'll kill thee everywhere, yea, o'er and o'er. –

You wisest Grecians, pardon me this brag;

His insolence draws folly from my lips,

But I'll endeavour deeds to match these words,

Or may I never –
chafe (v.) 2 enrage, irritate, anger


                         Do not chafe thee, cousin –

And you, Achilles, let these threats alone,

Till accident or purpose bring you to't.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

You may have every day enough of Hector,

If you have stomach. The general state, I fear,
state (n.) 3 persons of rank, nobility, court, council of state
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

Can scarce entreat you to be odd with him.
entreat, intreat (v.) 1 persuade, prevail upon
odd (adv.) at odds, at variance


I pray you, let us see you in the field;
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

We have had pelting wars since you refused
pelting (adj.) paltry, petty, worthless, insignificant

The Grecians' cause.


                         Dost thou entreat me, Hector?

Tomorrow do I meet thee, fell as death;
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage

Tonight all friends.


                         Thy hand upon that match.


First, all you peers of Greece, go to my tent;

There in the full convive you. Afterwards,
convive (v.) feast together, enjoy a banquet
full, in the to the full, amply

As Hector's leisure and your bounties shall
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence

Concur together, severally entreat him. –
entreat, intreat (v.) 1 persuade, prevail upon
severally (adv.) separately, individually See Topics: Stage directions

Beat loud the taborins, let the trumpets blow,
taborin, tabourine (n.) type of drum [narrower and longer than a tabor]

That this great soldier may his welcome know.

Exeunt all but Troilus and Ulysses

Drums and trumpets sound


My Lord Ulysses, tell me, I beseech you,

In what place of the field doth Calchas keep?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
keep (v.) 1 lodge, live, dwell


At Menelaus' tent, most princely Troilus.

There Diomed doth feast with him tonight,

Who neither looks on heaven nor on earth,

But gives all gaze and bent of amorous view
bent (n.) 1 direction, turning, inclination

On the fair Cressid.


Shall I, sweet lord, be bound to thee so much,

After we part from Agamemnon's tent,
part (v.) 1 depart [from], leave, quit

To bring me thither?


                         You shall command me, sir.

As gentle tell me, of what honour was
gentle (adv.) courteously, kindly
honour (n.) 2 credit, good name, reputation

This Cressida in Troy? Had she no lover there

That wails her absence?


O sir, to such as boasting show their scars

A mock is due. Will you walk on, my lord?
mock (n.) 1 act of mockery, mocking remark, derisive action, scornful irony

She was beloved, she loved, she is, and doth;

But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


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