Troilus and Cressida

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Aiax, and Thersites.Enter Ajax and Thersites TC II.i.1
Aia. AJAX 
Thersites?Thersites –  TC II.i.1
Agamemnon, how if he had Biles (ful) allAgamemnon – how if he had boils, full, all TC II.i.2
ouer generally.over, generally? TC II.i.3
Aia. AJAX 
Thersites?Thersites –  TC II.i.4
And those Byles did runne, say so; did notAnd those boils did run? – say so – did not TC II.i.5
the General run, were not that a botchy core?the general run then? Were not that a botchy core?botchy (adj.)
enveloped in sores [botches], tumour-covered
TC II.i.6
Aia. AJAX 
Dogge.Dog! TC II.i.7
Then there would come some matter fromThen there would come some matter frommatter (n.)
pus, discharge, fluid [from a wound]
TC II.i.8
him: I see none now.him; I see none now. TC II.i.9
Aia. AJAX 
Thou Bitch-Wolfes-Sonne, canst yu not heare? FeeleThou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear? Feel, TC II.i.10
then. then. TC II.i.11
Strikes him.He strikes him TC II.i.12
The plague of Greece vpon thee thouThe plague of Greece upon thee, thou TC II.i.12
Mungrel beefe-witted Lord.mongrel beef-witted lord!beef-witted (adj.)

old form: beefe-witted
beef-brained, thick-headed, brainless
TC II.i.13
Aia. AJAX 
Speake then you whinid'st leauen speake, I willSpeak, then, thou vinewed'st leaven, speak; I willleaven (n.)

old form: leauen
[baking] fermenting element, infusing mixture, adulteration
TC II.i.14
vinewed (adj.)
mouldy, rotten, decaying
beate thee into handsomnesse.beat thee into handsomeness!handsomeness (n.)

old form: handsomnesse
graciousness, courtesy, decent behaviour
TC II.i.15
I shal sooner rayle thee into wit and holinesse:I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness;wit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
TC II.i.16
rail (v.)

old form: rayle
rant, rave, be abusive [about]
but I thinke thy Horse wil sooner con an Oration, then but I think thy horse will sooner con an oration thancon (v.)
learn by heart, commit to memory
TC II.i.17
yu learn a prayer without booke: Thou canst strike, canstthou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike,book, without

old form: booke
off by heart, by rote
TC II.i.18
thou? A red Murren o'th thy Iades trickes.canst thou? – A red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!murrain (n.)

old form: Murren
plague, pestilence
TC II.i.19
jade (n.)

old form: Iades
worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag
Aia. AJAX 
Toads stoole, learne me the Proclamation.Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.learn (v.)

old form: learne
inform of, tell about
TC II.i.20
Doest thou thinke I haue no sence thou Dost thou think I have no sense, thousense (n.)

old form: sence
ability to respond to sensation, physical perception
TC II.i.21
strik'st me thus?strikest me thus? TC II.i.22
Aia. AJAX 
The Proclamation.The proclamation! TC II.i.23
Thou art proclaim'd a foole, I thinke.Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think. TC II.i.24
Aia. AJAX 
Do not Porpentine, do not; my fingers itch.Do not, porpentine, do not; my fingers itch.porpentine (n.)
TC II.i.25
I would thou didst itch from head to foot,I would thou didst itch from head to foot, TC II.i.26
and / I had the scratching of thee, I would make thee theand I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the TC II.i.27
lothsom'st scab in Greece.loathsomest scab in Greece.scab (n.)
scurvy fellow, scoundrel, villain
TC II.i.28
Aia. AJAX 
I say the Proclamation.I say, the proclamation! TC II.i.29
Thou grumblest & railest euery houre on Thou grumblest and railest every hour on TC II.i.30
Achilles, and thou art as ful of enuy at his greatnes, as Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as TC II.i.31
Cerberus is at Proserpina's beauty. I, that thouCerberus is at Proserpina's beauty, ay, that thouCerberus (n.)
['sairberus] three-headed dog guarding the entrance to the Underworld, originally 50-headed; charmed to sleep by Orpheus during his quest to rescue Euridice
TC II.i.32
Proserpine, Proserpina (n.)
daughter of the corn-goddess Ceres; Hades, king of the Underworld, abducted her and made her his queen
barkst at him.bark'st at him. TC II.i.33
Aia. AJAX 
Mistresse Thersites.Mistress Thersites! TC II.i.34
Thou should'st strike him.Thou shouldest strike him –  TC II.i.35
Aia. AJAX 
Coblofe.Cobloaf!cobloaf (n.)

old form: Coblofe
small round lumpish loaf
TC II.i.36
He would pun thee into shiuers with his fist,He would pun thee into shivers with his fist,pun (v.)
pound, hammer, batter
TC II.i.37
shiver (n.)

old form: shiuers
fragment, splinter, piece
as a Sailor breakes a a sailor breaks a biscuit. TC II.i.38
Aia. AJAX  
(beating him) TC II.i.39.1
You horson Curre. You whoreson cur!whoreson (adj.)
[abusive intensifier, serious or jocular] bastard, wretched, vile
TC II.i.39
Do, do.Do, (v.)
go on, carry on
TC II.i.40
Aia. AJAX 
Thou stoole for a Witch.Thou stool for a witch!stool (n.)

old form: stoole
chamber-pot, commode
TC II.i.41
I, do, do, thou sodden-witted Lord: thouAy, do, do! Thou sodden-witted lord, thousodden-witted (adj.)
stew-brained, limp-minded, alcohol-crazed
TC II.i.42
hast no more braine then I haue in mine elbows: Anhast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; an TC II.i.43
Asinico may tutor thee. Thou scuruy valiant Asse, thouassinico may tutor thee. Thou scurvy-valiant ass, thouscurvy-valiant (adj.)

old form: scuruy valiant
supremely worthless, heartily contemptible
TC II.i.44
assinico, asinico, assenego (n.)
[pron: asi'neekoh] little ass, donkey, dolt
art heere but to thresh Troyans, and thou art bought and art here but to thrash Trojans, and thou art bought andbuy and sell, past form bought and sold

old form: solde
betray, exploit, treat treacherously
TC II.i.45
solde among those of any wit, like a Barbarian slaue. Ifsold among those of any wit, like a barbarian slave. Ifwit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
TC II.i.46
thou vse to beat me, I wil begin at thy heele, and telthou use to beat me, I will begin at thy heel, and telltell (v.)

old form: tel
count out, number, itemize
TC II.i.47
use (v.)

old form: vse
be accustomed, make a habit [of]
what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels thou.what thou art by inches, thou thing of no bowels, thou!inches, by
very gradually, bit by bit, by small degrees
TC II.i.48
bowels (n.)
feelings, sensitivity, heart
Aia. AJAX 
You dogge.You dog! TC II.i.49
You scuruy Lord.You scurvy lord! TC II.i.50
Aia. AJAX  
(beating him) TC II.i.51
You Curre.You cur! TC II.i.51
Mars his Ideot: do rudenes, do Camell, do,Mars his idiot! Do, rudeness, do, camel; do,rudeness (n.)

old form: rudenes
rough manner, uncouth behaviour
TC II.i.52
Mars (n.)
Roman god of war! TC II.i.53
Enter Achilles, and Patroclus.Enter Achilles and Patroclus TC II.i.54
Why how now Aiax? wherefore do you this?Why, how now, Ajax! Wherefore do you this? TC II.i.54
How now Thersites? what's the matter man?How now, Thersites, what's the matter, man? TC II.i.55
You see him there, do you?You see him there, do you? TC II.i.56
I, what's the matter.Ay, what's the matter? TC II.i.57
Nay looke vpon him.Nay, look upon him. TC II.i.58
So I do: what's the matter?So I do; what's the matter? TC II.i.59
Nay but regard him well.Nay, but regard him well. TC II.i.60
Well, why I do so.Well, why, I do so. TC II.i.61
But yet you looke not well vpon him: forBut yet you look not well upon him; for, TC II.i.62
who some euer you take him to be, he is Aiax.whomsoever you take him to be, he is Ajax. TC II.i.63
I know that foole.I know that, fool. TC II.i.64
I, but that foole knowes not himselfe.Ay, but that fool knows not himself. TC II.i.65
Aiax. AJAX 
Therefore I beate thee.Therefore I beat thee. TC II.i.66
Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit heLo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit hemodicum (n.)
limited quantity, tiny amount
TC II.i.67
wit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
vtters: his euasions haue eares thus long. I haue bobb'dutters! His evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbedbob (v.)

old form: bobb'd
punch, strike, buffet
TC II.i.68
his Braine more then he has beate my bones: I will buyhis brain more than he has beat my bones. I will buy TC II.i.69
nine Sparrowes for a peny, and his Piamater is notnine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is notpia mater (n.)

old form: Piamater
[Latin] dutiful mother: membrane covering the brain; brain
TC II.i.70
worth the ninth part of a Sparrow. This Lord (Achilles) worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles –  TC II.i.71
Aiax who wears his wit in his belly, and his guttes in hisAjax, who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his TC II.i.72
head, Ile tell you what I say of him.head – I'll tell you what I say of him. TC II.i.73
What?What? TC II.i.74
I say this Aiax---I say, this Ajax –  TC II.i.75
Ajax threatens to beat him; Achilles intervenes TC II.i.76
Nay good Aiax.Nay, good Ajax. TC II.i.76
Has not so much wit.Has not so much wit –  TC II.i.77
Nay, I must hold you.Nay, I must hold you. TC II.i.78
As will stop the eye of Helens Needle, forAs will stop the eye of Helen's needle, for TC II.i.79
whom he comes to fight.whom he comes to fight. TC II.i.80
Peace foole.Peace, fool! TC II.i.81
I would haue peace and quietnes, but theI would have peace and quietness, but the TC II.i.82
foole will not: he there, that he, looke you there.fool will not: he there, that he – look you there. TC II.i.83
Aiax. AJAX 
O thou damn'd Curre, I shall---O thou damned cur, I shall –  TC II.i.84
Will you set your wit to a Fooles.Will you set your wit to a fool's? TC II.i.85
No I warrant you, for a fooles will shameNo, I warrant you, for a fool's will shamewarrant (v.)
assure, promise, guarantee, confirm
TC II.i.86 TC II.i.87
Good words Thersites.Good words, Thersites. TC II.i.88
What's the quarrell?What's the quarrel? TC II.i.89
Aiax. AJAX 
I bad thee vile Owle, goe learne me the tenure of theI bade the vile owl go learn me the tenor of thetenor, tenour (n.)

old form: tenure
substance, content, matter, drift
TC II.i.90
learn (v.)

old form: learne
inform of, tell about
Proclamation, and he rayles vpon me.proclamation, and he rails upon me. TC II.i.91
I serue thee not.I serve thee not. TC II.i.92
Aiax. AJAX 
Well, go too, go too.Well, go to, go to. TC II.i.93
I serue heere voluntary.I serve here voluntary. TC II.i.94
Your last seruice was sufferance, 'twas notYour last service was sufferance, 'twas notsufferance (n.)
distress, suffering, hardship
TC II.i.95
voluntary, no man is beaten voluntary: Aiax was heerevoluntary; no man is beaten voluntary. Ajax was here TC II.i.96
the voluntary, and you as vnder an Impresse.the voluntary, and you as under an impress.impress (n.)

old form: Impresse
conscription, enforced service
TC II.i.97
voluntary (n.)
E'neso, a great deale of your wit too lies inE'en so; a great deal of your wit, too, lies ineven, e'en (adv.)

old form: E'ne
just, exactly
TC II.i.98
your sinnewes, or else there be Liars. Hector shall haue ayour sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have asinew (n.)

old form: sinnewes
TC II.i.99
great catch, if he knocke out either of your braines, hegreat catch if he knock out either of your brains: he TC II.i.100
were as good cracke a fustie nut with no kernell.were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel.fusty (adj.)

old form: fustie
musty, mouldy, stale-smelling
TC II.i.101
What with me to Thersites?What, with me too, Thersites? TC II.i.102
There's Vlysses, and old Nestor, whose WitThere's Ulysses and old Nestor – whose wit TC II.i.103
was mouldy ere their Grandsires had nails on their toes,was mouldy ere your grandsires had nails on their toes TC II.i.104
yoke you like draft-Oxen, and make you plough vp – yoke you like draught-oxen, and make you plough up TC II.i.105
the warre.the wars. TC II.i.106
What? what?What? What? TC II.i.107
Yes good sooth, to Achilles, to Aiax, to---Yes, good sooth; to, Achilles! To, Ajax, to!sooth (n.)
truth [in exclamations, emphasizing an assertion]
TC II.i.108
Aiax. AJAX 
I shall cut out your tongue.I shall cut out your tongue. TC II.i.109
'Tis no matter, I shall speake as much as thou'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much as thou TC II.i.110
afterwards.afterwards. TC II.i.111
No more words Thersites.No more words, Thersites; peace! TC II.i.112
I will hold my peace when Achilles BroochI will hold my peace when Achilles' broochbrooch (n.)
jewel, ornament
TC II.i.113
bids me, shall I?bids me, shall I? TC II.i.114
There's for you Patroclus.There's for you, Patroclus. TC II.i.115
I will see you hang'd like Clotpoles ere II will see you hanged like clotpolls ere Iclotpoll, clotpole, clatpole (n.)
blockhead, dolt, numskull
TC II.i.116
come any more to your Tents; I will keepe where there iscome any more to your tents; I will keep where there iskeep (v.)

old form: keepe
lodge, live, dwell
TC II.i.117
wit stirring, and leaue the faction of fooles. wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.faction (n.)
party, group, set [of people]
TC II.i.118
Exit.Exit TC II.i.118
A good riddance.A good riddance. TC II.i.119
Marry this Sir is proclaim'd through al our host,Marry, this, sir, is proclaimed through all our host:marry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
TC II.i.120
That Hector by the fift houre of the Sunne,That Hector, by the fifth hour of the sun, TC II.i.121
Will with a Trumpet, 'twixt our Tents and TroyWill with a trumpet 'twixt our tents and Troy TC II.i.122
To morrow morning call some Knight to Armes,Tomorrow morning call some knight to arms TC II.i.123
That hath a stomacke, and such a one that dareThat hath a stomach, and such a one that darestomach (n.)

old form: stomacke
wish, inclination, desire
TC II.i.124
Maintaine I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell.Maintain – I know not what: 'tis trash. Farewell. TC II.i.125
Aiax. AJAX 
Farewell? who shall answer him?Farewell. Who shall answer him?answer (v.)
engage with, encounter, meet [in fight]
TC II.i.126
I know not, 'tis put to Lottry: otherwiseI know not – 'tis put to lottery. Otherwise TC II.i.127
He knew his man.He knew his man. TC II.i.128
Aiax. AJAX 
O meaning you, I wil go learne more of it. O, meaning you? I will go learn more of it. TC II.i.129
Exit.Exeunt TC II.i.129
 Previous Act II, Scene I Next  

Jump directly to