Troilus and Cressida Part 3

Act IV, Scene 3

Paris tells Troilus to go and say goodbye to Cressida. Troilus promises to deliver her to the Greeks, but he’s not happy about it. Paris feels sorry for his brother’s lost love.

Act IV, Scene 4

There’s no way around it. Cressida has to go and the two lovers will be separated for who knows how long. Even Pandarus is distressed by this turn of events and they all assume it is because the gods are jealous of their love.

Troilus and Cressida have a very long goodbye during which Troilus keeps asking Cressida to be faithful to him. She’s offended that he thinks she wouldn’t be faithful. He explains that it isn’t because he thinks she would cheat on him, but because he can’t hold a candle to all those Greek hotties she’ll be surrounded by. Cressida is still pretty offended, but lays that aside for their sad goodbye.

Their time has run out and it is time for Cressida to be turned over to Diomedes. Troilus makes Diomedes promise not to do anything to Cressida, but Diomedes thinks she is pretty and he does what he wants. Troilus is peeved and insists on walking Cressida to the gates.

Hector’s horn blares and Paris and Aeneas realize they are late. Even though it’s Troilus’ fault, Hector will still be mad.

Act IV, Scene 5

The Greeks blow the trumpet to challenge Hector, but there is no reply. It’s still early, so they aren’t too worried about it. Diomedes brings in Cressida and they all decide to welcome her with a kiss. Once it’s Menalaus’ turn everyone teases him about losing his wife and he doesn’t get a kiss. Ulysses “begs” for a kiss by saying he wants a kiss when Helen is a maid again. Cressida agrees because that will never happen. Nestor and Ulysses comment on Cressida’s snarkiness as soon as she leaves the tent.

Then, because the scene needs to move forward, the Trojans show up! Aeneas explains that Hector will agree to whatever rules that his opponent lays out for the fight. Achilles makes a snarky comment about Hector, which Aeneas does not take lightly. He reminds Achilles that Ajax and Hector are related. Diomedes returns and is selected to help draw up the terms of the fight.

In the meantime Ulysses and Agamemnon comment on how down in the dumps Troilus looks.

Hector and Ajax fight. At the first break in the fighting, Hector calls an end to it. He does not want to kill his cousin. Ajax, although perfectly willing to kill his cousin, agrees and the fight ends in a hug and an invitation for Hector to dine with the Greeks.

There are a series of introductions where they all compliment each other. There’s a brief awkward moment when Hector decides it would be a good idea to mention Helen to Menalaus, but it is quickly forgotten in a wave of new compliments. Ulysses reminds Hector that he predicted the war and the eventual fall of Troy. Hector is hopeful that Troy will stay standing (whomp, whomp). Achilles can’t help but boast about how he’s going to kill Hector. Hector is drawn into the verbal scuffle before excusing himself for being rude. They go off to enjoy their night of friendly feasting before getting back to killing each other in the morning.

Troilus asks Ulysses to take him to the tent where Cressida is. Ulysses reveals that Diomedes has eyes for Cressida, but agrees to take Troilus there. He asks if Cressida had a lover in Troy. Troilus says she does.

Act V, Scene 1

Achilles plans to entertain Hector with wine and feasting before returning to the battlefield the next day.

Just then, Thersites comes in with a letter. He’s quick to insult everyone, as usual. It doesn’t phase Achilles, but Patroclus gets pretty worked up after Thersites calls him a man-whore. What follows can only be described as possibly the finest example of Shakespearean insult work I have seen thus far.

Achilles interrupts the battle of wits to explain the contents of the letter. It appears that he is in love with a Trojan princess and Queen Hecuba has reminded him of his promise not to fight. He’s torn, so he asks Patroclus to confer with him in his tent.

Thersites goes on a classic “I hate everyone” rant once he’s alone. Achilles and Patroclus are going to go mad because they have too much passion or heat and not enough intelligence. Agamemnon, likewise, doesn’t have any brains, but the worst is definitely Menalaus. Thersites would curse fate if he were Menalaus.

His speech is interrupted by the arrival of the Trojans accompanied by the Greek generals. They’re lost, but Achilles pops back out of his tent to guide them in the right direction. Agamemnon and Menalaus depart once Hector is in good hands. Diomedes doesn’t want to stay because he has important things to do. Troilus and Ulysses follow him. Hector goes into the tent with Achilles.

Thersites, alone again, expresses his extreme distrust of Diomedes, so he decides to follow him too.

Act V, Scene 2

Diomedes approaches Calchas’ tent and asks for Cressida. Calchas sends her out and she appears to be very close with Diomedes. Troilus gets very angry, so Ulysses tries to get him to leave. Troilus refuses and promises not to speak.

Cressida has promised something to Diomedes, but she seems torn about delivering. Every time Diomedes threatens to leave, she calls him back. Eventually she delivers on her promise and gives him the sleeve Troilus gave her. Troilus is understandably upset by this. Cressida briefly rescinds her offer, but gives in once Diomedes actually tries to leave. She does refuse to say the name of her lover. Diomedes swears to wear the sleeve in battle so that he can be challenged by her former love. Diomedes leaves and Cressida curses her sex for having such easily changed hearts (…siiiiiiiiiigh).

Ulysses doesn’t understand why they are still standing there when the excitement is clearly over. Troilus refuses to believe what he has seen. He repeats and monologues about how there is no way that could be his beautiful love Cressida. Eventually, he is forced to face the truth when Ulysses finally figures out that Troilus loves Cressida (I can see why he gets lost at sea for 10 years sailing from Troy to Greece).

Troilus knows he must face Diomedes in battle the next day. Aeneas comes to fetch him and everyone leaves except Thersites, who has been hiding and occasionally speaking the whole time. Thersites decides to get up into some chaotic evil shenanigans.

Act V, Scene 3

Hector’s wife had a bad dream, so she doesn’t want him to fight that day. Cassandra also has a bad feeling about today. Hector, though, is determined to go to battle. Cassandra leaves to fetch Priam.

Troilus is all worked up and ready to fight. Hector wants him to stay home, but he refuses. Troilus takes issue with Hector stopping the fight with Ajax. Hector doesn’t really think that’s fair. Troilus explains that no one will stop him from fighting.

Priam returns with Cassandra and asks Hector not to fight. Apparently everyone is having ominous visions about today, but Hector doesn’t care. He values honor over life. He sends his wife away and she obeys. Cassandra tells Hector he’s going to die and Troilus tells her to leave.

Hector heads to battle, but Pandarus stops Troilus because he has a letter from Cressida. It doesn’t say anything of significance and Troilus tears it up.

Act V, Scene 4

Thersites apparently wants everyone dead. Troilus challenges Diomedes as he was retreating to his tent. Diomedes tries to put him off, but Thersites makes the fight about Cressida and the two men fight each other right off the stage.

Hector challenges Thersites, but Thersites explains that he is a nobody and not worthy Hector’s time. Hector lets him live. Thersites hopes Diomedes and Troilus have killed each other.

Act V, Scene 5

Diomedes has won Troilus’ horse and sends it to Cressida. Besides that everything has gone poorly for the Greeks. The headline being that Patroclus is dead. They send the body to Achilles who immediately arms himself and swears vengeance on Hector. Ajax is roused to fight as well because Troilus killed one of his friends.

Act V, Scene 6

Diomedes and Ajax challenge Troilus to a fight. He is happy to take them both on.

Hector cheers on his younger brother. At that moment Achilles challenges him, but Hector isn’t in the mood to fight Achilles. Achilles promises to return later.

Troilus pops in to let Hector know that Ajax is fighting Aeneas and Troilus will probably die today. Anyway, back to fighting.

Hector is challenged by a mysterious Greek with super cool armor.

Act V, Scene 7

Achilles sets up a plan with the Myrmidons to kill Hector. Menalaus and Paris fight, which Thersites find hilarious. One of Priam’s illegitimate sons challenges Thersites, who refuses to fight a fellow bastard and runs off.

Act V, Scene 8

Hector killed the mystery knight and rests for a moment. Achilles approaches and has the Myrmidions stab Hector while he’s unarmed. Achilles takes the credit and tells the Myrmidons to give him credit. Then, he asks the body to be tied to his horse, so he can drag it around.

Act V, Scene 9

All the Greeks are pumped to hear that Achilles killed Hector.

Act V, Scene 10

Hector is dead and that pretty much means that everything is over for Troy. Troilus sends Aeneas to tell Priam and Hecuba what happened as he repeatedly laments the loss.

Troilus walks away as Pandarus calls after him. Pandarus asks the audience to feel sorry for him because he’s the real tragedy here.


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