William Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida

(2861 words)

Neither a comedy nor a tragedy in any conventional sense, Troilus and Cressida bears a well-deserved reputation as one of Shakespeare’s most difficult and enigmatic plays. Set during the Trojan War, it tells the story of two young lovers who are abruptly separated after spending a single night together. Troilus is the youngest son of Priam and Hecuba, king and queen of Troy; Cressida is the daughter of a Trojan prophet named Calchas who has defected to the Greeks. When the Greek army captures the Trojan warrior Antenor, Calchas proposes that Troy redeem him by offering Cressida in exchange – a plan that allows the Greeks to reward Calchas by reuniting him with his daughter. Both sides assent to the trade. Cressida is i…

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Citation:
Hamlin, William M.. "Troilus and Cressida". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 August 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8470, accessed 22 September 2014.]