William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

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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 …

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Citation: Hamlin, William M.. "Troilus and Cressida". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 August 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8470, accessed 04 October 2023.]

8470 Troilus and Cressida 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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