Troilus and Cressida: Third Series, Revised Edition (The Arden Shakespeare Third Series)

Troilus and Cressida: Third Series, Revised Edition (The Arden Shakespeare Third Series)

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 1472584740

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A revised edition of this intriguing and complex play, updated to cover recent critical thinking and stage history. Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy often labelled a "problem" play because of its apparent blend of genres and its difficult themes. Set in the Trojan Wars it tells a story of doomed love and honour, offering a debased view of human nature in war-time and a stage peopled by generally unsympathetic characters. The revised edition makes an ideal text for study at undergraduate level and above.

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I’ll sing you a song now. HELEN Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead98. PANDARUS Ay, you may99, you may. HELEN Let thy song be100 love: this love will undo us all. O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid! PANDARUS Love? Ay, that it shall, i’faith. PARIS Ay, good now103, ‘Love, love, nothing but love’. PANDARUS In good troth, it begins so. Love, love, nothing but love, still more! Sings For, O, love’s106 bow Shoots107 buck and doe: The shaft108 confounds, Not that

up the verse.” And on the other, cynical reductions to the lowest common denominator of the body: “Here is such patchery, such juggling and such knavery! All the argument is a cuckold and a whore, a good quarrel to draw emulations, factions and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigo on the subject, and war and lechery confound all!” “Hector is dead, there is no more to say”: that is how a tragedy ought to end. But having said that line, Troilus says “Stay yet.” Shakespeare just won’t stop

corpse has been dragged “at the murderer’s horse’s tail” round the battlefield, emphasizing Achilles’ brutality and lack of heroism. Wearily, Troilus calls on the gods to be mercifully quick in their destruction of Troy, telling Aeneas that he does not speak of the war, but of the whole human condition. He says that they must march back to Troy with the news of Hector’s death, and, in doing so, they will turn Priam “to stone” and “Scare Troy out of itself.” He then swears his revenge on Achilles,

displaying the cynicism, the eloquence and the time-serving diplomacy of the character.”32 While not hugely successful, it was these cynical and unsentimental aspects of the play that increasingly captured attention, the play reflecting a growing public disillusionment. Two years later, contemporary resonances were further emphasized by Michael Macowan’s production at the Westminster Theatre. Utilizing modern dress, weaponry, and barbed wire in a direct confrontation of the national mood, the

music for the ears. Comedies included many songs. Desdemona’s willow song, perhaps a late addition to the text, is a rare and thus exceptionally poignant example from tragedy. Trumpets and tuckets sounded for ceremonial entrances, drums denoted an army on the march. Background music could create atmosphere, as at the beginning of Twelfth Night, during the lovers’ dialogue near the end of The Merchant of Venice, when the statue seemingly comes to life in The Winter’s Tale, and for the revival of

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