The History of Troilus and Cressida
45 Installments—Entirely free
This dark retelling of the events of the Trojan War places desperate lovers at the very heart of the conflict. At the start of the play, the Greeks are disillusioned and pessimistic because their hero Achilles has refused to fight, and the Trojans are divided and conflicted as to whether the beautiful Helen is still worth fighting for. Amidst this political turmoil, Troilus, a Trojan prince, and Cressida, the daughter of a Trojan who has defected to the Greeks, discover their passion for each other. Soon, though, they are wrenched apart when Cressida is traded to the Greeks in exchange for a Trojan prisoner. Before the day of battle, Troilus sneaks into the enemy camp and is heartbroken to observe Cressida agreeing to become Diomedes’ mistress. Betrayed and furious, Troilus takes the field the next day with his Trojan forces, and though the Trojans beat back the Greeks, they suffer heavy losses. A riveting portrait of the destructive forces of war, Troilus and Cressida depicts the tremendous casualties—emotional and physical—of war.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
With wanton Paris sleeps-and that's the quarrel.
Sperr up the sons of Troy.
To what may be digested in a play.
Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.
TROILUS. Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again.
That find such cruel battle here within?
Let him to ...