The History of Troilus and Cressida

by

William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

The History of Troilus and Cressida Page 01

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PRIAM, King of Troy

His sons: HECTOR TROILUS PARIS DEIPHOBUS HELENUS

MARGARELON, a bastard son of Priam

Trojan commanders: AENEAS ANTENOR

CALCHAS, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Greeks PANDARUS, uncle to Cressida AGAMEMNON, the Greek general MENELAUS, his brother

Greek commanders: ACHILLES AJAX ULYSSES NESTOR DIOMEDES PATROCLUS

THERSITES, a deformed and scurrilous Greek ALEXANDER, servant to Cressida SERVANT to Troilus SERVANT to Paris SERVANT to Diomedes

HELEN, wife to Menelaus ANDROMACHE, wife to Hector CASSANDRA, daughter to Priam, a prophetess CRESSIDA, daughter to Calchas

Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants

SCENE: Troy and the Greek camp before it

PROLOGUE TROILUS AND CRESSIDA PROLOGUE

In Troy, there lies the scene. From isles of Greece The princes orgillous, their high blood chaf'd, Have to the port of Athens sent their ships Fraught with the ministers and instruments Of cruel war. Sixty and nine that wore Their crownets regal from th' Athenian bay Put forth toward Phrygia; and their vow is made To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen, With wanton Paris sleeps-and that's the quarrel. To Tenedos they come, And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge Their war-like fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city, Dardan, and Tymbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien, And Antenorides, with massy staples And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts, Sperr up the sons of Troy. Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits On one and other side, Troyan and Greek, Sets all on hazard-and hither am I come A Prologue arm'd, but not in confidence Of author's pen or actor's voice, but suited In like conditions as our argument, To tell you, fair beholders, that our play Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils, Beginning in the middle; starting thence away, To what may be digested in a play. Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are; Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.

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