Troilus and Cressida

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A tragedy by Shakespeare probably written 1602, printed 1609, included in the First Folio of 1623. As well as Homer's and Chaucer's handling of material concerning the lovers and the siege of Troy, Shakespeare knew of Henryson's Testament of Cresseid, Caxton's Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, and Lydgate's Troy Book, and drew on Ovid's Metamorphoses Books XI and XII and R. Greene's Euphues his Censure to Philautus (1587).

Shakespeare's treatment of the love of Troilus and Cressida and its betrayal, against the setting of the siege of Troy by the Greeks, is conventional. The play contains much formal debate, and takes the story up to the death of Hector at the hands of Achilles: Troilus fails to kill his rival Diomedes, and the cynically railing Thersites escapes death.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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William Shakespeare (1564—1616) playwright and poet

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