General Discussion on Troilus and Cressida

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I am going to discuss Troilus and Cressida

First I would like to discuss some of the parts of Troilus and Cressida that I find confusing and why. It might be due to the fact that I do not understand the background story of the Trojan and Greek war that is the setting of this play, but some parts I just do not understand.

 

You said I could insert gifs, so I’ve ran with that

 

One aspect that I find really confusing is the fact that it did not take much persuading to make Troilus allow the love-of-his-life Cressida to leave to the enemies’ encampment. If he loved her so much, why would he just let her leave into the hands of his enemies? Just so they could have a war official back who did not help them win the war in the end anyway (spoiler alert). Even if Antenor did help them defeat the Greek army, if I have learned anything from Shakespeare is that you are supposed to do anything to get the girl. Even if that may cause your death (i.e. Tarquin), or cause you to suffer in prison (i.e. Malvolio). Get with the program, Troilus.

Along with that, Troilus was frantic that Cressida would not be faithful, despite her protests. Was that based on her previous behaviour that was explained by Shakespeare? Was their some background information that explained that Cressida was a flirtatious and fickle woman? Or was this just misogynistic behaviour, where the male was assuming that the woman was not going to be faithful for the sole fact that she is a female. Whatever it was, it was definite foreshadowing since that’s exactly what Cressida ended up doing.

Cressida who seemingly left the Trojans quite distressed moved on very fast. Was it because she thought that her life in Troy was completely over? Or was her heart really as fickle as Troilus feared?  I wonder how different directors would adapt the scene where Cressida is being kissed by the Grecian officials when she gets there – would she be in tears? Since later on she does end up with one of them (Diomedes), so was she really all that devastated to be torn away from her home and lover?

The thing that bothered me the most, besides the Cressida and Troilus love disaster, was that the Greeks and the Trojans were downright friendly when they would go to each others’ camps. Like, hullo, are we the only ones that remember that you are at war with these people?! They have killed your comrades and now you are behaving all chummy with them. Other than a few of them who were trying to kill each other on the sidelines, specifically Ajax and Hector, the rest of them were not as hostile as I expected them to me.

Eomer does not approve

 

These were just some of the questions/problems I had whilst reading Troilus and Cressida.

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