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This is where the strands that were drawn up in the previous scene begin to be unraveled.
Here also the audience begins to see the depths to which Achilles will sink. After his stated intention of getting Hector drunk so that he would be befuddled on the battlefield the following day, his later murderous act doesn’t come as a surprise. ‘I’ll heat his blood with Greekish wine tonight, /Which with my scimitar I’ll cool tomorrow./Patroclus, let us feast him to the height.’ After this, the audience comes to expect something lowly from this creature.
The appearance of Thersites who is constantly called a mongrel dog of no particular use but to snarl, again presents an honest picture of the other characters. Patroclus is ‘Achilles male varlet’ - another imputation of homosexuality. Achilles and Patroclus are both dismissed as having ‘too much blood and too little brain’; Agamemnon ‘has not so much brain as ear-wax.’ Menelaus is ‘the bull, the primitive statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds’; Diomedes is ‘a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave.’ Thersites it is who gives the first hint of Cressida and Diomedes’ entanglement: ‘They say he keeps a Trojan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas’ tent.’