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MonkeyNotes-Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
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Hector says Aeneas is already on the battlefield and that he had given his word to fight many Greeks and to appear that morning before them. ‘Ay, but thou shalt not go’ Priam insists. Hector says that he won’t break his word. He says that since his father knows him as a dutiful son, he should not let him deny his filial duty, and should give him leave to go to battle - something which Priam is now forbidding him to do. Cassandra and Andromache tell Priam not to yield to him. Hector tells Andromache that he is offended with her and dismisses her from his presence. Andromache exits. Troilus says that Cassandra ‘This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl/Makes all these bodements.’

Cassandra presents a vivid picture of Hector’s end as she bids him farewell. ‘O, farewell dear Hector./Look how thou diest." Troilus shoos Cassandra away. Cassandra bids Hector farewell and says that ‘Thy dost thyself and all our Troy deceive’ before she exits. She knows that with the fall of Hector will come the ultimate decimation of Troy. Hector tells Priam to go in and cheer the town while they go out into battle and do praiseworthy deeds and ‘tell you them at night.’

Priam having failed in his mission can only hope the gods will protect Hector.

Priam and Hector exit and an alarm is sounded. Troilus says that ‘Proud Diomed, believe/I come to lose my arm, or win my sleeve.’ Troilus intends to win his sleeve or lose his arm in the attempt.


Pandarus enters. He bears a letter from Cressida. Pandarus laments about the ‘foolish fortune of this girl.’ Pandarus is plagued with ills - a list of which includes pulmonary consumption, coughs and rheum in his eyes and an ache in his bones, both of which, were symptoms of venereal disease. He asks Troilus what she has written. Troilus says that these are mere words ‘no matter from the heart;’ and that her words and deeds contradicted one another, and she tears the letter. As the wind disperses the pieces he says, ‘My love with words and errors still she feeds, /But edifies another with her deeds.’ and then exits.

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