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Troilus and Cressida

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  5,966 Ratings  ·  337 Reviews
This volume offers the most comprehensive and critically up-to-date edition of Troilus and Cressida available today. Bevington's learned and engaging introduction discusses the ambivalent status and genre of the play, variously presented in its early printing as a comedy, a history, and a tragedy. He examines and assimilates the wide variety of critical responses the play ...more
Paperback, Third Series, 469 pages
Published June 25th 1998 by Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare (first published 1602)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jun 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 16th-17th-c-brit

When I was young and naive, I loved Troilus and Cressida for its brave cynicism, but now that I am older--and my outlook is bleaker--I appreciate it for its realism and compassion. Shakespeare shows us a world in which lovers yearn to be true and warriors strive to be brave, but both inevitably fail, betrayed by human nature and the adventitious provocations of time.

Here, as in Romeo and Juliet, passion and violence are inextricably linked. Indeed, this later play often seems to be a dark parod
Jun 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histrionics
It’s a timeless story, really: sensitive young guy gets carried away by the noble delirium of first love and goes all mushy over the dirty ho who punched his v-card. Complications ensue.

If you think my synopsis sounds crude, all I can say is, don’t read Troilus and Cressida, because it gets a whole lot cruder than that. For sheer nastiness, it’s right up there with that other Shakespearean shocker, Titus Andronicus (though without the multiple amputations and cannibalism). Taking over the creaki
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare
“Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.”
― William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida


Troilus and Cressida is one of those Shakespeare plays that seems to have slipped through the cracks for me during my first 40 years. It was a distant, dark planet. I knew it existed, but couldn't give you a useful quote or discuss the plot or structure. A minor Shakespeare play, perhaps? Now that I've read it, I'm still a bit in the dark. I've got the basics (I've read The Iliad several times and am
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ava Gardner
Recommended to Sparrow by: Professor Lisa Freinkel
Shelves: plays, reviewed
My roommate in college was film noir's #1 fan, and we went through a long period of time trying to get caught up on every noir ever made. It was in that mood that said roommate and I took one of my favorite college classes, which we affectionately called Shakespeare Boot Camp. The two-week long class consisted of a week of studying plays and a week of living in Ashland, Oregon while going to see those plays on stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Brilliant! I was really psyched up to see th ...more
Nick Smith
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
So a lot of people seem to think this is really boring and difficult. I'll give them the second one, but boring? This tale of a tangential "romance" (if you can call it that) to the Trojan War is rife with all kinds of awesome feats du language (oh yeah, I wrote that) and lots of tiny but cool moments, as various celebrated heroes find themselves unable to escape the narratives we know them for, despite their (and Shakespeare's) best efforts. From the rather peaceful, almost wistful beginning to ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Troilus and Cressida is an underrated Shakespeare play based on the Iliad. It's not really a tragedy and not quite a comedy, but it seems to me that Shakespeare strikes a good blend. Troilus and Cressida are minor characters in the saga but Shakespeare draws their characters well and the reader becomes more invested in their story more than the multitude of other characters drawn from the Iliad. Many of these characters are intentionally drawn superficially because there is little time in the sp ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
A landmark for me. In this “Year of Reading All the Shakespeare,” this play, the twenty-first in the list, is the first one that I'd never read before and really enjoyed. To me, Titus Andronicus was a pointless gorefest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona was just dumb, and King Edward III was simply incoherent, but this – well, it's not great – not a Hamlet or Macbeth or Richard II – but it's very good.

While I'm quite familiar with The Iliad, the story of Troilus and Cressida was new to me. Aside fro
David Sarkies
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like farce
Recommended to David by: University
Shelves: comedy
Shakespeare's farcical take on the Iliad
22 May 2012

This is one of Shakespeare's stranger plays, and though the characters of the title do play a role in the play albeit it is a quite minor one. The play is set during the Trojan War and basically follows the plot of the Iliad, though Shakespeare adds some quite comic twists to the main characters.

Troilus and Cressida are two Trojans who are in love, but Cressida is given over to the Greeks in exchange for a prisoner. Troilus then sneaks into th
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, 1600s, shakespeare
this play is drenched in regret, betrayal, villainy and the frailty of mankind as opposed to the forces of fate. it's cruel, yet stiflingly lewd and irreverent at times. the boundaries of comedy and tragedy blend and intertwine constantly; chivalry and ridicule stand side by side.

there is always a sense of greatness - traces of truth and dreams of valour - but Troilus and Cressida fails to reach the heights of true epic. it is light in its treatment of grand themes and characters, among wh
Vane J.
Troilus and Cressida are in love, but their happiness does not last long because Cressida goes with the Greeks in exchange of a prisoner. There, Troilus spies on her and sees her flirting with Diomedes. Of course, jealousy gets in the way.

The previously described plot is what gives the name to the play, but that one is not the centre of it. Things revolve around the Trojan wars and all the characters involved in it. For example, there's Achilles, Hector, Menelaus and Paris. Troilus is also prese
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Δεν μου άρεσε ιδιαίτερα-ειδικά σε σύγκριση με άλλα έργα του Shakespeare,το βρήκα φτωχό σε πνεύμα και δομή..Κι αρκετά βαρετό,για να είμαι ειλικρινής!
Εκτίμησα την ρεαλιστική αντίδραση και προσαρμογή των ηρώων σε ορισμένες καταστάσεις.
Troilus and Cressida is a half-baked play. By that I mean that it reads like the conflation of two distinct plots tied together by the common character of Troilus. This is not to say it isn’t a rather good play but it’s not a successful one. I've read it twice now and watched the BBC adaptation, and it grows on you. There are several powerful monologues and scenes where the dialog crackles but in the final analysis it remains "clunky" and its parts difficult to reconcile. As to the reasons why, ...more

So pretty much everything Mr. Buck Mulligan writes in his review is spot-on. I wanted to say much of the same things as he does but he does it quite elegantly and probingly and thus you out there in Goodreads-land who are reading this would be well advised to check his review out...not to mention his other ones, for that matter. He on point, kid.

A couple of things I'd like to point out just for the hell of it...


People who don't dig on the classics (except in THEORY or cultural capital
Loved it! Reminds me so much of my journey through the Iliad and the Odyssey, but with the wit and wisdom that only the Bard can offer.
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Liz by: University
Required reading for university.

Maybe I'll review it later, maybe I won't, I am not sure yet.
Eℓℓis ♥
Un dramma storico che appartiene al gruppo di opere teatrali composte dal celeberrimo William Shakespeare. Sebbene non brilli per originalità e innovazione e non l'abbia trovata all'altezza di altre sue grandi composizioni (ad esempio Otello), è riuscita ugualmente ad avvincermi. La vicenda che ci viene narrata mischia bene entrambi i generi per cui è noto il nostro drammaturgo; tragedia e commedia si alternano e si snodano in un intreccio costituito da cinque atti.
La storia d'amore tra Troilo e
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drame, bard, 2014
Ovo je prvi i verovatno poslednji review za neki Šekspirov komad koji ću ikad napisati, jer ne smatram sebe nekim stručnjakom za Bardove drame, ali osećam se obaveznom da pojasnim zašto mi se dopao više nego što sam očekivala - naročito u poređenju sa generalnom ocenom drugih čitalaca.

Ova drama odiše cinizmom i zajedljivošću. Ne znam u kakvom je raspoloženju bio pisac dok je stvarao ovo delo, ali uspeo je da izvrne ruglu sve - čast, poštenje, vernost, ljubav. Dotadašnje romantične predstave sre
Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have already read The Iliad. And The Aeneid. And The Song of Achilles.
Shelves: drama, british
December of Drama 2015, day six


Did the Norton people make a mistake here? I've been reading out of my 3000+ page Norton Shakespeare, and they file this Trojan War clusterfuck under 'comedy.' Excuse me? The fact that a bloodbath forms the backdrop instead of the climax does not a comedy make. It reads much more like a deeply cynical tragedy than anything-- and the placement of the title characters' marriage early in the action rather than at the end may be the best
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ordinarily I wouldn't reread a book or play, even one I read for class, so soon after reading it for the first time, but with Shakespeare (and indeed Chaucer) I think it's necessary. Plus, this edition came with notes, which are very extensive and -- even though I need no help with the language in general -- help to shed light on puns, double entendres, and potential confused transmission of the plays, etc. It has an extensive introduction which covers a lot of different aspects of the play, too ...more
Alp Turgut
Truva Savaşı'ndaki önemli bir takım olayı oluş biçimini değiştirerek okuyucuya sunması sebebiyle Homeros'un "Iliad / İlyada" başyapıtını okuyanların okuması gerektiğine inandığım "Troilus and Cressida / Troilus ve Cressida", luzumsuz uzatmalarına rağmen Shakespere kalitesini gösteren sürükleyici bir piyes. Bir yandan Achilleus ile Hektor arasındaki gerilimi, diğer yandan ise Troilus'un Cressida'ya olan karşılıksız aşkını konu alan oyunda karakterlerin özelliklerinde köklü değişiklikler mevcut. B ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, shakespeare, 2017
I was as unfamiliar with T&C as I had been with Titus Andronicus. I smiled, immediately, when the prologue explains he's Beginning in the middle. Ah, I thought, in media res.

The longer I read the bard's plays, the more obvious are those twinkling and winking motifs.

Here is another Beatrice, wishing she were a man. And yet, good faith, I wish'd myself a man / Or that we women had men's privilege / Of speaking first.

There, again, is a riff on ingratitude.
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare and Chaucer both wrote about Troilus and Cressida but for very different themes. Chaucer’s poem took the disillusioned and heartbroken boy warrior and focused on the absurdity of human endeavors. For Chaucer, love is fleeting except the love one gives and receives from God.

Shakespeare, on the other hand, wants us to wallow in worthlessness. Unlike Chaucer, who was more forgiving of Cressida in portraying her betrayal as more a resignation in response to her situation, Shakespeare gle
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of the Iliad is so well known that the novelty here comes from total upheavals of characters as we knew them in Homer. It’s a dark parody of some events in the Iliad with the Greek gods out of the picture. This leaves it to be about our human ability to live up to ideals – including the ideals of tragedy or comedy. The heroes of the Trojan War are subject to a cynical recasting. Cressida, the unfaithful woman, is less frivolous than Helen and is quite aware of her role in the game. As ...more
This was a pretty difficult play to get into. Perhaps it was just me, but the dialogue just didn't have that vibrancy that I expect in Shakespeare. It couldn't quite figure out which type of play it wanted to be. There were comedic scenes--although poorly done--mixed in with scenes depicting political and military strategy machinations during the Trojan War.

In addition, the titular characters, that is both Troilus and Cressida, are really not a large part of the play itself. They are a side plo
John Sweeney
This is a case in which a 2.5-star rating would have been useful. It feels to me like Shakespeare must have viewed this play as an interesting writing exercise, but not something worthy of his full attention. Perhaps someone in the Lord Chamberlain's Men thought a play based on the Trojan War would be fun. Maybe he just wanted to test himself against Chaucer. Regardless, he created a work that has its pleasure, but doesn't compare favorably to the other plays he wrote around the same time.

May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was by far my favorite piece of literature from my first-year seminar - the professor was a rhetoric teacher and mostly made the texts come off chalky, but this shone through, and watching the bbc production for my own benefit made it even more exciting. i hate my high school english teachers for making me read "romeo & juliet" and "the taming of the shrew" even more now.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Last year, I sat on an airplane on my way back from the national Drug Court conference and read the Iliad. This year, I sat on an airplane on my way back from the national Drug Court conference and read Shakespeare's version of the Iliad. I'd lump this one together with Titus Andronicus. It's another highly disturbing, heart-pounding, page-turning Shakespeare play that I've never even heard of before.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare will hold my heart and soul, but this one might be better served by Homer. Still, like a delicious meal, Shakespeare prepares a dish most well, just not his best night.
Jeffrey Thomas
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
First Reading
Shakespeare seems to have written Troilus and Cressida within a few years of Hamlet. Striking, then, the contrast between the diamond-concise, concentrated Hamlet and the (in its early scenes, anyway) rather windy Troilus and Cressida.
Second Reading
I like it much better on second reading.
All the talk has a purpose: In the first act, I had a short-lived thought that it wasn’t about debunking the mythologizing of the Greeks in the Trojan War, but simply about bored men when their mis
Neil Coulter
When we moved back to our home country last year, after almost 13 years away, we gave away most of our Shakespeare books. Most of them were nothing special--the cheap, used paperback editions we'd acquired in college, or here and there from second-hand shelves. So when we got to our new home, I wanted to rebuild a better Shakespeare bookshelf. I looked around for reviews of current editions, and I settled on the Arden Third Series as just what we were looking for.

Additionally, playing Shakespea
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Shakespeare Fans: Troilus and Cressida 1 7 Jul 28, 2014 06:45PM  
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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