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Troilus and Cressida Act 2, Scene 1 Summary

  • Elsewhere in the Greek camp, Ajax yells at his slave Thersites, who ignores him and talks smack about what it would be like if Agamemnon had a bunch of nasty, oozing boils and skin ulcers.
  • (Gross! But go to "Symbols" if you want to know what's up with all the talk about disease and decay.)
  • Ajax is enraged when his slave blows him off. He asks him if he's deaf and calls him a bunch of names like "dog," "bitch-wolf's son," "Toadstool," "cobloaf," and so on.
  • (Hey, quick brain snack: a "cob loaf" is an ugly, misshapen piece of bread; a "toadstool" is a poisonous mushroom."
  • Also—hmm. Looks like the Greek camp really is in chaos and disorder.)
  • Just in case Thersites doesn't know he's in trouble, Ajax beats him... repeatedly.
  • What does Thersites do? He eggs on Ajax and encourages the guy to beat him some more.
  • Finally, Thersites calls Ajax an idiot and admits that when it comes to trash-talk, Thersites totally owns him.
  • Tired of lazing about in their tent, Achilles and Patroclus show up and want to know what's going on.
  • We find out that Ajax wants Thersites to find out about a proclamation that's just been issued, but Thersites refuses.
  • Thersites keeps talking smack to his master and gets into a spat with Achilles. Then he storms off.
  • Luckily, Achilles knows what's up. He tells Ajax that the proclamation is about the lottery to see who's going to throw down with Hector.
  • Achilles brags that if there wasn't going to be a lottery, he'd be the guy chosen to fight, since he's so awesome.
  • Ajax is all, "whatever, man."
  • But hey! It looks like the plot might work.

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