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Troilus and Cressida Act 3, Scene 3 Summary

  • Over at the Greek camp, Cressida's dad Calchas reminds everyone that he risked a lot when he betrayed the Trojans and came over to their side.
  • In return, he wants them to "exchange" one of their Trojan prisoners (a guy named Antenor) for Cressida so he can have a father-daughter reunion. (Ugh, parents, right?) Sure, Agamemnon says.
  • He sends Diomedes off to make the trade. Calchas follows him.
  • Just then, Achilles and Patroclus poke their heads out of their tent.
  • Ulysses tells everyone to walk by the tent and totally ignore Achilles so the guy will think they don't value him anymore. In other words, they're going to play hard to get. Hm, sensing a theme here.
  • Agamemnon, Nestor, Menelaus, and Ajax all blow past the tent, barely acknowledging that Achilles exists.
  • Achilles gets all paranoid. It doesn't help when Ulysses strolls by the tent all nonchalantly and acts like he's reading a book. You know, while walking. Like you do.
  • Achilles takes the bait and asks him what the book is about.
  • Ulysses says it's about how a man is only as good as his reputation. If a man doesn't have a lot of friends and admirers to give him props, he's totally worthless. Then he says that everyone's talking about how brave Ajax is for daring to take on Hector in the upcoming battle.
  • Naturally, Achilles is jealous and wants to know if everyone's forgotten about all of his brave deeds.
  • Ulysses tells him he's only as good as his last battle, which, by the way, nobody can remember anymore because it's been so long since Achilles bothered to come out of his tent and fight.
  • Achilles is all "Hey, I've got my reasons."
  • Then Ulysses says that everyone knows Achilles is more interested in sex than battle and that he's got the hots for a girl named Polyxena. But, seriously, it would be better if he wanted to "throw down" Hector on the battlefield instead of wanting to "throw down" Polyxena on his bed.(In other words, Achilles has promised Polyxena that he won't fight in the war. But, we have to ask, is this really why he stays in his tent all day Patroclus?)
  • Next, Ulysses warns Achilles that all the little Greek girls are going to tease his son about his dad, who spent all his time chasing Hector's sister, while brave Ajax defeated Hector.
  • Patroclus then blames himself for Achilles not wanting to fight.
  • He urges his BFF to get back on the battlefield and prove to everyone that he's not an effeminate wimp.
  • Achilles wonders aloud if Ajax is really going to fight with Hector and worries that his rep as a noble warrior is at stake.
  • He decides to invite Ajax and the Trojan lords (especially Hector) to his tent after the combat.
  • Then Thersites shows up to do his best impression of Ajax strutting around like a proud "peacock," until Achilles finally asks him to deliver a message to the guy. Achilles is totally worried, guys.

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