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Troilus and Cressida Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

  • Achilles chills with Patroclus and talks trash about how he's going to make mincemeat out of Hector tomorrow.
  • Then Thersites (the loudmouth slave) shows up at the Greek camp with a letter from Troy.
  • Thersites and Achilles bag on each other, which, of course. Did you expect anything else?
  • Patroclus tries to chime in but Thersites tells him to pipe down and calls him a man-whore.
  • To get his point across, Thersites lists a bunch of nasty diseases (most of which are STDs) and symptoms and says he hopes Patroclus experiences them all.
  • Want a sampling? "Rotten diseases of the south, the guts-griping, ruptures [...] raw eyes, dirt-rotten livers," "incurable bone-ache," and so on.
  • Meanwhile, Achilles reads his letter. It's from Queen Hecuba and includes a little love token from Polyxena (Hecuba's daughter).
  • Achilles is all "Rats! I was really looking forward to killing Hector tomorrow but I have to go back to Troy because I promised both women I wouldn't fight."
  • Achilles and Patroclus order Thersites to get their tent ready for a party that night. Tent party, y'all!
  • Alone on stage, Thersites delivers one of his nasty soliloquies about Achilles, Patroclus, and Agamemnon, who's got "ear-wax" for a brain.
  • Finally, a bunch of guys show up at Achilles' tent and go inside to par-tay.
  • When Diomedes leaves, Ulysses whispers that Troilus should follow him to Calchas' tent.
  • Thersites follows too and says he doesn't trust Diomedes. He then repeats a rumor that Diomedes is going to hook up with a "Trojan drab" (whore) in Calchas' tent.

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