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Troilus and Cressida Act 5, Scene 8 Summary

  • When we catch up with Hector, he's standing over the formerly armored Greek soldier, collecting the armor for his trophy case.
  • Hector notices that underneath all that "goodly armor," the guy is just a "putrefied core," a.k.a. rotting flesh. (Highlighters handy? This is important, which is why we talk about it in "Symbols.")
  • Next, Hector decides to take a little breather from the battle. He removes his helmet and armor. (Uh, oh.)
  • Then he talks lovingly to his sword and tells it that it deserves to "rest" too, since it's been so busy getting its "fill of blood and death."
  • Achilles and the Myrmidon hooligans show up and surround Hector. Achilles says something like "You're done, son."
  • Hector points out that he's unarmed. (Translation: Every "noble" warrior knows you don't go around killing unarmed guys. It's like shooting someone in the back.)
  • Well, so much for nobility. Achilles gives the signal to his goons and they strike Hector down.
  • After Hector falls, Achilles celebrates over the dead body like he's just scored the game-winning touchdown of the Super Bowl. He declares that Troy is about to go down next. (Insert ominous music here.)
  • Now, Achilles talks about his sword and says that its tummy isn't quite full from all the blood and guts it's "fed" on that day. But, Hector was a tasty little snack, so his sword is satisfied... for now.
  • (Okay. Shakespeare is seriously BEGGING you to compare how Hector and Achilles talk about their swords. Go to "Symbols" if you want our take on this.)
  • Achilles then has his gang of hoodlums tie Hector's body to his horse's tail so it can be dragged around the field. (So much for heroic deeds on the battlefield, huh Shmoopsters?)

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