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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Characters

Meet the Cast


Troilus

Troilus is a young Trojan prince who falls for the wrong girl (that would be Cressida). If he were a real person living in the 21st century, he'd be starring in an episode of Cheaters or telling Je...

Cressida

We have absolutely no idea why Toyota named one of its cars after Cressida, since she's one of the most unreliable characters in literary history. She's Troilus' girlfriend and the daughter of Calc...

Hector

Hector is definitely the most crush-worthy of the Trojans, at least by reputation. Most stories show him as the biggest, baddest, most honorable Trojan soldier around. In classic literature like T...

Thersites

Someone needs to sit down and wash out Thersites's mouth with soap. Or—on second thought, don't, because we are seriously entertained by all this guy's insults. Thersites is the Greek slave who r...

Achilles

Achilles has a rep for being the Greek army's toughest and most important warrior. There's just one problem: he doesn't quite live up to his reputation in this play. How can he when he refuses to c...

Helen

If People magazine had been around in ancient Troy, Helen would have been the tabloid mag's "Sexiest Woman Alive" 10 years in a row. (You know, because that's how long the Trojan War lasted.)...

Ulysses

We have two pieces of advice for you, Shmooper: never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never go in against Ulysses when death is on the line. Because he is going to totally out-trick you.He'...

Pandarus

Pandarus is Western literature's original creepy uncle. He acts as a go-between for Troilus and Cressida and is always reducing their relationship to nothing more than a steamy hook-up. Did you not...

Patroclus

Patroclus is a Greek commander and Achilles' BFF / not-so-secret lover. (Yeah, we know Achilles is engaged to Polyxena but ancient Greek men were known to have male lovers, even if they were marrie...

Ajax

Ajax, a commander in the Greek army, is the play's official meathead. Literally. Thersites calls him "beef witted" (2.1.12). (We don't advise going up to your school's star linebacker and taunting...

Paris

Paris is the "wanton" (i.e. horny) Trojan prince who started the Trojan War when he stole Helen from the Greek King Menelaus (Prologue, 8-10). What? You say the cause of the Trojan War is more comp...

Menelaus

Menelaus is Helen's ex-husband and a commander in the Greek army. He's probably the most famous "cuckold" in literary history. ("Cuckold" is just an old-school term for a guy whose wife cheats on h...

Calchas

Oh, for a dad like Calchas. Not. He's Cressida's slime-ball dad and Trojan priest who has betrayed his countrymen and has joined forces with the Greeks. Real winner, this one, So, why did Calchas b...

Priam

Priam is the King of Troy and the father of Paris, Troilus, Hector, and Helenus. In the play, he's portrayed as a loving but overindulgent dad who lets his sons have the final say in everything. It...

Cassandra

Cassandra has just one song on her iPod playlist: R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It." She's the play's official crazy doomsday prophetess. (You know, the one nobody takes seriously....

Andromache

Andromache is Hector's long-suffering wife. We don't see her much in this play, but the first thing we hear about her is that her husband verbally abuses her and that everyone knows it (1.2.90). Li...

Agamemnon

Agamemnon is the general of the Greek army and Menelaus' big brother. Sounds impressive, right? Well, Shakespeare cracks a joke about how unimpressive Agamemnon really is when Aeneas shows up at th...

Nestor

Nestor is one of the Greek commanders and the play's official wise old man. Because he's been around the block a few times, the other characters give him a lot of props: HECTORLet me embrace thee,...

Diomedes

Diomedes is a Greek soldier. After escorting Cressida to the Greek camp, he puts the moves on her and convinces her to sleep with him, despite the fact that she promised not to cheat on Troilus. Wh...

Aeneas

You may have met Aeneas before. He's the protagonist of Virgil's famous epic poem, The Aeneid, but his role isn't nearly as big in Troilus and Cressida. Although he's one of the commanders of th...

Antenor

Antenor is a Trojan commander who has been captured by the Greek army. In the play, the Greeks trade him for Cressida at Calchas' request. Apparently, the guy is one of the Trojan army's top strate...

Helenus

Helenus is a Trojan priest and one of King Priam's sons. During the council meeting, he sides with Hector, who argues that Helen should be sent back to the Greeks ASAP to put an end to the war. Tro...

Margarelon

Margarelon is King Priam's "bastard" son. He shows up only once in the play, when he confronts Thersites on the battlefield (5.7.13). His sudden and brief appearance in the play seems pretty random...

The Prologue

Okay. We know the Prologue isn't exactly a "character" but this figure is a soldier dressed in armor who appears on stage at the beginning of the play. It's the Prologue's job to give us the 411 o...
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