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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Analysis

Literary Devices in Troilus and Cressida

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

So, the play goes down during the seventh year of the Trojan War. You know, that epic war that gave us the model of Western "heroism" and a ton of great literature (like Homer's Iliad and Virgil's...

Genre

If you want to figure out this play's genre, don't even think about trying to pin it down to one specific category. Trust us. It's impossible because Troilus and Cressida is a mishmash of tragedy,...

Tone

If this play were a person, we'd tell you it has a lot of mood swings. One minute Shakespeare's cracking (mostly dirty) jokes and the next minute, the play is all doom and gloom. Ultimately, though...

Writing Style

Most of Shakespeare's plays are written in a verse (poetry) style called iambic pentameter. Sounds kind of scary, so let's break it down. An "iamb" is an unaccented syllable followed by an accented...

What's Up With the Title?

So, you may have guessed from the title that this play is all about the love between... a guy named Troilus and a girl named Cressida. Especially if you've ever heard of Chaucer's famous poem about...

What's Up With the Ending?

This play begins in the middle of a war and (spoiler alert) ends in the middle of a war. Pretty depressing, really. When Hector is slaughtered by Achilles and his Myrmidons (and then dragged throu...

Tough-o-Meter

Nobody ever accused a Shakespeare play of being "easy." Here's a breakdown of the issues in Troilus and Cressida that students tend to have a tough time with. Don't worry, Shmoopers, you can handl...

Plot Analysis

Make Love Not WarTroilus wants to hook up with Cressida, not fight in some dumb war that's been dragging on for the last seven years. Problem is, Cressida's been playing hard to get. Meanwhile, the...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation StageAs Troilus salivates over Cressida, he can't stop thinking about how A-MA-ZING a steamy hook-up would be. The first time we meet him, the guy tells us he's so eager to be with her...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

As big-shot Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber says, Troilus blows off the Trojan War while he tries to get Cressida into bed. Meanwhile, the Trojan military leaders want to get the great warrior...

Trivia

A lot of people think Shakespeare's the guy who wrote this famous line about Helen of Troy: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?" He's not. That line comes from Doctor Faustus, a pla...

Steaminess Rating

Yep. This is one of Shakespeare's most sex-charged plays. It's all about a steamy love affair gone wrong during the Trojan War, which, by the way, is being fought because Paris has been getting it...

Allusions

The Trojan WarHelen of TroyParisHectorAchillesGeoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (c.1380s) Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey (c. 8th-6th century B.C.)William Caxton, Recuyell of the Historyes...
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