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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida


by William Shakespeare


Character Analysis

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:

Let me embrace thee, good old chronicle,
That hast so long walk'd hand in hand with time:
Most reverend Nestor, I am glad to clasp thee.

I would my arms could match thee in contention,
As they contend with thee in courtesy.
I have seen the time. (4.5.202-210)

Because old Nestor has "seen the time" (he's super old), he's portrayed as a storehouse of history (a.k.a. a "chronicle") and knowledge. As such, he's a figure to be admired, respected, and cherished. But, apparently, he likes to "stroke" his beard a lot when he dispenses wisdom to his fellow Greeks, which is why Patroclus and Ulysses make fun of him (1.3.65).

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