Troilus and Cressida
Troilus and Cressida Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion, A great-sized monster of ingratitudes: Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour'd As fast as they are made, forgot as soon As done: (3.3.145-150)
This is where Ulysses says that nobody thinks Achilles is awesome anymore because the guy hasn't performed any valiant deeds on the battlefield lately. The imagery Ulysses uses is pretty astonishing in this passage. He describes Time as though it's a huge, devouring monster that eats up a warrior's past "good deeds." Yikes! Ulysses is basically saying something like this: "Tick-tock, Achilles. You better get back on the battlefield ASAP before everyone forgets you and there's nothing left of your honor."
For time is like a fashionable host That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand, And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly, Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles, And farewell goes out sighing. (3.3.165-169)
As he urges Achilles to get back on the battlefield before everyone forgets his past heroic deeds, Ulysses really ups the imagery. Here, he describes Time as a person "with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly." The idea is that Time is just like a fickle person who goes through friends or lovers faster than we change our socks. In this way, Time is portrayed as an unfaithful person. (Kind of like Cressida, right?) There's also a play here on the famous Latin phrase "tempus fugit," or "time flies."
For beauty, wit, High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service, Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all To envious and calumniating time. One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. (3.3.171-175)
Human morality is 100%. In other words, all humans share the same destiny—death. It's only a matter of time before we all die, regardless of how beautiful, smart, rich, or healthy we are. What's interesting about this passage is how "time" is described as being "envious and calumniating," as if "time" is a jealous person who is out to destroy the lives and reputations of all mankind. Pretty scary, don't you think?