Troilus and Cressida
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 these two lovebirds, Troilus and Criseyde. Actually, Shakespeare is sort of banking on his audience's knowledge of Chaucer's poem. Back in the day, the love story of Troilus and Cressida was as famous as the story of Romeo and Juliet is for us today.
We should also tell you that, sometimes, the play is called The History of Troilus and Cressida, or The Tragedy of Troilus and Cressida. That's because publishers, audiences, and literary critics have been fighting about the play's genre since it was first published. Read more on this in "Genre."
Also, Troilus and Cressida aren't necessarily the main squeezes in this play, so what gives?