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Troilus and Cressida

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
The setting for the story is the long running Trojan War. Troilus, a brother of Paris, falls in love with Cressida. She loves him, too, but plays hard to get. The plot covers the heroes from Greek mythology including Ulysses, Achilles and Ajax and their plans to try to end the war. Themes cover betrayal and jealousy. 

Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era).

A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
First Recorded production of Troilus and Cressida was February 7 1604. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and the work would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that the play was first printed in 1609. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The settings for the drama
The settings for Troilus and Cressida are Ancient Troy

Theme of the play
The play is categorised as a Tragedy (but it is also a dark comedy)

Number of words in the script
The number of words in Troilus and Cressida, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 27,629 

Most important characters
The most important characters in Troilus and Cressida are:
Priam, Troilus and Cressida

Famous Quotes / Quotations
The quotes from the play are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'The common curse of mankind'. Details of this famous quote follows, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.

"The common curse of mankind, - folly and ignorance". Troilus and Cressida  (Act II, Scene III).

History of the play
Many of the major characters are taken from the legends in Greek Mythology 

William Shakespeare's Main Source
Shakespeare probably found inspiration for Troilus and Cressida from Greek mythology and the works of Homer and Geoffrey Chaucer

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Text - script of the play Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in the play Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
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