List iconTroilus and CressidaList icon

Troilus and Cressida
Act 3, scene 1

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Set during the Trojan War, Troilus and Cressida recounts the love affair of its title characters. Inside the besieged city of Troy,…

Preface

This preface appears in some copies of the play’s first printing in quarto in 1609.

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

Troilus refuses to fight because he is too disturbed by his unrequited love for Cressida. Pandarus, her uncle, complains of…

Act 1, scene 2

Cressida gossips with her servant Alexander, and then with Pandarus, who strives to interest her in Troilus. After Pandarus and…

Act 1, scene 3

As the general, Agamemnon, and his councillors Nestor and Ulysses discuss the refusal of their principal warriors, Achilles and Ajax,…

Act 2, scene 1

Ajax beats Thersites for refusing to tell him the terms of the challenge, terms that are provided by Achilles when…

Act 2, scene 2

The Trojan leaders discuss whether to keep Helen and thereby continue the war. They decide to do so in spite…

Act 2, scene 3

Thersites rails against Achilles and Ajax, and then, joined by Achilles and Patroclus, ridicules them to their faces. As Agamemnon…

Act 3, scene 1

Pandarus asks Paris to make excuses for Troilus’s absence from his father Priam’s supper table that night. At Helen’s insistence,…

Act 3, scene 2

Pandarus brings together Troilus and a seemingly reluctant Cressida, who finally acknowledges her love for Troilus.

Act 3, scene 3

Calchas asks the Greek leaders to demand his daughter Cressida from the Trojans in exchange for Antenor, whom the Greeks…

Act 4, scene 1

Aeneas, summoned to Priam’s palace, meets Paris and a deputation from the Greek camp bringing Antenor to be exchanged for…

Act 4, scene 2

As morning breaks after Troilus and Cressida’s night of lovemaking, Troilus, Pandarus, and Cressida each learn in turn that Cressida…

Act 4, scene 3

Paris sends Troilus to bring Cressida to Diomedes.

Act 4, scene 4

As Troilus and Cressida part, he urges her to be faithful to him, and he promises to visit her in…

Act 4, scene 5

The Greek leaders, Menelaus and Ulysses excepted, kiss Cressida as Diomedes brings her to the Greek camp. After Hector and…

Act 5, scene 1

Achilles receives a letter from Queen Hecuba of Troy requiring him to keep an oath he has sworn to seek…

Act 5, scene 2

Diomedes pressures Cressida to keep her promise to have sex with him; they are overheard by an enraged Troilus, an…

Act 5, scene 3

Andromache and Cassandra enlist Priam in their efforts to persuade Hector to refrain from battle. He, in turn, futilely attempts…

Act 5, scene 4

A railing Thersites watches Troilus and Diomedes go off fighting and, surprised by Hector, escapes death only through the Trojan’s…

Act 5, scene 5

Diomedes sends the horse he has won from Troilus to Cressida. Agamemnon and Nestor recount the slaughter of Greeks by…

Act 5, scene 6

Troilus fights both Diomedes and Ajax. Hector bests Achilles but allows him to live, and pursues another Greek in order…

Act 5, scene 7

Achilles, now accompanied by Myrmidons, searches for Hector.

Act 5, scene 8

Thersites comments on the combat between Menelaus and Paris. Then, surprised by Priam’s bastard son, Thersites escapes by refusing to…

Act 5, scene 9

Hector, having killed the Greek in the splendid armor, unarms himself and is surprised by Achilles, who orders his Myrmidons…

Act 5, scene 10

The rest of the Greek forces hear the shouts of the Myrmidons announcing Hector’s death.

Act 5, scene 11

Troilus announces Hector’s death to the Trojans. Marching back to Troy, Troilus meets Pandarus and reviles him.

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Quill icon
Scene 1
Music sounds within. Enter Pandarus and Paris’s
Servingman.


PANDARUS Friend, you, pray you, a word. Do you not
 follow the young Lord Paris?
MAN Ay, sir, when he goes before me.
PANDARUS You depend upon him, I mean.
MAN 5Sir, I do depend upon the Lord.
PANDARUS You depend upon a notable gentleman. I
 must needs praise him.
MAN The Lord be praised!
PANDARUS You know me, do you not?
MAN 10Faith, sir, superficially.
PANDARUS Friend, know me better. I am the Lord
 Pandarus.
MAN I hope I shall know your Honor better.
PANDARUS I do desire it.
MAN 15You are in the state of grace?
PANDARUS Grace? Not so, friend. “Honor” and “Lordship”
 are my titles. What music is this?
MAN I do but partly know, sir. It is music in parts.
PANDARUS Know you the musicians?
MAN 20Wholly, sir.
PANDARUS Who play they to?
MAN To the hearers, sir.
PANDARUS At whose pleasure, friend?
111

113
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 3. SC. 1

MAN At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.
PANDARUS 25Command, I mean, friend.
MAN Who shall I command, sir?
PANDARUS Friend, we understand not one another. I
 am too courtly and thou art too cunning. At whose
 request do these men play?
MAN 30That’s to ’t indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at the request of
 Paris my lord, who is there in person; with him the
 mortal Venus, the heart blood of beauty, love’s visible
 soul.
PANDARUS Who, my cousin Cressida?
MAN 35No, sir, Helen. Could not you find out that by her
 attributes?
PANDARUS It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not
 seen the Lady Cressid. I come to speak with Paris
 from the Prince Troilus. I will make a complimental
40 assault upon him, for my business seethes.
MAN Sodden business! There’s a stewed phrase indeed.

Enter Paris and Helen with Attendants.

PANDARUS Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
 company! Fair desires in all fair measure fairly
 guide them!—Especially to you, fair queen, fair
45 thoughts be your fair pillow!
HELEN Dear lord, you are full of fair words.
PANDARUS You speak your fair pleasure, sweet
 queen.—Fair prince, here is good broken music.
PARIS You have broke it, cousin, and, by my life, you
50 shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
 with a piece of your performance.
HELEN He is full of harmony.
PANDARUS Truly, lady, no.
HELEN O, sir—
PANDARUS 55Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.
PARIS Well said, my lord; well, you say so in fits.

115
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 3. SC. 1

PANDARUS I have business to my lord, dear queen.—
 My lord, will you vouchsafe me a word?
HELEN Nay, this shall not hedge us out. We’ll hear you
60 sing, certainly.
PANDARUS Well, sweet queen, you are pleasant with
 me.—But, marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and
 most esteemed friend, your brother Troilus—
HELEN My Lord Pandarus, honey-sweet lord—
PANDARUS 65Go to, sweet queen, go to—commends himself
 most affectionately to you—
HELEN You shall not bob us out of our melody. If you
 do, our melancholy upon your head!
PANDARUS Sweet queen, sweet queen, that’s a sweet
70 queen, i’ faith—
HELEN And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.
PANDARUS Nay, that shall not serve your turn, that
 shall it not, in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such
 words, no, no.—And, my lord, he desires you that
75 if the King call for him at supper, you will make his
 excuse.
HELEN My Lord Pandarus—
PANDARUS What says my sweet queen, my very, very
 sweet queen?
PARIS 80What exploit’s in hand? Where sups he tonight?
HELEN Nay, but, my lord—
PANDARUS What says my sweet queen? My cousin will
 fall out with you.
HELEN, to Paris You must not know where he sups.
PARIS 85I’ll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.
PANDARUS No, no, no such matter; you are wide.
 Come, your disposer is sick.
PARIS Well, I’ll make ’s excuse.
PANDARUS Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida?
90 No, your poor disposer’s sick.
PARIS I spy.

117
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 3. SC. 1

PANDARUS You spy? What do you spy?—Come, give me
 an instrument. An Attendant gives him an instrument.
 Now, sweet queen.
HELEN 95Why, this is kindly done.
PANDARUS My niece is horribly in love with a thing you
 have, sweet queen.
HELEN She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my Lord
 Paris.
PANDARUS 100He? No, she’ll none of him. They two are
 twain.
HELEN Falling in after falling out may make them
 three.
PANDARUS Come, come, I’ll hear no more of this. I’ll
105 sing you a song now.
HELEN Ay, ay, prithee. Now, by my troth, sweet lord,
 thou hast a fine forehead.
PANDARUS Ay, you may, you may.
HELEN Let thy song be love. “This love will undo us all.”
110 O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!
PANDARUS Love? Ay, that it shall, i’ faith.
PARIS Ay, good now, “Love, love, nothing but love.”
PANDARUS In good troth, it begins so.
 Love, love, nothing but love, still love, still more!
115  For, O, love’s bow
  Shoots buck and doe.
  The shaft confounds
  Not that it wounds
 But tickles still the sore.

120 These lovers cry “O ho!” they die,
  Yet that which seems the wound to kill
 Doth turn “O ho!” to “Ha ha he!”
  So dying love lives still.
 “O ho!” awhile, but “Ha ha ha!”
125 “O ho!”groans out for “ha ha ha!”—Hey ho!


119
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 3. SC. 1

HELEN In love, i’ faith, to the very tip of the nose.
PARIS He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds
 hot blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and
 hot thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.
PANDARUS 130Is this the generation of love? Hot blood,
 hot thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers.
 Is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who’s
 afield today?
PARIS Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
135 gallantry of Troy. I would fain have armed today,
 but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
 brother Troilus went not?
HELEN He hangs the lip at something.—You know all,
 Lord Pandarus.
PANDARUS 140Not I, honey sweet queen. I long to hear how
 they sped today.—You’ll remember your brother’s
 excuse?
PARIS To a hair.
PANDARUS Farewell, sweet queen.
HELEN 145Commend me to your niece.
PANDARUS I will, sweet queen.He exits.
Sound a retreat.
PARIS 
 They’re come from the field. Let us to Priam’s hall
 To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
 To help unarm our Hector. His stubborn buckles,
150 With these your white enchanting fingers touched,
 Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
 Or force of Greekish sinews. You shall do more
 Than all the island kings: disarm great Hector.
HELEN 
 ’Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris.
155 Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
 Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
 Yea, overshines ourself.
PARIS Sweet, above thought I love thee.
They exit.