List iconTroilus and Cressida:
Act 5, scene 2
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Troilus and Cressida
Act 5, scene 2



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,…


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


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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Scene 2
Enter Diomedes.

DIOMEDES What, are you up here, ho? Speak.
CALCHAS, within Who calls?
DIOMEDES Diomed. Calchas, I think? Where’s your
CALCHAS, within 5She comes to you.

Enter Troilus and Ulysses, at a distance, and then,
apart from them, Thersites.

ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 
 Stand where the torch may not discover us.

Enter Cressida.

TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 Cressid comes forth to him.
DIOMEDES  How now, my charge?
 Now, my sweet guardian. Hark, a word with you.
She whispers to him.
TROILUS, aside 10Yea, so familiar?
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus She will sing any man at
 first sight.
THERSITES, aside And any man may sing her, if he
 can take her clef. She’s noted.
DIOMEDES 15Will you remember?
CRESSIDA Remember? Yes.
DIOMEDES Nay, but do, then, and let your mind be
 coupled with your words.
TROILUS, aside What should she remember?
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 20List!
 Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to folly.
THERSITES, aside Roguery!
DIOMEDES Nay, then—

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

CRESSIDA I’ll tell you what—
25 Foh, foh, come, tell a pin! You are forsworn.
 In faith, I cannot. What would you have me do?
THERSITES, aside A juggling trick: to be secretly open!
 What did you swear you would bestow on me?
 I prithee, do not hold me to mine oath.
30 Bid me do anything but that, sweet Greek.
DIOMEDES Good night.
TROILUS, aside Hold, patience!
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus How now, Trojan?
35 No, no, good night. I’ll be your fool no more.
TROILUS, aside Thy better must.
CRESSIDA Hark, a word in your ear.
She whispers to him.
TROILUS, aside O plague and madness!
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 
 You are moved, prince. Let us depart, I pray you,
40 Lest your displeasure should enlarge itself
 To wrathful terms. This place is dangerous;
 The time right deadly. I beseech you, go.
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 Behold, I pray you.
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus  Nay, good my lord, go off.
45 You flow to great distraction. Come, my lord.
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 I prithee, stay.
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus  You have not patience. Come.
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 I pray you, stay. By hell and all hell’s torments,
 I will not speak a word.

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

50 And so good night.He starts to leave.
CRESSIDA  Nay, but you part in anger.
TROILUS, aside Doth that grieve thee? O withered
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 
 How now, my lord?
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 55 By Jove, I will be patient.
 Guardian! Why, Greek!
DIOMEDES  Foh foh! Adieu. You palter.
 In faith, I do not. Come hither once again.
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 
 You shake, my lord, at something. Will you go?
60 You will break out.
TROILUS, aside  She strokes his cheek!
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus  Come, come.
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 Nay, stay. By Jove, I will not speak a word.
 There is between my will and all offenses
65 A guard of patience. Stay a little while.
THERSITES, aside How the devil Luxury, with his fat
 rump and potato finger, tickles these together.
 Fry, lechery, fry!
DIOMEDES But will you, then?
70 In faith, I will, la. Never trust me else.
 Give me some token for the surety of it.
CRESSIDA I’ll fetch you one.She exits.
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus 
 You have sworn patience.
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses  Fear me not, my lord.
75 I will not be myself nor have cognition
 Of what I feel. I am all patience.

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

Enter Cressida with Troilus’s sleeve.

THERSITES, aside Now the pledge, now, now, now!
CRESSIDA, giving the sleeve Here, Diomed. Keep this
TROILUS, aside 80O beauty, where is thy faith?
ULYSSES, aside to Troilus My lord—
TROILUS, aside to Ulysses 
 I will be patient; outwardly I will.
 You look upon that sleeve? Behold it well.
 He loved me—O false wench!—Give ’t me again.
She snatches the sleeve from Diomedes.
DIOMEDES 85Whose was ’t?
 It is no matter, now I ha ’t again.
 I will not meet with you tomorrow night.
 I prithee, Diomed, visit me no more.
THERSITES, aside Now she sharpens. Well said,
90 whetstone.
DIOMEDES I shall have it.
CRESSIDA What, this?
DIOMEDES Ay, that.
 O all you gods!—O pretty, pretty pledge!
95 Thy master now lies thinking on his bed
 Of thee and me, and sighs, and takes my glove,
 And gives memorial dainty kisses to it
 As I kiss thee.
He grabs the sleeve, and she tries to retrieve it.
DIOMEDES  Nay, do not snatch it from me.
100 He that takes that doth take my heart withal.
 I had your heart before. This follows it.
TROILUS, aside I did swear patience.

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

 You shall not have it, Diomed, faith, you shall not.
 I’ll give you something else.
DIOMEDES 105I will have this. Whose was it?
CRESSIDA It is no matter.
DIOMEDES Come, tell me whose it was.
 ’Twas one’s that loved me better than you will.
 But now you have it, take it.
DIOMEDES 110 Whose was it?
 By all Diana’s waiting-women yond,
 And by herself, I will not tell you whose.
 Tomorrow will I wear it on my helm
 And grieve his spirit that dares not challenge it.
TROILUS, aside 
115 Wert thou the devil and wor’st it on thy horn,
 It should be challenged.
 Well, well, ’tis done, ’tis past. And yet it is not.
 I will not keep my word.
DIOMEDES  Why, then, farewell.
120 Thou never shalt mock Diomed again.
He starts to leave.
 You shall not go. One cannot speak a word
 But it straight starts you.
DIOMEDES  I do not like this fooling.
TROILUS, aside 
 Nor I, by Pluto! But that that likes not you
125 Pleases me best.
DIOMEDES  What, shall I come? The hour?
 Ay, come.—O Jove!—Do, come.—I shall be plagued.

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Farewell, till then.
CRESSIDA  Good night. I prithee, come.—
He exits.
130 Troilus, farewell. One eye yet looks on thee,
 But with my heart the other eye doth see.
 Ah, poor our sex! This fault in us I find:
 The error of our eye directs our mind.
 What error leads must err. O, then conclude:
135 Minds swayed by eyes are full of turpitude.She exits.
 A proof of strength she could not publish more,
 Unless she said “My mind is now turned whore.”
 All’s done, my lord.
ULYSSES 140 Why stay we then?
 To make a recordation to my soul
 Of every syllable that here was spoke.
 But if I tell how these two did co-act,
 Shall I not lie in publishing a truth?
145 Sith yet there is a credence in my heart,
 An esperance so obstinately strong.
 That doth invert th’ attest of eyes and ears,
 As if those organs had deceptious functions,
 Created only to calumniate.
150 Was Cressid here?
ULYSSES  I cannot conjure, Trojan.
TROILUS She was not, sure.
ULYSSES Most sure she was.
 Why, my negation hath no taste of madness.
155 Nor mine, my lord. Cressid was here but now.

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Let it not be believed for womanhood!
 Think, we had mothers. Do not give advantage
 To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme
 For depravation, to square the general sex
160 By Cressid’s rule. Rather, think this not Cressid.
 What hath she done, prince, that can soil our
 Nothing at all, unless that this were she.
THERSITES, aside Will he swagger himself out on ’s
165 own eyes?
 This she? No, this is Diomed’s Cressida.
 If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
 If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimonies,
 If sanctimony be the gods’ delight,
170 If there be rule in unity itself,
 This is not she. O madness of discourse,
 That cause sets up with and against itself!
 Bifold authority, where reason can revolt
 Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
175 Without revolt. This is and is not Cressid.
 Within my soul there doth conduce a fight
 Of this strange nature, that a thing inseparate
 Divides more wider than the sky and Earth,
 And yet the spacious breadth of this division
180 Admits no orifex for a point as subtle
 As Ariachne’s broken woof to enter.
 Instance, O instance, strong as Pluto’s gates,
 Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven;
 Instance, O instance, strong as heaven itself,
185 The bonds of heaven are slipped, dissolved, and
 And with another knot, five-finger-tied,

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 2

 The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,
 The fragments, scraps, the bits and greasy relics
190 Of her o’er-eaten faith are given to Diomed.
 May worthy Troilus be half attached
 With that which here his passion doth express?
 Ay, Greek, and that shall be divulgèd well
 In characters as red as Mars his heart
195 Inflamed with Venus. Never did young man fancy
 With so eternal and so fixed a soul.
 Hark, Greek: as much as I do Cressid love,
 So much by weight hate I her Diomed.
 That sleeve is mine that he’ll bear on his helm.
200 Were it a casque composed by Vulcan’s skill,
 My sword should bite it. Not the dreadful spout
 Which shipmen do the hurricano call,
 Constringed in mass by the almighty sun,
 Shall dizzy with more clamor Neptune’s ear
205 In his descent than shall my prompted sword
 Falling on Diomed.
THERSITES, aside He’ll tickle it for his concupy.
 O Cressid! O false Cressid! False, false, false!
 Let all untruths stand by thy stainèd name,
210 And they’ll seem glorious.
ULYSSES  O, contain yourself.
 Your passion draws ears hither.

Enter Aeneas.

AENEAS, to Troilus 
 I have been seeking you this hour, my lord.
 Hector, by this, is arming him in Troy.
215 Ajax, your guard, stays to conduct you home.
 Have with you, prince.—My courteous lord, adieu.—

Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Farewell, revolted fair!—And, Diomed,
 Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head!
ULYSSES I’ll bring you to the gates.
TROILUS 220Accept distracted thanks.
Troilus, Aeneas, and Ulysses exit.
THERSITES Would I could meet that rogue Diomed! I
 would croak like a raven; I would bode, I would
 bode. Patroclus will give me anything for the intelligence
 of this whore. The parrot will not do more
225 for an almond than he for a commodious drab.
 Lechery, lechery, still wars and lechery! Nothing
 else holds fashion. A burning devil take them!
He exits.