List iconTroilus and CressidaList icon

Troilus and Cressida
Act 5, scene 3

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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,…

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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Scene 3
Enter Hector, armed, and Andromache.

ANDROMACHE 
 When was my lord so much ungently tempered
 To stop his ears against admonishment?
 Unarm, unarm, and do not fight today.
HECTOR 
 You train me to offend you. Get you in.
5 By all the everlasting gods, I’ll go!
ANDROMACHE 
 My dreams will sure prove ominous to the day.
HECTOR 
 No more, I say.

Enter Cassandra.

CASSANDRA  Where is my brother Hector?
ANDROMACHE 
 Here, sister, armed and bloody in intent.
10 Consort with me in loud and dear petition;
 Pursue we him on knees. For I have dreamt

237
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Of bloody turbulence, and this whole night
 Hath nothing been but shapes and forms of slaughter.
CASSANDRA 
 O, ’tis true!
HECTOR, calling out 15 Ho! Bid my trumpet sound!
CASSANDRA 
 No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother!
HECTOR 
 Begone, I say. The gods have heard me swear.
CASSANDRA 
 The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows.
 They are polluted off’rings more abhorred
20 Than spotted livers in the sacrifice.
ANDROMACHE, to Hector 
 O, be persuaded! Do not count it holy
 To hurt by being just. It is as lawful,
 For we would give much, to use violent thefts
 And rob in the behalf of charity.
CASSANDRA 
25 It is the purpose that makes strong the vow,
 But vows to every purpose must not hold.
 Unarm, sweet Hector.
HECTOR  Hold you still, I say.
 Mine honor keeps the weather of my fate.
30 Life every man holds dear, but the dear man
 Holds honor far more precious-dear than life.

Enter Troilus, armed.

 How now, young man? Meanest thou to fight today?
ANDROMACHE 
 Cassandra, call my father to persuade.
Cassandra exits.
HECTOR 
 No, faith, young Troilus, doff thy harness, youth.
35 I am today i’ th’ vein of chivalry.
 Let grow thy sinews till their knots be strong,

239
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 3

 And tempt not yet the brushes of the war.
 Unarm thee, go, and doubt thou not, brave boy,
 I’ll stand today for thee and me and Troy.
TROILUS 
40 Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
 Which better fits a lion than a man.
HECTOR 
 What vice is that? Good Troilus, chide me for it.
TROILUS 
 When many times the captive Grecian falls,
 Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword,
45 You bid them rise and live.
HECTOR 
 O, ’tis fair play.
TROILUS  Fool’s play, by heaven. Hector.
HECTOR 
 How now? How now?
TROILUS  For th’ love of all the gods,
50 Let’s leave the hermit Pity with our mother,
 And when we have our armors buckled on,
 The venomed Vengeance ride upon our swords,
 Spur them to ruthful work, rein them from ruth.
HECTOR 
 Fie, savage, fie!
TROILUS 55 Hector, then ’tis wars.
HECTOR 
 Troilus, I would not have you fight today.
TROILUS Who should withhold me?
 Not fate, obedience, nor the hand of Mars,
 Beck’ning with fiery truncheon my retire;
60 Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees,
 Their eyes o’er-gallèd with recourse of tears;
 Nor you, my brother, with your true sword drawn
 Opposed to hinder me, should stop my way,
 But by my ruin.

241
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 3

Enter Priam and Cassandra.

CASSANDRA, indicating Hector 
65 Lay hold upon him, Priam; hold him fast.
 He is thy crutch. Now if thou loose thy stay,
 Thou on him leaning, and all Troy on thee,
 Fall all together.
PRIAM  Come, Hector, come. Go back.
70 Thy wife hath dreamt, thy mother hath had visions,
 Cassandra doth foresee, and I myself
 Am like a prophet suddenly enrapt
 To tell thee that this day is ominous.
 Therefore, come back.
HECTOR 75 Aeneas is afield,
 And I do stand engaged to many Greeks,
 Even in the faith of valor, to appear
 This morning to them.
PRIAM  Ay, but thou shalt not go.
HECTOR 80I must not break my faith.
 You know me dutiful; therefore, dear sir,
 Let me not shame respect, but give me leave
 To take that course by your consent and voice
 Which you do here forbid me, royal Priam.
CASSANDRA 
85 O Priam, yield not to him!
ANDROMACHE  Do not, dear father.
HECTOR 
 Andromache, I am offended with you.
 Upon the love you bear me, get you in.
Andromache exits.
TROILUS 
 This foolish, dreaming, superstitious girl
90 Makes all these bodements.
CASSANDRA  O farewell, dear Hector.
 Look how thou diest! Look how thy eye turns pale!
 Look how thy wounds do bleed at many vents!

243
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Hark, how Troy roars, how Hecuba cries out,
95 How poor Andromache shrills her dolor forth!
 Behold, distraction, frenzy, and amazement,
 Like witless antics, one another meet,
 And all cry “Hector! Hector’s dead! O, Hector!”
TROILUS Away, away!
CASSANDRA 
100 Farewell.—Yet soft! Hector, I take my leave.
 Thou dost thyself and all our Troy deceive.She exits.
HECTOR 
 You are amazed, my liege, at her exclaim.
 Go in and cheer the town. We’ll forth and fight,
 Do deeds worth praise, and tell you them at night.
PRIAM 
105 Farewell. The gods with safety stand about thee!
Hector and Priam exit at separate doors.
Alarum.
TROILUS 
 They are at it, hark! Proud Diomed, believe,
 I come to lose my arm or win my sleeve.

Enter Pandarus, with a paper.

PANDARUS Do you hear, my lord? Do you hear?
TROILUS What now?
PANDARUS 110Here’s a letter come from yond poor girl.
TROILUS Let me read.He reads.
PANDARUS A whoreson phthisic, a whoreson rascally
 phthisic so troubles me, and the foolish fortune of
 this girl, and what one thing, what another, that I
115 shall leave you one o’ these days. And I have a
 rheum in mine eyes too, and such an ache in my
 bones that, unless a man were cursed, I cannot tell
 what to think on ’t.—What says she there?
TROILUS 
 Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.
120 Th’ effect doth operate another way.

245
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Go, wind, to wind! There turn and change together.
He tears up the paper and throws the pieces in the air.
 My love with words and errors still she feeds,
 But edifies another with her deeds.
They exit.