List iconTroilus and CressidaList icon

Troilus and Cressida
Act 5, scene 5

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 5
Enter Diomedes and Servingman.

DIOMEDES 
 Go, go, my servant, take thou Troilus’ horse;
 Present the fair steed to my Lady Cressid.
 Fellow, commend my service to her beauty.
 Tell her I have chastised the amorous Trojan
5 And am her knight by proof.
MAN  I go, my lord.He exits.

Enter Agamemnon.


249
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 5

AGAMEMNON 
 Renew, renew! The fierce Polydamas
 Hath beat down Menon; bastard Margareton
 Hath Doreus prisoner,
10 And stands colossus-wise, waving his beam
 Upon the pashèd corses of the kings
 Epistrophus and Cedius. Polyxenes is slain,
 Amphimachus and Thoas deadly hurt,
 Patroclus ta’en or slain, and Palamedes
15 Sore hurt and bruised. The dreadful Sagittary
 Appals our numbers. Haste we, Diomed,
 To reinforcement, or we perish all.

Enter Nestor, with Soldiers bearing the body of
Patroclus.


NESTOR 
 Go, bear Patroclus’ body to Achilles,
 And bid the snail-paced Ajax arm for shame.
Soldiers exit with Patroclus’s body.
20 There is a thousand Hectors in the field.
 Now here he fights on Galathe his horse,
 And here lacks work; anon he’s there afoot
 And there they fly or die, like scalèd schools
 Before the belching whale; then is he yonder,
25 And there the strawy Greeks, ripe for his edge,
 Fall down before him like a mower’s swath.
 Here, there, and everywhere he leaves and takes,
 Dexterity so obeying appetite
 That what he will he does, and does so much
30 That proof is called impossibility.

Enter Ulysses.

ULYSSES 
 O, courage, courage, princes! Great Achilles
 Is arming, weeping, cursing, vowing vengeance.
 Patroclus’ wounds have roused his drowsy blood,
 Together with his mangled Myrmidons,

251
Troilus and Cressida
ACT 5. SC. 6

35 That noseless, handless, hacked and chipped, come
 to him,
 Crying on Hector. Ajax hath lost a friend
 And foams at mouth, and he is armed and at it,
 Roaring for Troilus, who hath done today
40 Mad and fantastic execution,
 Engaging and redeeming of himself
 With such a careless force and forceless care
 As if that luck, in very spite of cunning,
 Bade him win all.

Enter Ajax.

AJAX 45Troilus, thou coward Troilus!He exits.
DIOMEDES Ay, there, there!He exits.
NESTOR So, so, we draw together.

Enter Achilles.

ACHILLES Where is this Hector?—
 Come, come, thou boy-queller, show thy face!
50 Know what it is to meet Achilles angry.
 Hector! Where’s Hector? I will none but Hector.
He exits, with the others.