Troilus and Cressida

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Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida
Countless people have said- Shakespeare is to be seen, not read. This statement could not be truer for the play ‘Troilus and Cressida’. The differences in the script and production can be described as nothing short of immense. Shakespeare wrote all his plays knowing they would all be enacted on stage, in front of a large audience. Nothing he put in his work was a mistake, but it was all carefully orchestrated stir the viewers. Troilus and Cressida is one such play. Shakespeare establishes Troilus in the first scene of the play as a love struck young prince of Troy. Deeply in love with Cressida, Troilus resorts to asking her uncle Pandarus to put in a good word for him. He is portrayed as the typical teenager in love, too young to know what love really is. The audience adopts this stereotypical approach when the play is enacted. This is predominantly due to the way Troilus describes Cressida. “Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice” (1.1.50) is what he tells Pandarus he loves about her. The Trojan prince seems more enamored by her beauty, leading an audience to believe it is more lust, not love, that he is feeling. Shakespeare also uses Pandarus’ character to show to what extent Troilus truly desires Cressida. Pandarus is constantly telling the prince to wait, to which Troilus replies he has waited long enough and it is now time to act upon his desires. Cressida is introduced in the very next scene as an excitable and likable girl. She never once acknowledges her feelings for Troilus while Pandarus is showering praise on him (even calling him a greater man than Hector). However once her uncle leaves Cressida admits to the audience that “more in Troilus thousandfold I see; Than in the glass of Pandar’s praise may be” (1.2.244-245), effectively revealing her feelings for the young warrior. Thus Shakespeare establishes the two characters and their mutual feelings for each other. Though Troilus is portrayed as a...
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