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Troilus and Cressida Performance

Troilus and Cressida: Arkangel Shakespeare

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Publisher's Summary

Lust poses as love and ambition as patriotism in this dark and brilliant play depicting the heroic action of the Trojan War.

Troy is besieged by the invading Greeks, but the young Trojan prince Troilus can think only of his love for Cressida. Her uncle Pandarus brings the two together, but after only one night news comes that Cressida must be sent to the enemy camp. There, as Troilus looks on, she yields to the wooing of the Greek Diomedes. The tragic story is undercut by the commentary of Thersites, who provides a cynical chorus.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-30-17
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-30-17

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

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    "Wounds Heal Ill That Men Do Give Themselves"

    “Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.”
    ― William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

    Troilus and Cressida is one of those Shakespeare plays that seems to have slipped through the cracks for me during my first 40 years. It was a distant, dark planet. I knew it existed, but couldn't give you a useful quote or discuss the plot or structure. A minor Shakespeare play, perhaps? Now that I've read it, I'm still a bit in the dark. I've got the basics (I've read The Iliad several times and am familiar with most of the characters), but still need some more time banging around the text. My eyes have adjusted, but I probably need to read it again (or see it on stage) a couple times before I could feel super comfortable with it.

    It is messier and less lyrical than his most famous tragic love story (Romeo and Juliet), but still has much to commend it. It is a very modern play. Its characters are challenging many of the big ideas and virtues: love, rank, bravery, nobility, etc. It is also a tad moralizing and homophobic (and yes, I NEVER try to judge a 400+ year old play by modern standards, but like The Merchant of Venice those attitudes and bigotries are still important to discuss). I had never even heard of the terms brach and varlet* before. But like in many of Shakespeare's plays, the ugliest character is often the best. I absolutely adored Thersites. He outshines Cassandra. His rants, rages, and insults are some of Shakespeare's sharpest. His venom is epic. His tongue is a hot razor.

    One additional note of affection for this play. The warriors, gathered at Troy, are an interesting group. In Act 4, Scene 5, there is a fantastic dialogue between Hector and Achilles that could easily (and if I was to set up this scene, this is how I'd do it) have been written and promoted by Don King. I imagine Hector and Achilles at a table, cameras and press facing them as they peacock and throw verbal jabs and insults to the other. Those lines are better trash talk than I've seen in boxing. Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, and the lot needed to take a lesson from Shakespeare's trash talk factory.

    Favorite lines:

    ― “Upon my back to defend my belly; upon my
    wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend
    mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you
    to defend all these; and at all these wards I lie, at a
    thousand watches.“ (Act 1, Scene 2).

    ― “Men price the thing ungained more than it is;“ (Act 1, Scene 2).

    ― “The raven chides blackness.” (Act 2, Scene 3).

    ― “For to be wise and love exceeds man's might.” (Act 3, Scene 2).

    ― “Both merits poised, each weighs not less nor more;
    But he as he, the heavier for a whore.“ (Act 4, Scene 2)

    ― “What's past and what's to come is strewed with husks
    And formless ruin of oblivion.“ (Act 4, Scene 5).

    ― “But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.“ (Act 5, Scene 1).

    ― “Why are thou then exasperate, thou idle
    immaterial skein of sleave silk, thou green sarcent flap
    for a sore eye, though tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou?
    Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such water
    flies, diminutives of nature.“ (Act 5 Scene 1)

    ― “Lechery, lechery, still
    wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion.“ (Act 5, Scene 2).

    ― “I think they have swallowed
    one another. I would laugh at that miracle - yet, I
    in a sort, lechery eats itself.“ (Act 5, Scene 4)

    ― “I am a bastard, too. I love bastards! I am bastard
    begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard
    in valor, in everything illegitimate.” (Act 5, Scene 7).

    ― “Farewell, bastard.” (Act 5, Scene 7).

    * varlet as a homosexual insult also appears in Measure for Measure & King Lear (both plays written around the time of T&C).

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lavalleem 07-15-17
    lavalleem 07-15-17 Member Since 2016

    High School English Teacher & Devoted Shakespeare Fan

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    "ArkAngel is always a wonderful interpretation"
    Where does Troilus and Cressida rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Troilus and Cressida was a wonderful performance of one of William Shakespeare's lesser known plays, it is in the top 15 for sure.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Troilus and Cressida?

    The peak of the play with Troilus and Cressida are finally able to come together.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the scene's highlighting Cressida the most.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I was able to listen to this in two sittings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Lincoln, NE, United States 12-16-16
    Mike Lincoln, NE, United States 12-16-16 Member Since 2014

    I love books, especially great books.

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    "Terrific performance"

    Few of Shakespeare's plays are as troublesome as this--and yet as rewarding. Bravo! The various speeches make the listening worth the effort. It may be the Bard's most philosophical play, and worth listening for that reason alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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