"Troilus and Cressida", Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This volume offers the most comprehensive and critically up-to-date edition of Troilus and Cressida available today.

Bevington's learned and engaging introduction discusses the ambivalent status and genre of the play, variously presented in its early printing as a comedy, a history and a tragedy.

He examines and assimilates the wide variety of critical responses the play has elicited, and argues its importance in today's culture as an experimental and open-ended work.

He also, however, suggests that this experimentalism may have contributed to its lack of immediate stage success, and goes on to place the work in its late Elizabethan context of political instability and theatrical rivalry.

A thorough performance history focuses chiefly on recent productions.

The complex text situation is re-examined and the differing textual readings carefully explicated.'Bevington's edition is so clearly the best now available that it will no doubt quickly become standard practice for all study of this remarkable play to begin with this remarkable edition.'Eric Rasmussen, University of Nevada at Reno, Shakespeare Survey


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Shakespeare plays
  • ISBN: 9781903436691

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

** spoiler alert **This is a pretty good play. It doesn't fit the usual categories, being filled with comic scenes and speeches but following with an abrupt bleak ending. I found the dialogue throughout to be entertaining and clever, and the spoof of the Iliad very funny. The eponymous love affair is satirical. Troilus is a narcissistic and wordy brat, and Cressida a rather winning girl who can't say no. The love affair is at best a subplot to the Iliad satire, and it's most entertaining character the go-between Pandarus, who remarks that his name will be inherited by all panders to follow. Most of the main Iliad characters are presented satirically. All ends in a lengthy battle with many short scenes of individual combat, ending with the death of Hector in a rather unheroic attack by Achilles and his Myrmidons. Then a final comic soliloquy by Pandarus. If you like bawdy Shakespeare there is a lot of it here, including a large stock of gay humor in the Greek camp.

Review by

Ordinarily I wouldn't reread a book or play, even one I read for class, so soon after reading it for the first time, but with Shakespeare (and indeed Chaucer) I think it's necessary. Plus, this edition came with notes, which are very extensive and -- even though I need no help with the language in general -- help to shed light on puns, double entendres, and potential confused transmission of the plays, etc. It has an extensive introduction which covers a lot of different aspects of the play, too.<br/><br/>I was reading this time specifically for Cressida's character, and for the play's relationship to Chaucer's version. She's at once more brazen -- deliberately stating that she's holding out on Troilus, because he won't want her as much once he's won her -- and more pitiable in the conclusion, in her pathetic little fight with Diomede over the belt. She came alive for me in that scene, in her pleading.<br/><br/>I noticed, though, that this is much less involved with the couple than Chaucer's version. There's whole sections set in the Greek camp, which you don't see in Chaucer. Shakespeare's more interested in the war as a whole than Chaucer, it seems -- or maybe the war as a whole sheds light on Troilus and Cressida? I wonder. The repeated references to Helen and her falseness do throw a shadow over Cressida.

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