EXAM 2 Troilus and Cressida

EXAM 2 Troilus and Cressida - Criticism of Aristocracy in...

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Criticism of Aristocracy in “Troilus and Cressida” Throughout the entirety of the play, “Troilus and Cressida,” William Shakespeare deliberately critiques the negative effects and roles of aristocracy, within governments. This brings the question as to then why does hierarchy rule? The answer is sheer, brute, force. It is through strength that puts aristocracy in power, not by honesty or intelligence. The notions of honor and warrior hero are used throughout the play, in order for the characters to not be held accountable for their actions. Shakespeare criticizes the idea of the great chain of being, within the play through Ulysses. The great chain of being is used as the basis of Ulysses’ reasoning as to why the Greek army and hierarchal order is beginning to fail. He states, “The Speciality of rule hath been neglected” (24)…Strength should be lord of imbecility” (25). However, it is not reason that guides him to fear hierarchy is failing, but emotion. The entirety of his speech is based on the premise that getting rid of hierarchal power might cause the strong to dominate, and right and wrong will be done with, “Then everything include itself in power,/ Power into will, will into appetite,/ And appetite, an universal wolf,/ So double seconded with will and power,/ Must make perforce an universal prey,/ And last eat up himself” (25). Shakespeare criticizes the idea that aristocracy does not live up to the great chain of being. The
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course ENGLISH 230A taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UNL.

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EXAM 2 Troilus and Cressida - Criticism of Aristocracy in...

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