Troilus and Cressida | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Troilus and Cressida | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Seven years into war

    Troilus is lovesick for Cressida. She loves him as well but acts indifferent.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • Meanwhile

    The Greeks are discouraged. Achilles refuses to fight.

    Act 1, Scene 3
  • Soon after

    The Trojan hero Hector challenges any Greek to single combat.

    Act 1, Scene 3
  • Later the same day

    Trying to wound Achilles's pride and get him into the fight, Ulysses plans for Ajax to fight Hector.

    Act 1, Scene 3
  • Meanwhile

    Priam and his Trojan generals debate the merits of continuing the war.

    Act 2, Scene 2
  • Sometime later

    Calchas asks Agamemnon to exchange a prisoner for Cressida.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • That night

    Pandarus brings Troilus and Cressida together. The lovers spend the night together.

    Act 3, Scene 2
  • The next morning

    Cressida is exchanged for the Trojan prisoner Antenor. Diomedes takes her to the Greek camp.

    Act 4, Scene 5
  • That same day

    Trojan hero Hector battles the Greek hero Ajax. The fight ends without a victor.

    Act 4, Scene 5
  • After the fight

    Ajax invites the Trojans Hector, Aeneas, and Troilus to a feast in the Greek camp.

    Act 4, Scene 5
  • Later that evening

    Troilus observes Cressida give the sleeve he gave her as a love token to Diomedes.

    Act 5, Scene 2
  • The next day

    Hector kills Patroclus in battle. Achilles fights Hector but withdraws when he is winded.

    Act 5, Scene 5
  • The same day

    Angered by Cressida's disloyalty, Troilus fights but fails to kill Diomedes.

    Act 5, Scene 6
  • Soon after

    Achilles returns to the battlefield, finds Hector, and kills the Trojan hero.

    Act 5, Scene 9
  • Immediately after

    Achilles drags Hector's body behind his horse, dishonoring him.

    Act 5, Scene 9
  • Immediately after

    Discouraged and mourning Hector, the Trojans leave the battlefield.

    Act 5, Scene 11

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Prologue In the prologue an actor dressed in armor appears and sets the scene for the audience. The Greeks have come to Troy to t... Read More
Act 1, Scene 1 Troilus, a prince of Troy, states he cannot join the fighting against the Greeks for he is sick with love of Cressida. P... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Cressida speaks with her servant, Alexander. He shares news of the war, telling of the battle between the Greek hero Aja... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces, meets with his generals, Nestor and Ulysses, in his tent. While he urges his m... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 Thersites, Ajax's fool, insults his master and ridicules him for his jealousy of Achilles. In retaliation Ajax beats him... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 Hector meets with his father and brothers to discuss the Greek demands. They have once again demanded Helen's return to ... Read More
Act 2, Scene 3 Thersites, enraged at his treatment by Ajax, insults his master as he walks through the camp. Patroclus and Achilles com... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 Pandarus meets with Paris at Troilus's behest. Troilus wants Paris to offer an excuse for his missing dinner with their ... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 Troilus meets with Pandarus outside Cressida's house. Pandarus leaves to fetch her and brings her to Troilus. Pandarus a... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 Calchas, Cressida's father, defected to the Greek side sometime previous to the events in the play. He now asks Agamemno... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 Paris and Aeneas meet with Diomedes and Antenor, the Trojan prisoner. Aeneas and Diomedes exchange what amount to friend... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 At dawn Troilus leaves Cressida, while she begs him to stay. Pandarus wakes and smarmily banters with the two of them, s... Read More
Act 4, Scene 3 In this brief scene Paris asks Troilus to bring Cressida so she can be delivered to the Greeks. Troilus sadly comments h... Read More
Act 4, Scene 4 Troilus informs Cressida she must go with the Greeks as part of the prisoner exchange, and urges her to be true to him. ... Read More
Act 4, Scene 5 The Greek generals are preparing to watch Ajax and Hector in combat when Diomedes arrives with Cressida. She's greeted w... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 Achilles plans to get Hector to over-imbibe in food and drink at the evening's feast so he can defeat him easily in batt... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 Troilus and Ulysses watch as Diomedes meets with Cressida outside her father's tent. Thersites watches from a different ... Read More
Act 5, Scene 3 The following day, Andromache, Hector's wife, pleads with Hector not to go into battle. She's had portentous dreams that... Read More
Act 5, Scene 4 Thersites insults everyone while he describes the battle. Diomedes appears, followed by Troilus. They fight, continuing ... Read More
Act 5, Scene 5 Diomedes has captured Troilus's horse, and he orders his servant to present the beast to Cressida as a trophy. Agamemnon... Read More
Act 5, Scene 6 Ajax and Diomedes both want to fight Troilus, and argue over who should get him. Troilus declares he will face them both... Read More
Act 5, Scene 7 Achilles gathers his Myrmidons, a group of soldiers he commands, and orders them to hold themselves in reserve during th... Read More
Act 5, Scene 8 Thersites watches Menelaus and Paris fight before being challenged to battle by a bastard, a son of King Priam of Troy. ... Read More
Act 5, Scene 9 Hector strips the armor from the body of the dead Greek he had chased in an earlier scene. He begins to swap out his arm... Read More
Act 5, Scene 10 The Greek generals receive word Achilles has killed Hector. They send a messenger to ask Achilles to meet them in Agamem... Read More
Act 5, Scene 11 Aeneas, Paris, Antenor, and the other Trojans have gathered. Troilus arrives with word of Hector's death. Angrily, he ur... Read More
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