Archives For William Shakespeare


Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

ACT III, SCENE I. Troy. Priam’s palace.

Troilus and Cressida
The play by William Shakespeare

A retreat sounded

Paris 
They’re come from field: let us to Priam’s hall,
To greet the warriors. Sweet Helen, I must woo you
To help unarm our Hector: his stubborn buckles,
With these your white enchanting fingers touch’d,
Shall more obey than to the edge of steel
Or force of Greekish sinews; you shall do more
Than all the island kings,–disarm great Hector.

Helen 
‘Twill make us proud to be his servant, Paris;
Yea, what he shall receive of us in duty
Gives us more palm in beauty than we have,
Yea, overshines ourself.

Paris 
Sweet, above thought I love thee.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The same. Pandarus’ orchard.

Enter PANDARUS and Troilus’s Boy, meeting
Pandarus 
How now! where’s thy master? at my cousin
Cressida’s?

Boy 
No, sir; he stays for you to conduct him thither.

Pandarus 
O, here he comes.

Enter TROILUS

How now, how now!

Troilus 
Sirrah, walk off.

Exit Boy

Pandarus 
Have you seen my cousin?

Troilus
No, Pandarus: I stalk about her door,
Like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks
Staying for waftage. O, be thou my Charon,
And give me swift transportance to those fields
Where I may wallow in the lily-beds
Proposed for the deserver! O gentle Pandarus,
From Cupid’s shoulder pluck his painted wings
And fly with me to Cressid!

Pandarus 
Walk here i’ the orchard, I’ll bring her straight.

Troilus
I am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
The imaginary relish is so sweet
That it enchants my sense: what will it be,
When that the watery palate tastes indeed
Love’s thrice repured nectar? death, I fear me,
Swooning destruction, or some joy too fine,
Too subtle-potent, tuned too sharp in sweetness,
For the capacity of my ruder powers:
I fear it much; and I do fear besides,
That I shall lose distinction in my joys;
As doth a battle, when they charge on heaps
The enemy flying.

Re-enter PANDARUS

Pandarus 
She’s making her ready, she’ll come straight: you
must be witty now. She does so blush, and fetches
her wind so short, as if she were frayed with a
sprite: I’ll fetch her. It is the prettiest
villain: she fetches her breath as short as a
new-ta’en sparrow.

Exit

Troilus
Even such a passion doth embrace my bosom:
My heart beats thicker than a feverous pulse;
And all my powers do their bestowing lose,
Like vassalage at unawares encountering
The eye of majesty.

Re-enter PANDARUS with CRESSIDA

Pandarus 
Come, come, what need you blush? shame’s a baby.
Here she is now: swear the oaths now to her that
you have sworn to me. What, are you gone again?
you must be watched ere you be made tame, must you?
Come your ways, come your ways; an you draw backward,
we’ll put you i’ the fills. Why do you not speak to
her? Come, draw this curtain, and let’s see your
picture. Alas the day, how loath you are to offend
daylight! an ’twere dark, you’ld close sooner.
So, so; rub on, and kiss the mistress. How now!
a kiss in fee-farm! build there, carpenter; the air
is sweet. Nay, you shall fight your hearts out ere
I part you. The falcon as the tercel, for all the
ducks i’ the river: go to, go to.

Troilus
You have bereft me of all words, lady.

Pandarus
Words pay no debts, give her deeds: but she’ll
bereave you o’ the deeds too, if she call your
activity in question. What, billing again? Here’s
‘In witness whereof the parties interchangeably’–
Come in, come in: I’ll go get a fire.

Exit

Cressida
Will you walk in, my lord?

Troilus 
O Cressida, how often have I wished me thus!

Cressida
Wished, my lord! The gods grant,–O my lord!

Troilus
What should they grant? what makes this pretty
abruption? What too curious dreg espies my sweet
lady in the fountain of our love?

Cressida
More dregs than water, if my fears have eyes.

Troilus
Fears make devils of cherubims; they never see truly.

Cressida
Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer
footing than blind reason stumbling without fear: to
fear the worst oft cures the worse.

Troilus
O, let my lady apprehend no fear: in all Cupid’s
pageant there is presented no monster.

Cressida
Nor nothing monstrous neither?

Troilus
Nothing, but our undertakings; when we vow to weep
seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers; thinking
it harder for our mistress to devise imposition
enough than for us to undergo any difficulty imposed.
This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will
is infinite and the execution confined, that the
desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.

Cressida
They say all lovers swear more performance than they
are able and yet reserve an ability that they never
perform, vowing more than the perfection of ten and
discharging less than the tenth part of one. They
that have the voice of lions and the act of hares,
are they not monsters?

Troilus
Are there such? such are not we: praise us as we
are tasted, allow us as we prove; our head shall go
bare till merit crown it: no perfection in reversion
shall have a praise in present: we will not name
desert before his birth, and, being born, his addition
shall be humble. Few words to fair faith: Troilus
shall be such to Cressid as what envy can say worst
shall be a mock for his truth, and what truth can
speak truest not truer than Troilus.

Cressida
Will you walk in, my lord?

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Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida


Tag-rag (adj.)

Tag-rag means dressed; riff-raff, rabble. Tag-rag is cited in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar (JC I.ii.256). Casca says to Cassius about Caesar: “If the tag-rag people did not clap him and his him.” Felina Silver Robinson

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, the character Cassius is introduced as a manipulative, jealous Roman senator of Julius Caesar.


Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

ACT III, SCENE I. Troy. Priam’s palace.

Troilus and Cressida
The play by William Shakespeare

Helen
And to make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence.

Pandarus
Nay, that shall not serve your turn; that shall not,
in truth, la. Nay, I care not for such words; no,
no. And, my lord, he desires you, that if the king
call for him at supper, you will make his excuse.

Helen
My Lord Pandarus,–

Pandarus
What sa Pandarus ys my sweet queen, my very very sweet queen?

Paris
What exploit’s in hand? where sups he to-night?

HELEN
Nay, but, my lord,–

Pandarus
What says my sweet queen? My cousin will fall out
with you. You must not know where he sups.

Paris 
I’ll lay my life, with my disposer Cressida.

Pandarus
No, no, no such matter; you are wide: come, your
disposer is sick.

Paris

Well, I’ll make excuse.

Pandarus
Ay, good my lord. Why should you say Cressida? no,
your poor disposer’s sick.

Paris
I spy.

Pandarus
You spy! what do you spy? Come, give me an
instrument. Now, sweet queen.

Helen
Why, this is kindly done.

Pandarus
My niece is horribly in love with a thing you have,
sweet queen.

Helen
She shall have it, my lord, if it be not my lord Paris.

Pandarus
He! no, she’ll none of him; they two are twain.

Helen 
Falling in, after falling out, may make them three.

Pandarus
Come, come, I’ll hear no more of this; I’ll sing
you a song now.

Helen
Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou
hast a fine forehead.

Pandarus

Ay, you may, you may.

Helen
Let thy song be love: this love will undo us all.
O Cupid, Cupid, Cupid!

Pandarus
Love! ay, that it shall, i’ faith.

Paris 
Ay, good now, love, love, nothing but love.

Pandarus
In good troth, it begins so.

Sings

Love, love, nothing but love, still more!
For, O, love’s bow
Shoots buck and doe:
The shaft confounds,
Not that it wounds,
But tickles still the sore.
These lovers cry Oh! oh! they die!
Yet that which seems the wound to kill,
Doth turn oh! oh! to ha! ha! he!
So dying love lives still:
Oh! oh! a while, but ha! ha! ha!
Oh! oh! groans out for ha! ha! ha!
Heigh-ho!

Helen
In love, i’ faith, to the very tip of the nose.

Paris
He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot
blood, and hot blood begets hot thoughts, and hot
thoughts beget hot deeds, and hot deeds is love.

Pandarus
Is this the generation of love? hot blood, hot
thoughts, and hot deeds? Why, they are vipers:
is love a generation of vipers? Sweet lord, who’s
a-field to-day?

Paris
Hector, Deiphobus, Helenus, Antenor, and all the
gallantry of Troy: I would fain have armed to-day,
but my Nell would not have it so. How chance my
brother Troilus went not?

Helen
He hangs the lip at something: you know all, Lord Pandarus.

Pandarus
Not I, honey-sweet queen. I long to hear how they
sped to-day. You’ll remember your brother’s excuse?

Paris
To a hair.

Pandarus
Farewell, sweet queen.

Helen
Commend me to your niece.

Pandarus
I will, sweet queen.

Exit

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Stricture (n.)

Stricture means self-constraint, rigour; or: strictness, severity.  Stricture is cited in William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (MM I.iii.12) The Duke Says to Friar Thomas about Angelo: “A man of stricture and firm abstinence.” Felina Silver Robinson

After praising Escalus’ wisdom, art, and practice, the Duke illogically calls in Angelo, asking Escalus how worthy a deputy Angelo is likely to be to rule in his place.

#ShakespeareanWordOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver, #FelinaSilverRobinson, #Stricture


Edict (n.)

Edict means Authority, judgement, valuation. Edict is cited in Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra. (AC III.xii.32). Caesar says to Thidias: “make thine own edict for thy pains [i.e. decide your own recompense.)

Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.


Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

ACT III, SCENE I. Troy. Priam’s palace.

Enter a Servant and PANDARUS

Pandarus
Friend, you! pray you, a word: do not you follow
the young Lord Paris?

Servant
Ay, sir, when he goes before me.

Pandarus
You depend upon him, I mean?

Servant 
Sir, I do depend upon the lord.

Pandarus
You depend upon a noble gentleman; I must needs
praise him.

Servant
The lord be praised!

Pandarus
You know me, do you not?

Servant
Faith, sir, superficially.

Pandarus
Friend, know me better; I am the Lord Pandarus.

Servant 
I hope I shall know your honour better.

Pandarus
I do desire it.

Servant 
You are in the state of grace.

Pandarus
Grace! not so, friend: honour and lordship are my titles.

Music within

What music is this?

Servant 
I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.

Pandarus
Know you the musicians?

Servant 
Wholly, sir.

Pandarus
Who play they to?

Servant
To the hearers, sir.

Pandarus
At whose pleasure, friend

Servant
At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.

Pandarus
Command, I mean, friend.

Servant
Who shall I command, sir?

Pandarus
Friend, we understand not one another: I am too
courtly and thou art too cunning. At whose request
do these men play?

Servant
That’s to ‘t indeed, sir: marry, sir, at the request
of Paris my lord, who’s there in person; with him,
the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love’s
invisible soul,–

Pandarus
Who, my cousin Cressida?

Servant
No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her
attributes?

Pandarus
It should seem, fellow, that thou hast not seen the
Lady Cressida. I come to speak with Paris from the
Prince Troilus: I will make a complimental assault
upon him, for my business seethes.

Servant
Sodden business! there’s a stewed phrase indeed!

Enter PARIS and HELEN, attended

Pandarus
Fair be to you, my lord, and to all this fair
company! fair desires, in all fair measure,
fairly guide them! especially to you, fair queen!
fair thoughts be your fair pillow!

Helen
Dear lord, you are full of fair words.

Pandarus
You speak your fair pleasure, sweet queen. Fair
prince, here is good broken music.

Paris
You have broke it, cousin: and, by my life, you
shall make it whole again; you shall piece it out
with a piece of your performance. Nell, he is full
of harmony.

Pandarus
Truly, lady, no.

Helen
O, sir,–

Pandarus
Rude, in sooth; in good sooth, very rude.

Paris
Well said, my lord! well, you say so in fits.

Pandarus
I have business to my lord, dear queen. My lord,
will you vouchsafe me a word?

Helen 
Nay, this shall not hedge us out: we’ll hear you
sing, certainly.

Pandarus
Well, sweet queen. you are pleasant with me. But,
marry, thus, my lord: my dear lord and most esteemed
friend, your brother Troilus,–

Helen 
My Lord Pandarus; honey-sweet lord,–

Pandarus
Go to, sweet queen, to go:–commends himself most
affectionately to you,–

Helen
You shall not bob us out of our melody: if you do,
our melancholy upon your head!

Pandarus
Sweet queen, sweet queen! that’s a sweet queen, i’ faith.

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Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

ACT II, SCENE III. The Grecian camp. Before Achilles’ tent.

Re-enter ULYSSES

Ulysses
Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.

Agamemnon
What’s his excuse?

Ulysses
He doth rely on none,
But carries on the stream of his dispose
Without observance or respect of any,
In will peculiar and in self-admission.

Agamemnon
Why will he not upon our fair request
Untent his person and share the air with us?

Ulysses
Things small as nothing, for request’s sake only,
He makes important: possess’d he is with greatness,
And speaks not to himself but with a pride
That quarrels at self-breath: imagined worth
Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse
That ‘twixt his mental and his active parts
Kingdom’d Achilles in commotion rages
And batters down himself: what should I say?
He is so plaguy proud that the death-tokens of it
Cry ‘No recovery.’

Agamemnon
Let Ajax go to him.
Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent:
‘Tis said he holds you well, and will be led
At your request a little from himself.

Ulysses
O Agamemnon, let it not be so!
We’ll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes
When they go from Achilles: shall the proud lord
That bastes his arrogance with his own seam
And never suffers matter of the world
Enter his thoughts, save such as do revolve
And ruminate himself, shall he be worshipp’d
Of that we hold an idol more than he?
No, this thrice worthy and right valiant lord
Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquired;
Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit,
As amply titled as Achilles is,
By going to Achilles:
That were to enlard his fat already pride
And add more coals to Cancer when he burns
With entertaining great Hyperion.
This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid,
And say in thunder ‘Achilles go to him.’

Nestor 
[Aside to DIOMEDES] O, this is well; he rubs the
vein of him.

Diomedes
[Aside to NESTOR] And how his silence drinks up
this applause!

Ajax
If I go to him, with my armed fist I’ll pash him o’er the face.

Agamemnon
O, no, you shall not go.

Ajax
An a’ be proud with me, I’ll pheeze his pride:
Let me go to him.

Ulysses
Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.

Ajax
A paltry, insolent fellow!

Nestor
How he describes himself!

Ajax
Can he not be sociable?

Ulysses
The raven chides blackness.

Ajax 
I’ll let his humours blood.

Agamemnon
He will be the physician that should be the patient.

Ajax 
An all men were o’ my mind,–

Ulysses
Wit would be out of fashion.

Ajax
A’ should not bear it so, a’ should eat swords first:
shall pride carry it?

Nestor
An ‘twould, you’ld carry half.

Ulysses
A’ would have ten shares.

Ajax
I will knead him; I’ll make him supple.

Nestor
He’s not yet through warm: force him with praises:
pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.

Ulysses
[To AGAMEMNON] My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.

Nestor
Our noble general, do not do so.

Diomedes
You must prepare to fight without Achilles.

Ulysses
Why, ’tis this naming of him does him harm.
Here is a man–but ’tis before his face;
I will be silent.

Nestor
Wherefore should you so?
He is not emulous, as Achilles is.

Ulysses
Know the whole world, he is as valiant.

Ajax
A whoreson dog, that shall pelter thus with us!
Would he were a Trojan!

Nestor
What a vice were it in Ajax now,–

Ulysses
If he were proud,–

Diomedes
Or covetous of praise,–

Ulysses
Ay, or surly borne,–

Diomedes
Or strange, or self-affected!

Ulysses
Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet composure;
Praise him that got thee, she that gave thee suck:
Famed be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature
Thrice famed, beyond all erudition:
But he that disciplined thy arms to fight,
Let Mars divide eternity in twain,
And give him half: and, for thy vigour,
Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield
To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines
Thy spacious and dilated parts: here’s Nestor;
Instructed by the antiquary times,
He must, he is, he cannot but be wise:
Put pardon, father Nestor, were your days
As green as Ajax’ and your brain so temper’d,
You should not have the eminence of him,
But be as Ajax.

Ajax
Shall I call you father?

Nestor
Ay, my good son.

Diomedes
Be ruled by him, Lord Ajax.

Ulysses
There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles
Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
To call together all his state of war;
Fresh kings are come to Troy: to-morrow
We must with all our main of power stand fast:
And here’s a lord,–come knights from east to west,
And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best.

Agamemnon
Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep:
Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.

Exeunt

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