This volume offers a comprehensive edition of Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida". The introduction places the play in its late Elizabethan context, examines and assimilates the wide variety of critical responses the play has elicited, and argues its importance in the context of late 20th-century culture as an experimental and open-ended work.
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One of Shakespeare's most notoriously difficult and cynical plays, labelled a "Problem Comedy", Troilus and Cressida has perplexed critics and theatre directors, and after Shakespeare's lifetime it was not performed again until 1907. In many ways the play's difficulty is a surprise; the story of Troilus and Cressida was a popular theme, drawn from Homer's Iliad and Chaucer's own Troilus and Criseyde, as was its classical setting, the Greek siege of Troy, led by Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Diomedes and Ulysses.
Within the walls of Troy, Prince Troilus falls madly in love with Cressida, daughter of the deserter Calchas. His love is intense and frenetic--"I am giddy, expectation whirls round me," but turns to bitter disillusion when Cressida defects to the Greek camp and flirts with Diomedes. As the war and conflict over the abduction of Helen whirls around the doomed romance, the play delights in its complex syntax and cynical images of waste, decay, corruption and mutability, summed up in Ulysses' comment that, "Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all / To envious and calumniating time." The play's cynical open-ended quality has frustrated many readers, but gives the play a remarkably modern, contemporary sensibility. --Jerry BrottonReview:
'I cannot recommend too highly the whole series to all theatre lovers, theatregoers, theatre practitioners, and anybody who enjoys Shakespeare.' Robert Tanitch, What's on in London
'… excellent companion to this delinquent genius of a play.' Quarto
' … excellent …'. Around the Globe
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Book Description Arden Shakespeare, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0174435703