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MonkeyNotes-Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
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Hector wonders whether Achilles will read him like a ‘book of sport’ or a handbook for huntsmen and fowlers. He turns to the idea of battle as the pursuit of game.

Achilles then attempts to provoke Hector. Finally Hector is provoked into replying in the same vein. But he recovers his manners almost immediately and begs pardon from the Greeks. He adds that Achilles insolence had drawn the folly from his lips. Ajax steps in and asks Achilles not to anger himself. ‘Do not chafe thee, cousin’ he says and then turns to Achilles to stop issuing these threats until you meet Hector in the field whether by accident or because you have at last been moved to seek him.

Hector tells Achilles to meet him in the battlefield and adds that they have had insignificant wars since Achilles had been abstaining from the fight. Achilles says that he will meet him in battle on the following day but ‘Tonight, all friends.’ Agamemnon tells the Greeks to go to his tent where he will first feast with Hector. Afterwards each of them could separately entertain Hector at his leisure. He commands that the military drums be beaten and the trumpets be blown to welcome Hector. All but Troilus and Ulysses exit.


Troilus asks Ulysses where Calchas lives. Ulysses tells him that he is in Menelaus’ tent. He adds that Diomedes who looks neither at the earth or the sky but trains his gaze on Cressida, is feasting with him that night. Troilus requests that he be led to Menelaus’ tent after they leave Agamemnon’s tent. Ulysses agrees. He asks about Cressida’s standing in Troy and inquires if she had no lover there. Troilus replies mournfully letting on that he himself is her lover. Then he asks Ulysses to walk on.

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