Troilus and Cressida

Arkangel Shakespeare
Durata: 3 ore e 4 min
Vantaggi dell'abbonamento Vantaggi dell'abbonamento
  • Accedi ad un universo di contenuti audio, senza limiti d'ascolto.
  • Ascolta dove vuoi, quando vuoi, anche offline.
  • Dopo i primi 30 giorni gratis l’iscrizione si rinnova automaticamente a EUR 9,99 al mese.
  • Cancella la tua iscrizione in ogni momento.

Sintesi dell'editore

Lust poses as love and ambition as patriotism in this dark and brilliant play depicting the heroic action of the Trojan War. 

Troy is besieged by the invading Greeks, but the young Trojan prince Troilus can think only of his love for Cressida. Her uncle Pandarus brings the two together, but after only one night news comes that Cressida must be sent to the enemy camp. There, as Troilus looks on, she yields to the wooing of the Greek Diomedes. The tragic story is undercut by the commentary of Thersites, who provides a cynical chorus.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

Altri titoli dello stesso

Cosa pensando gli ascoltatori di Troilus and Cressida

Valutazione media degli utenti

Non ci sono recensioni disponibili
Ordina per:
Filtra per:
  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 30/08/2017

Wounds Heal Ill That Men Do Give Themselves

“Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves.”
― William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida is one of those Shakespeare plays that seems to have slipped through the cracks for me during my first 40 years. It was a distant, dark planet. I knew it existed, but couldn't give you a useful quote or discuss the plot or structure. A minor Shakespeare play, perhaps? Now that I've read it, I'm still a bit in the dark. I've got the basics (I've read The Iliad several times and am familiar with most of the characters), but still need some more time banging around the text. My eyes have adjusted, but I probably need to read it again (or see it on stage) a couple times before I could feel super comfortable with it.

It is messier and less lyrical than his most famous tragic love story (Romeo and Juliet), but still has much to commend it. It is a very modern play. Its characters are challenging many of the big ideas and virtues: love, rank, bravery, nobility, etc. It is also a tad moralizing and homophobic (and yes, I NEVER try to judge a 400+ year old play by modern standards, but like The Merchant of Venice those attitudes and bigotries are still important to discuss). I had never even heard of the terms brach and varlet* before. But like in many of Shakespeare's plays, the ugliest character is often the best. I absolutely adored Thersites. He outshines Cassandra. His rants, rages, and insults are some of Shakespeare's sharpest. His venom is epic. His tongue is a hot razor.

One additional note of affection for this play. The warriors, gathered at Troy, are an interesting group. In Act 4, Scene 5, there is a fantastic dialogue between Hector and Achilles that could easily (and if I was to set up this scene, this is how I'd do it) have been written and promoted by Don King. I imagine Hector and Achilles at a table, cameras and press facing them as they peacock and throw verbal jabs and insults to the other. Those lines are better trash talk than I've seen in boxing. Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, and the lot needed to take a lesson from Shakespeare's trash talk factory.

Favorite lines:

― “Upon my back to defend my belly; upon my
wit, to defend my wiles; upon my secrecy, to defend
mine honesty; my mask, to defend my beauty; and you
to defend all these; and at all these wards I lie, at a
thousand watches.“ (Act 1, Scene 2).

― “Men price the thing ungained more than it is;“ (Act 1, Scene 2).

― “The raven chides blackness.” (Act 2, Scene 3).

― “For to be wise and love exceeds man's might.” (Act 3, Scene 2).

― “Both merits poised, each weighs not less nor more;
But he as he, the heavier for a whore.“ (Act 4, Scene 2)

― “What's past and what's to come is strewed with husks
And formless ruin of oblivion.“ (Act 4, Scene 5).

― “But still sweet love is food for fortune's tooth.“ (Act 5, Scene 1).

― “Why are thou then exasperate, thou idle
immaterial skein of sleave silk, thou green sarcent flap
for a sore eye, though tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou?
Ah, how the poor world is pestered with such water
flies, diminutives of nature.“ (Act 5 Scene 1)

― “Lechery, lechery, still
wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion.“ (Act 5, Scene 2).

― “I think they have swallowed
one another. I would laugh at that miracle - yet, I
in a sort, lechery eats itself.“ (Act 5, Scene 4)

― “I am a bastard, too. I love bastards! I am bastard
begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard
in valor, in everything illegitimate.” (Act 5, Scene 7).

― “Farewell, bastard.” (Act 5, Scene 7).

* varlet as a homosexual insult also appears in Measure for Measure & King Lear (both plays written around the time of T&C).

11 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 16/12/2016

Terrific performance

Few of Shakespeare's plays are as troublesome as this--and yet as rewarding. Bravo! The various speeches make the listening worth the effort. It may be the Bard's most philosophical play, and worth listening for that reason alone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aidan O'Reilly
  • 30/01/2020

a great rendition of an awesome play

beautiful and bitter, cynical and romantic. very intelligently performed. my only complaint is that the music is a bit grating.

it helps if you are familiar with the stories of the siege of Troy. especially the illiad

a great radio version of a too infrequently performed play.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Utente anonimo
  • 03/01/2020

Such a weird play...

A love story amid the long Trojan war?! So strange. It just doesn't work. And it departs in significant ways from The Iliad (e.g., Hector ambushed by the Myrmidons?!).

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tad Davis
  • 07/12/2019

I’ll bequeath you my diseases

This is probably my least favorite Shakespeare play. It's dark and meandering and much of the humor is cruel. Part of my problem — and I have the same problem with Chaucer’s poem, which was Shakespeare's source — is that I just don't get why Troilus and Cressida have to conduct their affair in secret. They're both single, and neither has been promised to anyone else. Is it because he's of royal blood and she isn't? Maybe, but it seems doubtful. Her uncle Pandarus moves freely among the Trojan royals — Hector and Priam and Paris — which suggests that his family is respectable enough. If the secrecy IS required because of a class disparity, it seems like someone should mention it somewhere along the way.

The vocabulary is strange and the syntax almost impenetrable, especially when the Greeks are speaking. Shakespeare seems to have vowed never to use a familiar word when an unfamiliar one was available, and never to write a simple declarative sentence when it was possible to nest dependent clauses several levels deep. It's a very talky play, with characters standing around debating important issues for what seems like hours. Ulysses’ famous speech on order and degree is closely reasoned — and over 60 lines long. He follows it almost immediately with another one over 40 lines long. Both speeches are basically variations on a theme: they don't really go anywhere, and meanwhile the other Greek generals are standing around doing nothing. This is endemic to the play: virtually every speech longer than two lines is too long by half.

Motivations are obscure. Hector makes several eloquent speeches in council, arguing that Helen should be given back to the Greeks. Having made a strong case, in the space of half a line he turns his back on it, says of course we can't do that, and agrees to continue fighting to keep her.

Despite the occasional bursts of brutal violence — the scene where Achilles sics his Mymidons on Hector being a prime example — the play is static to the point of being dramatically inert.

Troilus is grossly unfair to Cressida. When she's taken against her will to the Greek camp, she's manhandled by the Greek commanders one after another. All force kisses on her, even the doddering Nestor (whose eyes no doubt are leaking plum tree gum); on stage perhaps they force even more graphic attention. As staged in the Arkangel production, it sounds like an assault. In desperation she accepts the protection of Diomedes, even though the price is becoming his sex toy. Troilus acts as if she freely elected to do this out of simple lust. I may be wrong, but I think Shakespeare has taken pains to show otherwise.

The Arkangel production, by the way, uses stereo to good effect in the complex discovery scene. Cressida and Diomedes are in the center, supposedly in her father's tent. Troilus and Ulysses are on the left, watching them in secret. Thersites, observing both groups and commenting on them, is on the right. Troilus goes off the deep end as he witnesses this supposed betrayal (“Oh, control yourself!” Ulysses admonishes him). This is a good argument for downloading the file in enhanced format.

It's all part of the sad, misogynistic, corrupt, sick world Shakespeare has put together. In some cases the sickness is real: Pandarus shows up at the end trembling with the Neapolitan bone-ache: in other words syphilis. He promises to bequeath it to the audience. Part of me thinks Shakespeare found this amusing, or thought his audience would. If so, it's another example of ugliness and moral bankruptcy from a society that found it entertaining to watch dogs and bears killing each other.

Over and over again Shakespeare raises a tragic vision only to undercut it with satirical commentary. The climactic battle starts out, in this production, with an epic clash of armies in sound; but within seconds the bitter Thersites dismisses it as armies “clapper-clawing” one another. The death of Hector, almost a sacred act in The Iliad, is here an ugly, dishonorable murder at the hands of Achilles’ Myrmidons. As noted, the play ends not in triumph but in the stews and bone aches of venereal disease.

The cast as always with Arkangel is excellent. Ian Pepperel is a tortured Troilus, Julia Ford a flirty Cressida who ends in sad resignation. Gerard Murphy makes a coldly cynical Ulysses; David Troughton is a restrained Thersites who is forced to admit, bitterly, that he's a “rascal.” The music is performed on Elizabethan instruments and sounds as old as the hills.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diana S. Long
  • 06/01/2018

Tragedy or Comedy Very Enjoyable

I listened to the Arkangel full cast recording of the play while reading the text from the Delphi Complete Works of Shakespeare E Book. This is one of those plays where it appears like both a tragedy and comedy, based on Greek myths of Troy. It is a rather long play and we jump from kiss fest moments to battles, complete with some creepy stalker type character that hides in the bushes and narrates some play by play moments, more like a pot stirrer I would think. Cressida proves to be a flighty kind of lover for Troilus but he doesn't seem to put up much of a fight when she gets traded.. since the play includes Achilles I thought sure at some point he'd be shot in that heel. Troilus does make it through the play but not unscathed and without the fair Cressida. Very enjoyable and entertaining.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • lavalleem
  • 15/07/2017

ArkAngel is always a wonderful interpretation

Where does Troilus and Cressida rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Troilus and Cressida was a wonderful performance of one of William Shakespeare's lesser known plays, it is in the top 15 for sure.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Troilus and Cressida?

The peak of the play with Troilus and Cressida are finally able to come together.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the scene's highlighting Cressida the most.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I was able to listen to this in two sittings.

Ordina per:
Filtra per:
  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MR B.
  • 01/05/2019

Shakespeare in surly mood or a classic debunked

Disillusionment is the keynote here. Man full of sound and fury signifying....Not much at all.