Inspired by Homer's Iliad and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare's play explores heroism, love and betrayal against the backdrop of the Trojan War. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by R. A. Foakes with an introduction by Colin Burrow.
'Lechery, still wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion'
It is the seventh year of the Trojan War. The Greek army is camped outside Troy and Achilles - their military hero - refuses to fight. Inside the city Troilus, the Trojan King's son, falls in love with Cressida, whose father has defected to the Greek camp. In an exchange of prisoners the couple are split - they believe forever. The honour of lovers and soldiers is tested as a fierce battle begins and heroes must prove their worth.
This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to the play, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
William Shakespeare was born in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Colin Burrow is a Senior Research Fellow at All Soul's College, Oxford.