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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Why Troilus Is Scum
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0603  Friday, 1 March 2002

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 11:17:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 09:13:47 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0597  Why Troilus Is Scum

[3]     From:   Janet OKeefe <
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        Date:   28 Feb 2002 13:28:47 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 11:17:14 -0500
Subject: 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum

Anna Kamaralli said,

>At this point in the play
> Cressida is about to be traded to the enemy, so someone who genuinely
> loved her would most likely have more pressing concerns, perhaps even
> for her wellbeing?

Troilus is a flippin' prince, for goodness' sake. He should have married
Cressida to extend his protection to her, or at least put his foot down
and said that all they need is some prisoner or other to exchange, it
doesn't have to be his mistress.

Dana Shilling

PS--Time Out New York referred to a production called "Cressida Among
the Greeks" (which the reviewer didn't like much) as "Dawson's Greeks."

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 09:13:47 -0800
Subject: 13.0597  Why Troilus Is Scum
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0597  Why Troilus Is Scum

Anna Kamaralli writes,

>"Cressid, I love thee in so strained a purity, That the blest gods, as
>angry with my fancy, More bright in zeal than the devotion which Cold
>lips blow to their deities, take thee from me."

>The emphasis is
>all on the superior quality of his own love, and the fact that he is
>going to have something taken away from him.

I'm not sure if this is a necessary reading, though I'm not as familiar
with the play as I would like to be.  I suppose that it comes down to
how you read the word "strained".  If it means that the purity of his
love is near breaking-point, then he would seem to be confessing that
it's of inferior quality, more "bright in zeal" than the sort of holy,
chaste love one has for the gods.

This speech might, at least in principle, show Troilus blaming his own
guilty lust for Cressid's exile.

Cheers,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet OKeefe <
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Date:           28 Feb 2002 13:28:47 -0800
Subject: 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0597 Why Troilus is scum: erratum

> Please allow me to correct the error I made in my post of yesterday:
>
> I should have said that Troilus never tells Cressida that he loves her
> in their love scene together.  He does use the words once later on, in
> their parting scene, but with the following context:
>
> "Cressid, I love thee in so strained a purity, That the blest gods, as
> angry with my fancy, More bright in zeal than the devotion which Cold
> lips blow to their deities, take thee from me."
>
> I don't feel this really damages my point, since as a declaration of
> love this is right up there with... well, with squid.  The emphasis is
> all on the superior quality of his own love, and the fact that he is
> going to have something taken away from him.  At this point in the play
> Cressida is about to be traded to the enemy, so someone who genuinely
> loved her would most likely have more pressing concerns, perhaps even
> for her wellbeing?

Maybe we're not reading this the same way.  To me he is saying that he
loved her so much more than he loved the Gods that they are punishing
him by taking her away from him.  They object, we are to assume, is to
make him turn his attention back to them.  Since this is the kind of
thing the Greek Gods often did in myth, it makes sense for him to
believe it.  I don't hear any claim to abstract superiority from him,
just a statement that to him she was superior to the Gods.

Janet T. O'Keefe

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