Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Troilus and Cressida (Modern)
  • Editor: William Godshalk
  • ISBN: 1-55058-301-8

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: William Godshalk
    Peer Reviewed

    Troilus and Cressida (Modern)

    [Enter Speaker of the Prologue in armor.]
    1Speaker of the Prologue In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece,
    The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
    Have to the port of Athens sent their ships
    5Fraught with the ministers and instruments
    Of cruel war. Sixty and nine that wore
    Their crownets regal, from th'Athenian bay
    Put forth toward Phrygia, and their vow is made
    To ransack Troy, within whose strong immures
    10The ravished Helen, Menelaus' queen,
    With wanton Paris sleeps, and that's the quarrel.
    To Tenedos they come,
    And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
    Their warlike fraughtage. Now on Dardan plains
    15The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
    Their brave pavilions. Priam's six-gated city --
    Dardan and Timbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
    And Antenonidus -- with massy staples
    And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
    20Stir up the sons of Troy.
    Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits
    On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
    Sets all on hazard. And hither am I come,
    A prologue armed, but not in confidence
    25Of author's pen, or actor's voice, but suited
    In like conditions as our argument,
    To tell you (fair beholders) that our play
    Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
    Beginning in the middle, starting thence away
    30To what may be digested in a play.
    Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are.
    Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.