Troilus and Cressida In Plain and Simple English (Digital Download)
Love and War Collide

In the backdrop of the legendary Trojan War, Shakespeare crafts a tale of a passionate romance between Troilus and Cressida. But like many wartime romances, their love is tried by separation and treachery. As Cressida is pulled away to join her father amidst the Greeks, their love story intersects with the pride and hubris of the mighty Achilles.

Navigating between spirited humor and dark despair, this play swings from moments of light-hearted banter to intense tragedy, capturing the dichotomy of human emotions during war.

Confounded by Shakespeare's intricate Old English? Don't fret! BookCaps brings to you a version that's as captivating as the original, but in a language that's more relatable to the modern reader.

Immerse yourself in the dual magic of Shakespeare's original script and its contemporary translation, ensuring you grasp every nuance of this epic tale of love, war, and fate.






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SCENE 1. Troy. Before PRIAM'S palace Enter TROILUS armed, and PANDARUS


Call here my varlet; I'll unarm again.

Why should I war without the walls of Troy

That find such cruel battle here within?

Each Troyan that is master of his heart,

Let him to field; Troilus, alas, hath none!

Call my page here; I'll disarm again.

Why should I make war outside the walls of Troy

when I have such a battle raging inside me?

Every Trojan who is the master of his heart,

let him go to battle;Troilus, alas, is not!


Will this gear ne'er be mended?

Will this business never be straightened out?


The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,

Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;

But I am weaker than a woman's tear,

Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance,

Less valiant than the virgin in the night,

And skilless as unpractis'd infancy.

The Greeks are strong, with a skill that matches their strength,

a fierceness which matches their skill, and a bravery which matches their ferocity;

But I am weaker than a woman's tear,

softer than sleep, more stupid than ignorance,

as timid as a young girl in the night,

and as lacking in skill as a child.


Well, I have told you enough of this; for my part,

I'll not meddle nor make no farther. He that will have a cake

out of the wheat must needs tarry the grinding.

Well, I've spoken to you enough about this; I shall

have nothing more to do with it.Someone who wants

a wheat cake must wait for the wheat to be ground.


Have I not tarried?

Haven't I waited?


Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.

Yes, for the grinding; but you must wait for the flour to be sifted.


Have I not tarried?

Haven't I waited?


Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.

Yes, for the sifting, but you must wait for the dough to rise.


Still have I tarried.

I've still waited.


Ay, to the leavening; but here's yet in the word

'hereafter' the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating

of the oven, and the baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too,

or you may chance to burn your lips.

Yes, for the rising; but there's plenty that still comes after

that, the kneading, making the cake, heating the oven,

baking; and you must wait for it to cool too,

or you might burn your lips.


Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be,

Doth lesser blench at suff'rance than I do.

At Priam's royal table do I sit;

And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts-

So, traitor, then she comes when she is thence.

Whatever goddess Patience is,

she doesn't suffer like I do.

I sit at Priam's royal table;

and then fair Cressida comes into my mind -

so, traitor to love, she's there even when she's absent.


Well, she look'd yesternight fairer than ever I saw her

look, or any woman else.

Well, last night she looked more beautiful than I'd ever seen her,

and more than any other woman as well.


I was about to tell thee: when my heart,

As wedged with a sigh, would rive in twain,

Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,

I have, as when the sun doth light a storm,

Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile.

But sorrow that is couch'd in seeming gladness

Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.

I was about to tell you:when my heart

felt like it would split from sighing,

I have covered up the sigh with a smile

like when the sun shines in a storm,

so that Hector or my father wouldn't notice.

But sorrow hidden by faked happiness

is like the laughter which fate will suddenly turn to sadness.


An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's-well,

go to- there were no more comparison between the women. But, for

my part, she is my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it,

praise her, but I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as

I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but-

If her hair wasn't a little darker than Helen's - well, enough

of that - nobody would think of comparing them.But, I must say,

she is related to me; I don't want people to say I'm biased,

but I wish people had heard her her talk yesterday, as I did.

I won't put down your sister Cassandra's intelligence; but -


O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus-

When I do tell thee there my hopes lie drown'd,

Reply not in how many fathoms deep

They lie indrench'd. I tell thee I am mad

In Cressid's love. Thou answer'st 'She is fair'-

Pourest in the open ulcer of my heart-

Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice,

Handlest in thy discourse. O, that her hand,

In whose comparison all whites are ink

Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure

The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense

Hard as the palm of ploughman! This thou tell'st me,

As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;

But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,

Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me

The knife that made it.

Oh, Pandarus!I'm telling you, Pandarus -

when I tell you that all my hopes are drowned there,

don't tell me how many fathoms down

they've sunk.I'm telling you that love

of Cressida drives me mad.You say, 'She is beautiful'-

you push it into my broken heart -

her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice,

are all subjects of your talk.Oh, her hand

which makes all other white seem black,

its soft touch makes cygnet's feathers seem harsh,

makes the most delicate material

as hard as a ploughman's palm!You tell me this,

and you speak the truth, when I say I love her;

but, when you say this, it's not a sweet medicine,

you're twisting the knife of love in the wound.


I speak no more than truth.

I'm only speaking the truth.


Thou dost not speak so much.

You're not saying half of it.


Faith, I'll not meddle in it. Let her be as she is: if

she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not, she has the

mends in her own hands.

I swear I won't interfere.Let her be what she is:

if she's beautiful, good for her; if she's not, she can

make herself so.


Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus!

Good Pandarus!What do you mean, Pandarus!


I have had my labour for my travail, ill thought on of

her and ill thought on of you; gone between and between, but

small thanks for my labour.

I've had to work at the job, with both you and her

thinking badly of my efforts; I've been the go-between, but

got precious little thanks for my efforts.


What, art thou angry, Pandarus? What, with me?

What, are you angry, Pandarus?What, with me?


Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not so fair as

Helen. An she were not kin to me, she would be as fair a Friday

as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not an she were a

blackamoor; 'tis all one to me.

Because I'm related to her, I can't say she's as beautiful as Helen.

If she wasn't, I'd say I think she's as lovely in her normal clothes

as Helen in her Sunday best.But what do I care?I wouldn't care

if she was black, it's all the same to me.


Say I she is not fair?

Did I say she isn't beautiful?


I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay

behind her father. Let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her

the next time I see her. For my part, I'll meddle nor make no

more i' th' matter.

I don't care whether you did or not. She's a fool to stay

with her father. Let her go to the Greeks; and that's what I'll tell her

the next time I see her. For my part, I'll have nothing more to do with the matter.
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