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Word Count: 1,200
The love story between Troilus the Trojan prince and the maiden Cressida is only one of the two major plot lines in Shakespeares Troilus and Cressida However the actions of Troilus and Cressida seem more poignant because they deal closely with the concept of human values and virtues Indeed it seems that the love story between these two provides an overarching metaphor for the second plot line that of the Trojan War While the scenes portraying the war are effective in their own right I find it much more effective to discuss the more accessible story of the lovers After all not many have experienced physical war However most have experienced war in the emotional sense--in the sense of love Much of the apparent turmoil between Troilus and Cressida results from Cressidas dissention in Vii to the Greek commander Diomedes Thus it is fitting to explore who Cressida really is and to uncover the motives for her actions throughout the play In common analyses of Troilus and Cressida Cressida is often portrayed as a whore In fact there are several references within the text itself that allude to this interpretation of her personality It seems to be common knowledge within the Greek army that any man may sing her if he can take her cliff Vii10-11 and that she will with minimal persuasion be secretly open Vii23 These are obvious sexual references which Thersites uses to reveal the true nature of Diomedes flighty prize Cressida This portrayal of the maiden may seem unmerited until background is given of the affair between Troilus and Cressida and afterward between Diomedes and Cressida The story of the first pair appears to be an innocent pursuit of love where boy meets girl boy gets girl etc In the first scene of the play the storyline immediately discloses Troilus affections for Cressida The prince enlists Pandarus uncle to Cressida to aid him in his pursuit of the young girl Pandarus
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