Act One, Prologue
A chorus enters and begins the play by telling the audience about the impetus for the Trojan War: Helen, wife of the Greek nobleman Menelaus, has been stolen by Paris, one of the princes of Troy. As a result, 69 Greek princes have sworn their swords to recover Helen and avenge Menelaus. Among the armies are famous warriors such as Achilles, Ajax and Hector, and many others. As the play begins, the Greek forces are in the seventh year of their siege of the city of Troy.
Act One, Scene One
Inside the besieged city of Troy, Priam’s son, Troilus, laments to Pandarus: He is in love with Pandarus’ niece, Cressida, but she seems not to return his affections, instead preferring Troilus’ more famously heroic brother, Hector. Pandarus has agreed to help Troilus win over Cressida, but he is a flighty and silly man. When Pandarus describes Cressida’s beauty at a recent feast, comparing her looks to that of the famously beautiful Helen, Troilus berates him, saying that
Troilus and Cressida guide sections