Skip to main content
Select Source:

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida appear in medieval legend as a pair of lovers. Troilus was faithful, while Cressida was not. Their story comes from the Trojan Warf of Greek mythology. Virgil* mentioned Troilus in his epic the Aeneid as one of the sons of the Trojan king Priam. He noted that Troilus was slain by the Greek hero Achilles* while driving a chariot. In the 1100s, a storyteller named Benoît de Sainte-Maure took these few items from Virgil's work and created an elaborate romance about Troilus. Giovanni Boccaccio and Geoffrey Chaucer wrote poems about the story in the 1300s. Around 1600, William Shakespeare used the tale as the basis for his play Troilus and Cressida.

medieval relating to the Middle Ages in Europe, a period from about a.d. 500 to 1500

epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style

romance in medieval literature, a tale based on legend, love, and adventure, often set in a distant place or time

According to the medieval story, Troilus fell in love with Cressida, a young Trojan woman. She was the niece of Troilus's friend Pandarus, who encouraged the relationship by carrying letters and arranging meetings. However, Cressida's father decided to side with the Greeks against his own people, and he ordered Cressida to join him in the Greek camp. There, despite her vows of loyalty to Troilus, she fell in love with a Greek soldier named Diomedes. Her faithlessness filled Troilus with rage and despair. Some versions say that he willingly died at the hands of Achilles.

See also Achilles; Priam; Trojan War.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Troilus and Cressida." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Troilus and Cressida." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/troilus-and-cressida

"Troilus and Cressida." Myths and Legends of the World. . Retrieved April 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/troilus-and-cressida

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida (troi´ləs, krĕs´Ĭdə), a medieval romance distantly related to characters in Greek legend. Troilus, a Trojan prince (son of Priam and Hecuba), fell in love with Cressida (Chryseis), daughter of Calchas. When she was exchanged for a Trojan prisoner of war, Cressida swore to be faithful to Troilus, but then deceived him with Diomed. Troilus was killed by Achilles. This story appeared first in Benoît de Sainte-More, from whom Boccaccio drew for his Filostrato. Chaucer and Shakespeare also used this legend.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Troilus and Cressida." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Troilus and Cressida." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/troilus-and-cressida

"Troilus and Cressida." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/troilus-and-cressida

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida. Opera in 3 acts by Walton to lib. by Christopher Hassall based on Chaucer and other sources (but not Shakespeare). Comp. 1947–54. Prod. CG 1954, S. Francisco and NY 1955, Milan 1956; rev. and prod. CG 1963; further rev., with Cressida's role altered to mez., 1972–6, prod. CG 1976.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Troilus and Cressida." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Troilus and Cressida." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/troilus-and-cressida

"Troilus and Cressida." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved April 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/troilus-and-cressida

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.