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Troilus and Cressida Characters


The Prologue comes out to give a bit of background on the Trojan War and inform the audience that the action of the play starts several years after the beginning of that war. 

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Priam, King of Troy

Priam is the King of Troy and the father of fifty sons, among whom are Hector, Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus, and Helenus, and many daughters including Cassandra. 

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Hector is Priam’s son, the brother of Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus and Helenus, and the pride and joy of Troy. 

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Troilus is the youngest of Priam’s fifty sons, the brother of Hector, Paris, Diphobus, Helenus and Cassandra. 

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Paris is one of Priam’s sons, the brother of Hector, Troilus, Deiphobus and Helenus, and the main reason there’s a war on, as he abducted Helen from her husband Menelaus several years ago. 

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Deiphobus is one of Priam’s sons, and therefore the brother of Hector, Troilus, Paris and Helenus. He is one of the Trojan warriors who fetch Cressida to hand over to the Greeks.


Helenus is a priest and one of Priam’s sons, and therefore the brother of Hector, Troilus, Paris and Deiphobus. 

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Margarelon is Priam’s bastard son, who attempts to have a fight with Thersites. He does not approve of cowardice.


Antenor [mute role] is a Trojan commander captured by the Greeks, for whom the Trojans will exchange almost any requested hostage – in this case, Cressida. 

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Calchas is Cressida’s father, a Trojan priest who has gone over to the Greeks, not that they treat him very well for it. 

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Troilus’s Boy

Troilus’s Boy fetches Pandarus for his master, and keeps a lookout for him.


Menelaus is Agamemnon’s brother, the King of Sparta, Helen’s husband, and the most mocked man in the entire play. 

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Nestor is an old Greek lord, an ancient part of history, white-bearded, decrepit, senile, long-winded and by his own admission useless in a fight due to his age. 

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Ulysses is one of the Greek leaders, a wily and sneaky man who easily manipulates those around him. 

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Ajax is a large, brawny, well-muscled, and exceptionally stupid Greek leader. 

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Patroclus is Achilles’s companion, a young man who is excellent at doing mocking impersonations of the Greek leaders. 

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Thersites is a foul-mouthed Greek servant, first to Ajax and then to Achilles, and the most determinedly unpleasant person in all of Shakespeare. 

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Helen is Menelaus’s abducted wife, who quite happily ran away with Paris and has since become known to history (somewhat inaccurately) as Helen of Troy. 

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Cassandra is a prophetess, one of Priam’s daughters and the sister of Hector, Paris, Troilus, Deiphobus and Helenus. 

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Cressida is a young lady of Troy, under her uncle Pandarus’s guardianship since her father Calchas defected to the Greeks. 

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Greek Knight

A Greek Knight [mute role] in armor wears extremely costly armor that makes him a prime target on the battlefield and attracts Hector’s attention.

Diomedes’s Servant

Diomedes’s Servant is sent by his master to bring Cressida Troilus’s captured horse.

Trojan Trumpeter

A Trojan Trumpeter [mute role] accompanies Aeneas to the Greek camp to deliver Hector’s challenge. 

Greek Trumpeter

A Greek Trumpeter [mute role] is not particularly well-treated, but does get paid. He sounds Ajax’s challenge to Hector.

Paris’s Servant

Paris’s Servant is a saucy, quick-witted fellow who twits those who ask questions that can lead to wordplay.


A Myrmidon hears the Trojans’ trumpets sounding the retreat.


Mymidons are Achilles’s followers, the descendants of a people that used to be ants until the gods transformed them. 

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Musicians [mute roles] attend on Paris and Helen, serenading them at their command. Essentially, they are a walking stereo system.


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