William Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, Act V, Scene IV

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Scene IV

Plains between Troy and the Grecian camp

Alarums: excursions. Enter Thersites


Now they are clapper-clawing one another; I'll go look on. That dissembling abominable varlets Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting foolish young knave's sleeve of Troy there in his helm: I would fain see them meet; that that same young Trojan ass, that loves the whore there, might send that Greekish whore-masterly villain, with the sleeve, back to the dissembling luxurious drab, of a sleeveless errand. O' the t'other side, the policy of those crafty swearing rascals, that stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese, Nestor, and that same dog-fox, Ulysses, is not proved worthy a blackberry: they set me up, in policy, that mongrel cur, Ajax, against that dog of as bad a kind, Achilles: and now is the cur Ajax prouder than the cur Achilles, and will not arm to-day; whereupon the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarism, and policy grows into an ill opinion. Soft! here comes sleeve, and t'other.

Enter Diomedes, Troilus following


Fly not; for shouldst thou take the river Styx,
I would swim after.


Thou dost miscall retire:
I do not fly, but advantageous care
Withdrew me from the odds of multitude:
Have at thee!


Hold thy whore, Grecian!?now for thy whore,
Trojan!?now the sleeve, now the sleeve!

Exeunt Troilus and Diomedes, fighting

Enter Hector


What art thou, Greek? art thou for Hector's match?
Art thou of blood and honour?


No, no, I am a rascal; a scurvy railing knave: a very filthy rogue.


I do believe thee: live.



God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me; but a plague break thy neck for frightening me! What's become of the wenching rogues? I think they have swallowed one another: I would laugh at that miracle: yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I'll seek them.


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