Cressida: O you gods divine, Make Cressid's name the very crown of falsehood If ever she leave Troilus.
By contrast, when Shakespeare endows his Trojan characters with a metatheatrical knowledge of their legacies--'As true as Troilus', 'As false as Cressid' (3.2.180, 194)--which is tantamount to learning their own fates, he undermines the pathos of the lovers' imminent separation by revealing that the partner whom Troilus is about to lose is (anachronistically) the 'sluttish' fallen woman from the end of the play (4.5.62), not the 'fair Cressid' with whom Troilus was originally infatuated (1.1.28).
121-22) that ostensibly warns 'faire Dames' of the ravages of time, 'natures giftes soone weare and waste away', but in fact soon turns into a misogynist rant with Henryson's version of Cressid as the awful example: Hir comly corpes that Troylus did delight All puft with plages full lothsomly there lay: Hir Azurde vaines, her Cristall skinne so whight, With Purple spots, was falne in great decay.
Throughout Turbervile's volume, the paradigm of Cressid and her fault is repeatedly invoked as the likely parallel for any mistress: And as King Priams worthie Sonne All other Ladies seemde to shonne For loue of Cresid: so doe I All Venus Dearlings quight defie, In minde to loue them all aleeke, That leaue a Troian for a Greeke.
pander: "I am Cressid
's uncle, / That dare leave two
And on this principle is grounded the first narrative move in their love story: "I cannot come to Cressid
but by Pandar", Troilus acknowledges (1.1.93).
In the earliest versions, Cressida, or Cressid
, daughter of Calchas, a Grecian priest, is beloved by Troilus.
The choice of extract for analyzing Cressida is I, ii, 249-86, beginning with Cressid
's witty exchange of fencing metaphors with Pandarus and ending with her famous soliloquy and critique of courtly love: "Things won are done; joy's soul likes in the doing." From this extract Marsh argues "we are encouraged to fit Cressida into one of our own, pre-existing stereotypes of feminine behaviour: that of the coquette" (106).
After a quarrel with Julia, Ryder sees his beloved Brideshead in a different, and less edenic, light: "the stone balustrade of the terrace might have been the Trojan walls and in the silent park might have stood the Grecian tents where Cressid
lay that night" (280).
In short, the collective professions of Altofronto/Malevole constitute a simultaneous assertion of what The Sceptick calls "contrarieties"; they amount to a violation of the Aristotelian principle of non-contradiction inasmuch as they insist upon both A and not-A.(31) To be sure, the professions are not as precisely oppositional as Troilus's "This is, and is not, Cressid
," or even Vindice's "I'm in doubt / Whether I'm myself or no," but to insist upon such precision is less material than to note the clear emphasis upon contraposition.(32) Rather than eschewing choice among opposites and thus suspending judgment in Pyrrhonian fashion, Altofronto/Malevole in effect practices in utramque partem argumentation but concludes that both sides are true.
In Troilus's words "This is, and is not, Cressid
." The double image Troilus sees is both the idealized woman who promised to be true and the fallen woman who has betrayed him.
It is my impression that when Weimann finds a disjunction between authorities, in the sense of unity, identity, or civil power within the play world (as when Cressid
is perceived by Troilus as being "Diomed's Cressida," rather than his), he perceives it as a disjunction between signifier and signified.