Troilus and Cressida: not your Homer’s Iliad

“Warriors! Come out and play-ay!”

(sorry, it’s NBA Finals time, and well, you know…)

But what if you confuse your Troilus and Cressida warriors (and leaders)? Can’t tell your Ajax from your Antenor?  Your Patroclus from your Pandarus?

Well, have no fear, babies. The Bill / Shakespeare Project has a handy-dandy infographic for your perusal, enjoyment and edification.

Over a map of the geographical region, I’ve included an octadecagon donut, with each side representing the 18 major characters of the play, nine color-coded blue for the Greeks on the left, nine in red for the Trojans on the right. Outside the octadecagon (just love using that new fancy word), are bands which group the characters; inside it, are another two characters–the “free-floating” characters who are, in a sense, stranded between the two camps: Helen and Calchas.

Also inside the donut are annotated arrows that describe the relationships/actions between these 20 characters; these arrows, too, are shaded to represent the relative time at which the events occurred.  For example, there’s a black arrow between Menelaus and Helen which reads “marries (before play)”… it shows the relationship between the two characters, and it’s black because it’s one of the first events noted for the purposes of the infographic. Likewise (SPOILER ALERT!), there’s an arrow from Achilles to Hector that reads “kills”; and this arrow is white as it’s the last event of the play’s plot as noted in the infographic. These arrows are also layered, so that the earliest events are at the “bottom of the stack” of arrows and that last “kill” arrow resting above the rest.

Hope this helps!

Troilus and Cressida Infographic on character relationships (thumbnail; click for larger version)
Troilus and Cressida Infographic on character relationships (thumbnail; click for larger version)

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