I’ve been really digging deep into Troilus and Cressida. One thing that I can’t get around is how abruptly the play ends. The narrative might have gone on a little bit longer, just to wrap up the T&C love affair a little more nicely and maybe settle Ajax’s hash, and perhaps hear a few pithy remarks from Ulysses. But rather, we get Troilus railing and rage and grief and Pandarus feeling sorry for himself in a final speech that sounds like he is celebrating his pimping and procuring.
“Good traders in the flesh, set this in your painted cloths:
As many as be here of panders’ hall,
Your eyes, half out, weep out at Pandar’s fall;”
Then I went back to Troilus and one line of his in the final scene explains the quick closure of the story,
“Hector is dead. There is no more to say.”
Hector is really the only character in this play who is honorable and good and true and worthy. He was declared one of the “Nine Worthies” in the middle ages. Hector was a paragon in a cast of liars, bawds, procurers, manipulators, braggarts, social climbers, and murderers. With Hector gone, there’s little reason to continue the story. No one really cares a whit about any of the other characters, except maybe Patroclus, who loved truly, and he’s been killed as well.
I wonder how many directors have decided to end the story of Troilus and Cressida on that line. The ending is already sudden, you can’t really make it more so. Might as well make it sudden and telling.