Troilus and Cressida "'Tis Mad Idolatry To Make The Service Greater Than The God"
by William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download Troilus and Cressida Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"'Tis Mad Idolatry To Make The Service Greater Than The God"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The Greeks offer to end the Trojan War. King Priam of Troy and his sons Hector, Troilus, Paris, and Helenus discuss the Greek condition of peace, which is, namely, the return of Helen. Formerly the wife of Menelaus, a Greek king, Helen fell in love with Prince Paris of Troy and fled with him, abandoning her husband and thus precipitating the war. Now Hector urges his father and brothers to accept the Greek offer. He argues that Troy's armies have been decimated, and that the cause of it all is not worth the cost of her keeping.


TROILUS
What's aught but as 'tis valued?
HECTOR
But value dwells not in particular will;
It holds his estimate and dignity
As well wherein 'tis precious of itself
As in the prizer. 'Tis mad idolatry
To make the service greater than the god,
. . .