Troilus and Criseyde

by Geoffrey Chaucer

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Troilus (TROY-luhs), a young prince of Troy. He scorns love until he falls in love with Criseyde, who then becomes his mistress until she is traded to the Greeks for a Trojan warrior. When Criseyde fails to return to Troy as she has promised, Troilus is grief-stricken. He is killed on the battlefield by Achilles, the great Greek warrior.


Priam (PRI-am), the king of Troy during the Trojan War. He is Troilus’ father.


Criseyde (KREHS-ih-duh), a beautiful young widow. She fears that Troilus’ love is dishonorable, but she becomes his mistress so he will not die of unrequited love. Although she loves him and vows to return to Troy, she falls in love with Diomedes, a young Greek, and remains in the Greek camp with him.


Calchas (KAL-kuhs), Criseyde’s father. A soothsayer and prophet, he runs away from Troy to join the Greeks, who are fated to win the war. He arranges to have his daughter exchanged for Antenor, whom the Greeks have captured.


Pandarus (PAN-duh-ruhs), Criseyde’s uncle. He arranges the details of the affair between Troilus and Criseyde.


Deiphobus (dee-IH-fuh-buhs), Troilus’ brother. He enables the lovers to meet by inviting Troilus and Criseyde to dinner at his home.


Antenor (an-TEE-nohr), a Trojan warrior captured by the Greeks and exchanged for Criseyde.


Hector (HEHK-tohr), Troilus’ brother. He does not wish to make the exchange of Criseyde for Antenor.


Diomedes (di-oh-MEE-deez), a handsome young Greek. Criseyde falls in love with him and hence fails to return to Troilus.


Achilles (uh-KIHL-eez), the mightiest of the Greek warriors. He slays Troilus on the battlefield.

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