Thomas Heywood




The son of Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, Achilles arrives at Troy with a message for Agamemnon from the oracle at Delphi that indicates an eventual Greek victory over the Trojans. Upon the first meeting of the Greek and Trojan armies, Achilles makes it plain that he sees Hector as his obvious target, but Agamemnon orders lots to be drawn to see which Greek will be the first to take Hector on, and that honor is bestowed upon Ajax. At the banquet hosted by Priam for his Greek enemies, Achilles sees and falls in love with the Trojan princess Polyxena, a fact not missed by Priam. At the same banquet, Achilles wonders if the war might be settled without further bloodshed and suggests that Helen be brought in to choose publicly between Paris and Menelaus. Later, Achilles withdraws from the fighting because Priam has offered Polyxena to him, and even the death of his best friend Patroclus fails to move him. Only when the Trojans torch his tent does Achilles come back into the fight. Upon meeting the young prince Margareton in the field and learning that he is Hector's brother, Achilles slays the young man, a killing that will bring Hector onto the battlefield in search of revenge. When Achilles and Hector do meet, the Greek refuses to fight one-on-one, instead ordering his men to surround Hector and to kill him with their poleaxes, while he contents himself with stabbing the corpse afterward. Achilles again retires from the fighting when he receives a letter from Hecuba that says he will never have Polyxena if he kills another Trojan; however, Ulysses convinces him that the surest way to get the princess is to return to the battle and kill Troilus, because the Trojan royal family would then be so shaken Priam would offer Polyxena to end further losses. Once more in the field, Achilles uses the gang tactic on Troilus that worked earlier with Hector, provoking Paris (with Hecuba's encouragement) to assassinate the Greek warrior when he comes to Troy to claim Polyxena. As he dies, Achilles urges the Greek chieftains to send for his son Pyrrhus so that the youth might avenge his father's death, and Priam agrees to a truce so the Greeks might bury their fallen comrade.


Aeacus (called Eacus in the text) is a "ghost character". He is the son of Jupiter and the father of Telamon. During the debate about who should receive the armor of Achilles, Ajax calls attention to his own connection to the gods by observing that his grandfather Aeacus was a son of the foremost of the Olympian deities.


A "ghost character", Aegisthus (called Egistus in the text) is the lover of Agamemnon's queen Clytemnestra. In the epilogue, Thersites mentions that he hopes to see Aegisthus among others in the second part of the play.


Aeneas is a relative of the Trojan royal family and an ally in the war. Along with Paris, he urges the voyage to Greece to retrieve Hesione, and he supports Troilus in calling for a war against the Greeks. Aeneas accompanies Paris to Sparta, and upon the return to Troy, he assures Helen that she will be protected. After bearing Priam's offer of Polyxena to Achilles, Aeneas is present at the wedding, informs Priam of the arrival of the Amazon queen Penthesilia, and serves in the Trojan party that returns Achilles's corpse at the end of the play.


Agamemnon is Menelaus's brother and the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces at Troy. When the main warriors become contentious over which of them will face Hector first, Agamemnon takes Ulysses's advice and has them all draw lots. Later, when arguments erupt between Greeks and Trojans at the banquet hosted by Priam, both Priam and Agamemnon (who like the Trojan king is an honorable man) control their men so no blood is shed. When Ajax and Ulysses begin their confrontation over the armor of Achilles, Agamemnon orders a meeting in front of the troops to determine who should receive the valuable prize. In the dumb show that concludes the play, Agamemnon heads the Greek contingent that returns the corpse of Hector to the Trojans.


The king of Salamis, Ajax (called Aiax in the text) is the son of Hercules's friend Telamon and the Trojan princess Hesione. When the Greeks and Trojans first join battle, Agamemnon has the foremost warriors draw lots to determine who will confront Hector, and Ajax gets that distinction. During their duel, both warriors lose their weapons and are about to attack one another with trees and boulders when Agamemnon intervenes. The two combatants part on friendly terms (they are first cousins), with Hector giving Ajax a sword and shield, and Ajax bestowing on Hector a purple studded belt he had won from an unnamed Prince of Samothrace. After Achilles accepts Priam's offer of Polyxena's hand in marriage and withdraws from the fight, it is Ajax who suggests that Patroclus be allowed to wear Achilles's armor and lead his troops against the advancing Trojans. After the death of Patroclus, Hector is on the verge of destroying the Greek fleet and encampment when Ajax begs him to desist "for Hersiones sake," and Hector agrees to the request. After the death of Achilles, that warrior's famous armor becomes the center of a dispute between Ajax and Ulysses, with each man claiming the right to possess it, and Agamemnon orders a public assembly before the troops at which each might make his case. Ajax begins by pointing to his superior strength, his having routing more Trojans than anyone else, his being descended from Jupiter (through his grandfather Aeacus), and his being Achilles's brother-in-law. In addition, Ajax calls attention to Ulysses's having sought to avoid service in the war, his having left Nestor vulnerable on the battlefield, his having to be rescued from Hector by Ajax himself, and his physical inability to bear Achilles's armor. These allegations at first win over the support of the troops, but Ulysses later manages to swing them his way and gains the armor. Disgusted by what he calls vile politicians and cowards, Ajax joins Thersites in condemning the Greeks generally. When the chief leaders return from a parlay with the Trojan king Priam and ignore him, Ajax feels dishonored, and after ranting and offering to fight any of them, he stabs himself and dies.


A "ghost character", Ajax Oileus (called Aias Oilaeus in the text) is the king of the Locrians and a Greek fighter at Troy. Sometimes known as Ajax the Lesser to distinguish him from Ajax, the son of Telamon, Ajax Oileus is one of the Greeks Hector punishes in revenge for Achilles's having killed Margareton.


Alcides is a surname applied to Hercules.


The Ambassador of Crete (called the Embassador of Crete in the text) informs Menelaus that he has been offered the Cretan throne. Menelaus's departure to take that crown provides Paris and Helen the opportunity to flee to Troy.


Andromache is Hector's wife and Astyanax's mother. When Cassandra urges her to speak against sending Paris to Greece (because she knows that there he will meet Helen and provoke the war that will destroy Troy), Andromache remains silent, even though Cassandra predicts the death of Hector in that war. On the day following Hector's attack upon the Greek encampment, Andromache begs him to stay out of the fighting because she has had a dream in which all the Greek warriors pierce Hector with their javelins, but Hector rejects her plea, arguing that dreams have no significance. Only when Priam, Hecuba, and Helen support Andromache's request does Hector agree to it.


Antenor (referred to as Anthenor in the text) is a Trojan noble and the brother-in-law to the Trojan queen Hecuba. Priam sends him to Greece to negotiate the release of Hesione, but when he returns to Troy, he reports that he has been rejected and dishonorably used by the Greeks. Further, his report that Hesione is regarded in Greece as a strumpet provokes Hector to support the expedition to rescue the woman, something that he had spoken against earlier. Antenor accompanies Paris to Sparta, and at the end of the play is a member of the Trojan party that returns Achilles's corpse to the Greeks.


A "ghost character", Arcesius is a son of Jove and is Ulysses's grandfather. During the argument over the arms of Achilles, Ulysses calls attention to his descent from this son of Jove to counter Ajax's claiming descent from Aeacus (Eacus), another of Jove's human offspring.


Astyanax (called Astianax in the text) is the son of Hector and Andromache. Early on, he appears with his grandfather Priam on the walls of Troy, and the old king tells him to pray for his father's success in battle. Astyanax finds the request odd, given that Hector is a veritable killing machine, but Priam insists that the gods must always be invoked. The young man appears later in the play with Andromache when she comes to plead with her husband to retire from battle.


A Trojan priest and seer, Calchas is the father of Cressida. He is sent by Priam to the oracle at Delphi to learn about the prospect for Trojan success in the war. He returns to Troy with Achilles, who had been sent to Delphi by Agamemnon to learn the same thing, and knowing that the attackers will ultimately destroy Troy, Calchas decides to stay with the Greeks. At the banquet Priam hosts for the Greek and Trojan leaders, Calchas urges his daughter Cressida to leave Troy (and her beloved Troilus) and to accept the marriage proposal offered by Diomedes.


Cassandra is a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, sister to Hector, and a prophetess. When Priam proposes the expedition to Greece to retrieve Hesione, Cassandra urges the Trojans to forbear because she knows the voyage will bring Paris into contact with Helen and lead to the destruction of Troy. She fails to move her father, who calls her mad, or to convince Hector's wife Andromache, even though the latter is warned that a war with the Greeks will result in her husband's death.


Castor and his brother Pollux arrive in Sparta to visit their sister Helen at just the time Menelaus has left for Crete. Helen uses the arrival of her brothers to cover her going to the port and her flight with Paris. When Castor and Pollux are informed by the unnamed Spartan Lord of their sister's departure, they set out in pursuit of Helen and her Trojan lover.


The daughter of the Trojan priest Calchas, Cressida (called Cresid in the text) is the beloved of the Trojan prince Troilus. Although she has sworn to love Troilus and agrees to be cursed should she ever break faith with him, Cressida accepts her father's advice and joins Diomedes, the Greek leader who has fallen in love with her, after she learns that Troy is fated to be destroyed.


A "ghost character", Deidamia (called Dedamia in the text) is the mother of Pyrrhus, Achilles's son. As Achilles dies, he instructs Ajax, Agamemnon, and the other Greek leaders to send for Pyrrhus, "my sonne begot on bright Dedamia," so that the young warrior might avenge his father's death.


A mute character, Deiphobus is a son of Priam and Hecuba, and one of Hector's brothers. Present when his father suggests the expedition to Greece to seek the return of Hesione, Deiphobus accompanies his brother Paris on that voyage. He is later present at the marriage of Achilles and Polyxena, and is a member of the Trojan party that returns the corpse of Achilles to the Greeks.


Diomedes (called Diomed in the text) is one of the chief Greek kings and warriors at Troy. He is present when Paris visits Sparta and indicates his low opinion of the Trojan by calling him a "capring, carpet knight" and a "mere toy." When the Greeks discover that Helen has fled with Paris, Diomedes leaves to summon all the kings of Greece while the Spartan Lord fetches Menelaus from Crete. At Troy, Diomedes falls in love with the Trojan maid Cressida, daughter of Calchas and the beloved of Troilus. He enlists the aid of Calchas in making an offer of marriage, one that she accepts upon learning that Troy is destined to be destroyed. Diomedes is present in the dumb show as the corpses of Achilles and Hector are exchanged.


Dolon is a Trojan "ghost character". During the contest for the armor of Achilles, Ajax mentions that one of the very few things with which Ulysses can be credited is the killing of the unarmed Trojan spy Dolon and the similarly unarmed Rhesus, a Trojan ally from Thrace.


In the scene of Ajax's madness and suicide, the hero asks rhetorically, "Who then? What's hee must cope with Aiax?" to which the Echo of Ajax replies from offstage "Aiax," prompting the warrior to stab himself.


Only mentioned, Galatee is Hector's horse. The Trojan hero calls for him to be saddled in the scene when Hector's Armor-Bearer is chastised for dressing the warrior too slowly.


Hector, son of Priam and Hecuba, is the Trojan prince most renowned for prowess on the battlefield. He is married to Andromache and is the father of Astyanax. At first, he speaks against his father's suggestion to send a force to Greece to recapture Hesione, remarking that it was his grandfather Laomedon's dishonorable behavior (in denying Hercules his promised reward for rescuing Hesione from Neptune's sea monster) that led to the princess's having been sent to Greece with Hercules's friend Telamon. However, upon hearing of the disgraceful treatment of Antenor by the Greeks when he attempted to negotiate Hesione's release, Hector too urges sending a force. When Helen arrives at Troy, Hector admits that he was not entirely in favor of her being brought there, but he promises to be her champion, and along with other members of the Trojan royal family, treats the Greek queen with respect. When the main body of the Greeks arrives at Troy, Hector offers combat to anyone who dares confront him, and by drawing lots, the Greeks decide Ajax will have the honor of accepting this challenge. Their duel is broken off by Agamemnon after a fight in which both warriors lose their weapons. Because they are first cousins, the two part on good terms and exchange gifts. On the day after his triumph over Patroclus, Hector is intent upon taking to the field and ending the Greek threat once and for all, but Andromache, Priam, and Hecuba convince him not to hazard himself at that time. Only the death of his young brother Margareton at the hands of Achilles brings him back into the fight. After killing a number of Greeks and routing others, Hector is surrounded by the troops of Achilles, overwhelmed, and slaughtered on the orders of the Greek fighter. Achilles commands the corpse be taken to his tent so he may drag it around, but a short while later Paris informs the leading Trojans that, although Hector has died, they have killed many Greeks and rescued the fallen hero's corpse. Oddly enough, the play ends with a dumb show in which the body of Hector is ceremoniously returned to Troy by the Greeks in exchange for the corpse of Achilles.


A mute character, Hector's Armor-Bearer is upbraided by the Trojan hero for dressing him too slowly the day after Hector had spared the Greek ships (at the request of his cousin Ajax). Hector's irritation with the servant stems from his recognition that he has made a mistake by not burning the fleet when he had a chance and from his desire to be first in the field this day to finish with the Greeks once and for all.


Wife of Priam and mother to Hector, Paris, Deiphobus, Margareton, and many others, Hecuba welcomes Helen into the Trojan royal family when Paris brings the Greek queen to Troy. With Priam, she attempts to arrange a match between their daughter Polyxena and Achilles as a way of keeping the Greek fighter off the battlefield. Following the deaths of Hector and Troilus, she encourages Paris to assassinate Achilles when he comes to Troy to marry Polyxena.


Helen (called Hellena in the text) is the wife of Menelaus and supposedly the most beautiful woman in the world. When she meets the Trojan prince Paris, she at first pretends to be offended by his crude (that is, non-Greek) manners, but it is plain from her asides that she is as instantly taken with him as he with her. Agreeing to accompany Paris to Troy, Helen uses the departure of Menelaus for Crete and the arrival of her brothers Castor and Pollux as a cover for her flight from Sparta. Arriving at Troy, she expresses some fear at being unprotected in a strange land, but Hector and the Trojan royal family welcome her warmly and promise to protect her. During the feast Priam holds for the Greeks, Helen is forced to make a public declaration for Menelaus or Paris, and she chooses the young Trojan in large part because he has the sweeter kisses.


A "ghost character", Hercules rescued Hesione, the daughter of the Trojan king Laomedon, from Poseidon's sea monster, but when the Trojan monarch refused to give the reward he had promised, Hercules attacked Troy, and aided by his friend Telamon, devastated the city. To recognize Telamon's bravery, Hercules gave him Hesione.


A "ghost character", Hermione is the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. During the banquet at which Helen is asked to choose between returning to Greece or remaining in Troy, Menelaus, hoping to influence his wife, reminds Helen of the daughter she has left behind.


A "ghost character", Hesione is the daughter of Laomedon, the sister of Priam, and the mother (by Telamon) of the Greek warrior Ajax. She is rescued from sacrifice to a sea monster by Hercules, but when Laomedon refuses to pay the Greek hero what had been offered, Hercules gives Hesione to his companion Telamon, who takes her to Greece. When Hector is about to fire the Greek ships, Ajax begs him to stop for "Hesione's sake," thus reminding the Trojan hero that he and Ajax are cousins.


Idomeneus (called Idomean in the text) is a Greek "ghost character" who has come to Troy with his nephew Meriones. After the death of Margareton at the hands of Achilles, Hector reenters the battle to take revenge for the killing of his younger brother. Driving Achilles's troops before him, he claims to have killed three princes and to have cowed a great number of Greek warriors, including Idomeneus.


Only mentioned. Jove (called Iove and Ioue in the text) is another name for Jupiter, the king of the gods. Both Ajax and Ulysses claim the right to the armor of Achilles in part because they are descended from this chief Olympian god (Ajax through his grandfather Aeacus and Ulysses through his grandfather Acresius).


Only mentioned. Juno (called Iuno in the text) is the wife of Jupiter and had competed with Pallas and Venus for the golden apple, offering the Trojan prince Paris wealth and kingship if he would confer the precious artifact on her. In addition, Ajax tells Hector that his shield is so massive no other Greek can even lift it, but to Ajax it is like a summer fan made from the feathers of "Iuno's bird" (that is, the peacock).


Only mentioned, Jupiter (called Iupiter in the text) is another name for Jove, the king of the gods.


A "ghost character", Laertes is mentioned by Ajax as the father of Ulysses.


A "ghost character", Laomedon was the Trojan king who enlisted Hercules's aid in rescuing his daughter Hesione from a sea monster. Following the rescue, Laomedon refused to give the reward, and Hercules took satisfaction by destroying much of Troy and giving Hesione to his battle companion Telamon.


A "ghost character", Leda (called Lada in the text) is Helen's mother. During the banquet at which Helen is asked to choose between returning to Greece or remaining in Troy, Menelaus, hoping to influence Helen, tells her that Leda still grieves over the daughter's absence.


One of Priam's youngest sons, Margareton announces that Paris has brought Helen to Troy. When Achilles seeks Hector in the field, the Greek hero encounters Margareton, and learning that he is Hector's brother, kills the young man. It is the death of Margareton that prompts Hector to return to the battlefield where he will be set upon by Achilles's troops and killed.


Menelaus is the king of Sparta, brother to Agamemnon, and husband of Helen. When Menelaus is offered the throne of Crete, he goes to the island leaving Helen to entertain the visiting Trojan prince Paris, thus providing the two lovers an opportunity to flee. At Troy, Menelaus wishes to accept Hector's challenge to single combat, but Agamemnon overrules him. At the banquet that Priam hosts for the Greeks, Menelaus tries to convince Helen to return to Greece by reminding her of the mother, father, and daughter she has left behind, but this family tactic is no match for the sweet kisses of Paris. In battle, Menelaus is brought down by Paris, but the Trojan spares his life, remarking that he has already stolen Menelaus's honor by taking Helen. Menelaus last appears among the Greeks who escort the body of Hector as it is being exchanged for that of Achilles.


Meriones is a Greek "ghost character" who accompanies his uncle Idomeneus to Troy. After the death of Margareton at the hands of Achilles, Hector reenters the battle to take revenge for the killing of his younger brother. Driving Achilles's troops before him, he claims to have killed three princes and to have cowed a great number of Greek warriors, including Meriones.


A "ghost character". In the epilogue, Thersites claims that the Mother of Orestes (although not named, this is certainly a reference to Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra) will appear in the second part of the play.


Only mentioned. Neptune is the sea god from whose monster Hesione was rescued by Hercules. When Paris leaves Oenone and heads for Greece, he invokes the aid of Neptune.


Nestor, the king of Pylos and the oldest of the Greeks at Troy, is a "ghost character". Ajax maintains that Ulysses fled from the battlefield at Hector's approach, leaving the old man to fend for himself, and that only good fortune enabled the old man to make his escape.


A nymph from Mount Ida, Oenone (Oenon in the text) is married to Paris. She confronts the Trojan prince when she learns that he intends to sail to Greece and begs him to stay at Troy. When he pushes her aside, Oenone leaves complaining that she is to be replaced as Paris's wife.


A "ghost character", Orestes in the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. In the epilogue, Thersites mentions that, having survived the action in the first part of the play, he will be around to see Orestes, among others, in the second part.


Only mentioned. Pallas, also known as Athena, is the goddess of wisdom and weaving. Paris remarks that Pallas had offered him wisdom, command of literature, and mastery of the arts in exchange for the golden apple that she, Venus, and Juno coveted.


A son of Priam and Hecuba, Paris is the Trojan prince most directly responsible for the war with the Greeks. He supports Priam's plan to send forces to rescue Hesione, in part because Venus has promised him the world's most beautiful woman, and he believes he may find her in Greece. As he leaves Troy, Paris forcefully rejects Oenone, the mountain nymph to whom he has been married. Visiting Sparta with Aeneas, Antenor, and others, he meets and falls in love with Menelaus's wife Helen and arranges to carry her back to Troy. When Priam hosts a banquet for the Greeks, Paris argues with Menelaus, and at the suggestion of Achilles, the two rivals for Helen's affection are seated on either side of the woman as she is made to choose between them. When Menelaus reminds Helen of the family she has left behind in Greece, Paris counters by arguing she has simply found a better family in Troy, and Helen remarks that Paris is indeed the better kisser. In a later battle scene, Paris downs Menelaus but spares his life because he has already stolen the man's honor (by taking Helen). The deaths of both Hector and Troilus at the hands of Achilles prompts Paris to seek revenge. He accomplishes this by assassinating Achilles during the Greek warrior's marriage to Polyxena. Along with Priam, Aeneas, and other leading Trojans, he accompanies the corpse of Achilles as it is exchanged for that of Hector.


Patroclus is Achilles's best friend. He eagerly endorses Ajax's suggestion that he wear Achilles's armor to lead a counterattack against the Trojans. Having been mortally wounded by Hector, Patroclus dies urging Achilles to seek revenge upon the Trojan warrior.


A "ghost character", Peleus is mentioned by Ajax as the father of Achilles.


A "ghost character", Penthesilia (referred to as Penthisilea and Penthiselea in the text) is the queen of the Amazons and a Trojan ally. Her arrival at Troy is announced to Priam late in the play, and in the epilogue, Thersites says she will appear in the sequel.


A mute character, Polyxena (called Polixina or Polixena in the text) is a daughter of Priam and Hecuba. At the banquet hosted by Priam for the Greek and Trojan leaders, the old king notices that Achilles has fallen for the beautiful princess, and he later arranges for Achilles to marry Polyxena, with the proviso that the Greek will withdraw from the fighting. Achilles agrees, but the burning of his tent by Hector will bring him back into the battle. Later, Paris (prompted by Hecuba to avenge the deaths of Hector and Troilus at the hands of the Greek warrior) will use the occasion of Polyxena's wedding to Achilles to assassinate him.


Pollux and his brother Castor arrive in Sparta to visit their sister Helen at just the time Menelaus has left for Crete. Helen uses the arrival of her brothers to cover her going to the port and her flight with Paris. When Castor and Pollux are informed by the unnamed Spartan Lord of their sister's departure, they set out in pursuit of Helen and her Trojan lover.


Only mentioned. Poseidon is another name for Neptune, the sea god.


Priam (sometimes referred to as Priamus in the speech headings) is the king of Troy and father to Hector, Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus, Margareton, Cassandra, Polyxena, and others. It is Priam who calls for an expedition to Greece to rescue his sister Hesione from Telamon, the Greek warrior to whom she was given by Hercules. It is on this errand that Paris will meet Helen, bring her to Troy, and thus initiate the Trojan War. Priam and Hecuba, his wife, accept Helen warmly and accept her as a member of the royal family, and Priam rebuffs the attempt by Diomedes and Ulysses to get Helen returned through negotiation. Honorable throughout, Priam is outraged to learn that Paris has used the occasion of Polyxena's marriage to Achilles to assassinate the Greek warrior. At the end of the play, Priam arranges a truce so that the Greeks and the Trojans may return the corpses of Achilles and Hector to their respective sides.


After the duel between Hector and Ajax, Priam's Herald arrives to arrange a truce so that the Greek and Trojan dead may be buried. He also invites twenty of the chief Greek leaders to a banquet hosted by Priam.


A "ghost character". After the duel between Ajax and Hector, the two cousins part amicably, with the Trojan warrior giving a sword and shield to Ajax and Ajax bestowing upon Hector a purple studded belt the Greek had won from the Prince of Samothrace.


A "ghost character", Pylades (called Pillades in the text) is the friend and boon companion of Orestes. He is mentioned by Thersites as appearing in part two of the play.


A "ghost character", Pyrrhus (or Pirhus in the text) is Achilles's son by Deidamia. As Achilles succumbs to the wound Paris has inflicted, he urges the Greek leaders to send to Greece for Pyrrhus so the young man might avenge his father's death.


Rhesus is a "ghost character". During the contest for the armor of Achilles, Ajax mentions that one of the very few things with which Ulysses can be credited is the killing of the unarmed Thracian Rhesus and the similarly unarmed Trojan spy Dolon.


A "ghost character", Sinon is the Greek who convinces the Trojans to take the wooden horse designed by Ulysses into the city, thus initiating the destruction of Troy. Thersites calls him "most like mee" and mentions Sinon will appear in part two of the play.


The unnamed Spartan Lord informs Helen of the impending arrival of her brothers Castor and Pollux, a circumstance that Helen realizes she can use to cover her departure with Paris. She tells the Spartan Lord that she has a special reason to go to the port the next day and that he should not worry if he sees her board a ship. After she departs for Troy, the Lord informs Castor, Pollux, and other Greek nobles of Helen's elopement, and he is then dispatched to summon Menelaus from Crete.


A "ghost character", Telamon was a friend of Hercules and the father of Ajax. When the Trojan king Laomedon refuses to pay Hercules for saving his daughter Hesione, the Greek hero gives the Trojan princess to Telamon in recognition of his bravery in the fight against Laomedon. Telamon takes Hesione home to Greece. Paris sails to Greece on the pretext of rescuing Hesione from her enforced sojourn with Telamon.


Thersites is a foul-mouthed malcontent among the Greeks, who is given to sarcastic verbal attacks at all around him. When Menelaus informs Helen of his intention to visit Crete and orders her to entertain the visiting Trojan Paris, Thersites chortles over the customary ignorance of cuckolds. At Troy, he lashes out at both Greek and Trojan nobles and is beaten first by Achilles for his insulting remarks, then by Troilus for labeling all Greeks and Trojans fools for fighting over such a "drabbe" (whore) as Helen. Thersites delivers the epilogue to the play, taking delight in his survival, a survival that will allow him to see Pyrrhus, Penthesilia, Sinon, and others in the play's second part.


A "ghost character", Theseus is a legendary king of Athens. Heywood's Address to the Reader asserts that Theseus had "ravished Hellen in her minority," but later Helen remarks upon Theseus's only having sought kisses and other displays of affection


A "ghost character", Thetis is a sea nymph and the mother of Achilles. After the death of Hector, Paris takes some consolation in knowing that Troilus still lives to fight the "bloody sonne of Thetis."


One of the chief Trojan warriors, Troilus is a son of Priam and Hecuba and brother to Hector, Deiphobus, Cassandra, and many more. He is in love with Cressida, the daughter of the priest Calchas, at one point asserting that her beauty surpasses that of Helen. He supports Aeneas in calling for an armed force to be sent to Greece to free Hesione. Like his father and brothers, he warmly welcomes Helen when Paris brings her to Troy. At the feast that Priam hosts for the Greeks, Troilus argues with Diomedes, the Greek warrior to whom Cressida will turn when her father Calchas informs her that Troy is fated to fall. Twice during the battle sequences, Troilus encounters Diomedes, and on each occasion has the better of the combat. Following the death of Hector, Paris notes that all may yet be well because Troilus is still alive and the Greeks are almost as afraid of him as they were of Hector. Indeed, when Troilus next enters the fighting, he routs the Greeks, and only the reappearance of Achilles stops his rampage. Waiting until he is certain that the Trojan warrior is exhausted from fighting, Achilles confronts Troilus but does not attack him individually. Instead, he orders his men to gang up on Troilus and to slaughter him in the same way they had Hector. It is this dishonorable behavior by Achilles that provokes Paris to kill the Greek in a similarly disgraceful way (by treacherously shooting him with an arrow as he goes to marry Polyxena).


A "ghost character", Tyndareus (called Tendarus in the text) is Helen's human step-father. Menelaus tries to shame Helen into returning to Sparta by mentioning that she has deserted Tyndareus just as she has her mother Leda and her daughter Hermione.


Ulysses (called Vlisses in the text) is the king of Ithaca and a leading member of the Greek force at Troy. Shortly after their arrival, Agamemnon sends Ulysses and Diomedes to Priam in an attempt to negotiate the return of Helen, but the emissaries are rebuffed by the Trojan king. During the initial meeting on the battlefield between Greeks and Trojans, Ulysses suggests that lots be drawn to see who will be the first to confront Hector, and Agamemnon agrees. When Achilles withdraws from a later battle in an effort to preserve his relationship with Priam and Hecuba (he has already arranged to marry their daughter Polyxena), Ulysses convinces him that the surest way to get the Trojan princess is to kill Troilus and thereby frighten Priam into speeding the marriage along. After the death of Achilles, Ulysses challenges Ajax's claim to the fallen warrior's armor, and in a public disputation between the two, convinces the troops that the armor should be his. The case he makes rests importantly on his having forced Achilles to the war (and thus he may take credit for all of Achilles's victories), on his being both a fighter and a shrewd military adviser, and on his having preserved the cause by rallying everyone (including Ajax) when they were on the verge of giving up the effort against Troy. Ulysses last appears in the dumb show among the Greek leaders who convey Hector's corpse to the Trojans.


Only mentioned, Venus is the goddess of love to whom Paris had awarded the golden apple. During the discussion about sending a force to Greece to rescue Hesione, Paris observes that Venus might aid him in this effort because Greece is the home of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world and thus the one promised to him by the goddess. Upon meeting Helen in Sparta, Paris prays to Venus, asking that the goddess live up to her promise.


Only mentioned. Vulcan is the god of the forge. Ajax remarks that the armor of Achilles, for which he is in competition with Ulysses, was made from steel and shaped by Vulcan with Cyclopean hammers.

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