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Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida Translation Act 2, Scene 3

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Enter THERSITES, solus

THERSITES

How now, Thersites! what lost in the labyrinth of thy fury! Shall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? He beats me, and I rail at him: O, worthy satisfaction! would it were otherwise; that I could beat him, whilst he railed at me. 'Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare enginer! If Troy be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O thou great thunder-darter of Olympus, forget that thou art Jove, the king of gods and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy caduceus, if ye take not that little, little less than little wit from them that they have! which short-armed ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or rather, the bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse dependent on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers and devil Envy say Amen. What ho! my Lord Achilles!

THERSITES

Oh Thersites! What, are you stuck in a maze of your own hate? Will the elephant Ajax win over you like this? He hits me and I insult him, oh that's a worthy payback! I wish it were the other way around, and I could hit him whilst he shouted at me. God's foot, if I have to learn magic and how to conjure demons I will do it, to make my hatred productive. Then there's Achilles, a strange sapper. If Troy isn't taken by these two, it won't be until the walls fall over on their own. Oh Jupiter give up your thunderbolts, and Mercury give up your medicine, if you don't take the last of Ajax and Achilles' pathetic wit from them. Those stupid creatures couldn't think of a way of saving a fly from a spider without drawing their swords and cutting the web apart. After these two, I'd put a plague on the whole camp! Or I'd make their bones ache, a suitable curse for those that go to war over a woman. I have said my prayers and now only need the devil of Envy to agree. What's this, my lord Achilles.

Enter PATROCLUS

PATROCLUS

Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersites, come in and rail.

PATROCLUS

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THERSITES

If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou wouldst not have slipped out of my contemplation: but it is no matter; thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction till thy death! then if she that lays thee out says thou art a fair corse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?

THERSITES

Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commod

PATROCLUS

What, art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?

PATROCLUS

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THERSITES

Ay: the heavens hear me!

THERSITES

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Enter ACHILLES

ACHILLES

Who's there?

ACHILLES

Lorem ipsum

PATROCLUS

Thersites, my lord.

PATROCLUS

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ACHILLES

Where, where? Art thou come? why, my cheese, mydigestion, why hast thou not served thyself in tomy table so many meals? Come, what's Agamemnon?

ACHILLES

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THERSITES

Thy commander, Achilles. Then tell me, Patroclus,what's Achilles?

THERSITES

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PATROCLUS

Thy lord, Thersites: then tell me, I pray thee,what's thyself?

PATROCLUS

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THERSITES

Thy knower, Patroclus: then tell me, Patroclus,what art thou?

THERSITES

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PATROCLUS

Thou mayst tell that knowest.

PATROCLUS

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ACHILLES

O, tell, tell.

ACHILLES

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THERSITES

I'll decline the whole question. Agamemnon commandsAchilles; Achilles is my lord; I am Patroclus'knower, and Patroclus is a fool.

THERSITES

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PATROCLUS

You rascal!

PATROCLUS

Lorem ipsum

THERSITES

Peace, fool! I have not done.

THERSITES

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ACHILLES

He is a privileged man. Proceed, Thersites.

ACHILLES

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THERSITES

Agamemnon is a fool; Achilles is a fool; Thersitesis a fool, and, as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool.

THERSITES

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ACHILLES

Derive this; come.

ACHILLES

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THERSITES

Agamemnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles; Achilles is a fool to be commanded of Agamemnon; Thersites is a fool to serve such a fool, and Patroclus is a fool positive.

THERSITES

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PATROCLUS

Why am I a fool?

PATROCLUS

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THERSITES

Make that demand of the prover. It suffices me thouart. Look you, who comes here?

THERSITES

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ACHILLES

Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody.Come in with me, Thersites.

ACHILLES

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Exit

THERSITES

Here is such patchery, such juggling and such knavery! all the argument is a cuckold and a whore; a good quarrel to draw emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigo on the subject! and war and lechery confound all!

THERSITES

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Exit

Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR, DIOMEDES, and AJAX

AGAMEMNON

Where is Achilles?

AGAMEMNON

Lorem ipsum dolor

PATROCLUS

Within his tent; but ill disposed, my lord.

PATROCLUS

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AGAMEMNON

Let it be known to him that we are here. He shent our messengers; and we lay by Our appertainments, visiting of him: Let him be told so; lest perchance he think We dare not move the question of our place, Or know not what we are.

AGAMEMNON

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PATROCLUS

I shall say so to him.

PATROCLUS

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Exit

ULYSSES

We saw him at the opening of his tent:He is not sick.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you may call itmelancholy, if you will favour the man; but, by myhead, 'tis pride: but why, why? let him show us thecause. A word, my lord.

AJAX

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Takes AGAMEMNON aside

NESTOR

What moves Ajax thus to bay at him?

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

Who, Thersites?

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

He.

ULYSSES

Lore

NESTOR

Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

No, you see, he is his argument that has hisargument, Achilles.

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

All the better; their fraction is more our wish thantheir faction: but it was a strong composure a foolcould disunite.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easilyuntie. Here comes Patroclus.

ULYSSES

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Re-enter PATROCLUS

NESTOR

No Achilles with him.

NESTOR

Lorem ipsum dolor

ULYSSES

The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy:his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.

ULYSSES

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PATROCLUS

Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry, If any thing more than your sport and pleasure Did move your greatness and this noble state To call upon him; he hopes it is no other But for your health and your digestion sake, And after-dinner's breath.

PATROCLUS

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AGAMEMNON

Hear you, Patroclus: We are too well acquainted with these answers: But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn, Cannot outfly our apprehensions. Much attribute he hath, and much the reason Why we ascribe it to him; yet all his virtues, Not virtuously on his own part beheld, Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss, Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish, Are like to rot untasted. Go and tell him, We come to speak with him; and you shall not sin, If you do say we think him over-proud And under-honest, in self-assumption greater Than in the note of judgment; and worthier than himself Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on, Disguise the holy strength of their command, And underwrite in an observing kind His humorous predominance; yea, watch His pettish lunes, his ebbs, his flows, as if The passage and whole carriage of this action Rode on his tide. Go tell him this, and add, That if he overhold his price so much, We'll none of him; but let him, like an engine Not portable, lie under this report: 'Bring action hither, this cannot go to war: A stirring dwarf we do allowance give Before a sleeping giant.' Tell him so.

AGAMEMNON

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut eLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laborLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute iruLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliqLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad mini

PATROCLUS

I shall; and bring his answer presently.

PATROCLUS

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Exit

AGAMEMNON

In second voice we'll not be satisfied;We come to speak with him. Ulysses, enter you.

AGAMEMNON

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Exit ULYSSES

AJAX

What is he more than another?

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

No more than what he thinks he is.

AGAMEMNON

Lorem ipsum dolo

AJAX

Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself abetter man than I am?

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

No question.

AGAMEMNON

Lorem ipsum

AJAX

Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, aswise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogethermore tractable.

AGAMEMNON

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AJAX

Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? Iknow not what pride is.

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.

AGAMEMNON

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AJAX

I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads.

AJAX

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NESTOR

[Aside] Yet he loves himself: is't not strange?

NESTOR

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Re-enter ULYSSES

ULYSSES

Achilles will not to the field to-morrow.

ULYSSES

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AGAMEMNON

What's his excuse?

AGAMEMNON

Lorem ipsum dolor

ULYSSES

He doth rely on none,But carries on the stream of his disposeWithout observance or respect of any,In will peculiar and in self-admission.

ULYSSES

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AGAMEMNON

Why will he not upon our fair requestUntent his person and share the air with us?

AGAMEMNON

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ULYSSES

Things small as nothing, for request's sake only, He makes important: possess'd he is with greatness, And speaks not to himself but with a pride That quarrels at self-breath: imagined worth Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse That 'twixt his mental and his active parts Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages And batters down himself: what should I say? He is so plaguy proud that the death-tokens of it Cry 'No recovery.'

ULYSSES

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AGAMEMNON

Let Ajax go to him.Dear lord, go you and greet him in his tent:'Tis said he holds you well, and will be ledAt your request a little from himself.

AGAMEMNON

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ULYSSES

O Agamemnon, let it not be so! We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes When they go from Achilles: shall the proud lord That bastes his arrogance with his own seam And never suffers matter of the world Enter his thoughts, save such as do revolve And ruminate himself, shall he be worshipp'd Of that we hold an idol more than he? No, this thrice worthy and right valiant lord Must not so stale his palm, nobly acquired; Nor, by my will, assubjugate his merit, As amply titled as Achilles is, By going to Achilles: That were to enlard his fat already pride And add more coals to Cancer when he burns With entertaining great Hyperion. This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid, And say in thunder 'Achilles go to him.'

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

[Aside to DIOMEDES] O, this is well; he rubs thevein of him.

NESTOR

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DIOMEDES

[Aside to NESTOR] And how his silence drinks upthis applause!

DIOMEDES

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AJAX

If I go to him, with my armed fist I'll pash him o'er the face.

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

O, no, you shall not go.

AGAMEMNON

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AJAX

An a' be proud with me, I'll pheeze his pride:Let me go to him.

AJAX

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ULYSSES

Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

A paltry, insolent fellow!

AJAX

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NESTOR

How he describes himself!

NESTOR

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AJAX

Can he not be sociable?

AJAX

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ULYSSES

The raven chides blackness.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

I'll let his humours blood.

AJAX

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AGAMEMNON

He will be the physician that should be the patient.

AGAMEMNON

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AJAX

An all men were o' my mind,—

AJAX

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ULYSSES

Wit would be out of fashion.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

A' should not bear it so, a' should eat swords first:shall pride carry it?

AJAX

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NESTOR

An 'twould, you'ld carry half.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

A' would have ten shares.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

I will knead him; I'll make him supple.

AJAX

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NESTOR

He's not yet through warm: force him with praises:pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

[To AGAMEMNON] My lord, you feed too much on this dislike.

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

Our noble general, do not do so.

NESTOR

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DIOMEDES

You must prepare to fight without Achilles.

DIOMEDES

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ULYSSES

Why, 'tis this naming of him does him harm.Here is a man—but 'tis before his face;I will be silent.

ULYSSES

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NESTOR

Wherefore should you so?He is not emulous, as Achilles is.

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

Know the whole world, he is as valiant.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

A whoreson dog, that shall pelter thus with us!Would he were a Trojan!

AJAX

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NESTOR

What a vice were it in Ajax now,—

NESTOR

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ULYSSES

If he were proud,—

ULYSSES

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DIOMEDES

Or covetous of praise,—

DIOMEDES

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ULYSSES

Ay, or surly borne,—

ULYSSES

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DIOMEDES

Or strange, or self-affected!

DIOMEDES

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ULYSSES

Thank the heavens, lord, thou art of sweet composure; Praise him that got thee, she that gave thee suck: Famed be thy tutor, and thy parts of nature Thrice famed, beyond all erudition: But he that disciplined thy arms to fight, Let Mars divide eternity in twain, And give him half: and, for thy vigour, Bull-bearing Milo his addition yield To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom, Which, like a bourn, a pale, a shore, confines Thy spacious and dilated parts: here's Nestor; Instructed by the antiquary times, He must, he is, he cannot but be wise: Put pardon, father Nestor, were your days As green as Ajax' and your brain so temper'd, You should not have the eminence of him, But be as Ajax.

ULYSSES

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AJAX

Shall I call you father?

AJAX

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NESTOR

Ay, my good son.

NESTOR

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DIOMEDES

Be ruled by him, Lord Ajax.

DIOMEDES

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ULYSSES

There is no tarrying here; the hart Achilles Keeps thicket . Please it our great general To call together all his state of war; Fresh kings are come to Troy: to-morrow We must with all our main of power stand fast: And here's a lord,—come knights from east to west, And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best.

ULYSSES

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AGAMEMNON

Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep:Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.

AGAMEMNON

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Exeunt

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Tom hill
About the Translator: Tom Hill

Tom Hill lives in his native London where he has just finished studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He has worked in education both in the UK and in Asia. His favorite Shakespeare play is The Merchant of Venice.