Ajax (Troilus and Cressida)
Ajax is the only admirable male character in TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. When the other Greeks sexually molest Cressida in IV.5 by forcing her to accept their kisses, Ajax doesn't participate. Ajax is a terrific fighter, and though he's disparaged by the other Greeks, he's the only fighter in the play who defeats Hector in combat.
This makes no difference to the other Greeks. They treat Ajax as a fool, and make a tool of him to try to get Achilles to return to the war. Now it may be that Ajax doesn't join the other Greeks in playing Spin the Bottle with Cressida because he doesn't care for girls (although Achilles, married to Patroclus, cheerfully joins in--and so does Patroclus). At the beginning of the play, Ajax is living with Thersites practically as man and wife, and Thersites has genuine concern for Ajax. Unfortunately Ajax is a wife-beater, and in a fit of anger beats Thersites and drives him to leave him and form a ménage à trois with Achilles and Patroclus--with disastrous results for them. Thersites was the only other person in the play who showed any concern for Ajax' reputation and welfare, and Ajax is very upset and angry to lose Thersites' company.
They say he [Ajax] yesterday coped Hector in the battle and struck him down, the disdain and shame whereof hath ever since kept Hector fasting and waking. (Tro. I.2.33-5)
By rigging the lottery, Ulysses and Nestor arrange that Ajax shall answer Hector's challenge to single combat. Ajax is certainly ready to slaughter somebody, anybody (but preferably a Trojan). But Hector stops the bout, says that he won't fight further with Ajax because they're cousins, praises Ajax' skill with arms, and throws his arms around him in an affectionate hug. Ajax is stunned.
Ajax then, without much hope, invites Hector to dinner and Hector, to Ajax' amazement, accepts! Almost everybody in the play admires the rock-star Hector, but Ajax falls frankly in love with him.
I thank thee, Hector.
Thou art too gentle and too free a man.
I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence
A great addition earnèd in thy death. (Tro. IV.5.139-42)
When Achilles, by a vicious trick, kills Hector on the battlefield, Ajax, whose heart is broken by the death of the great man who had treated him as a human being, gives his epitaph:
But of course, many characters in the play get their hearts broken.
The bruit is Hector's slain, and by Achilles.
If it be so, yet bragless let it be;
Great Hector was as good a man as he. (Tro. V.10.4-6)
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