My roommate in college was film noir's #1 fan, and we went through a long period of time trying to get caught up on every noir ever made. It was in that mood that said roommate and I took one of my favorite college classes, which we affectionately called Shakespeare Boot Camp. The two-week long class consisted of a week of studying plays and a week of living in Ashland, Oregon while going to see those plays on stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Brilliant! I was really psyched up to see the stage performance of Troilus and Cressida, because I had decided that it was film noir from start to finish.
Unfortunately, the director of the production we saw decided that Cressida was pretty much the Greek equivalent of a misunderstood vapid cheerleader. Sucks how Shakespeare is so open to interpretation like that. In my mind she was the ultimate femme fatale - the mastermind behind the betrayals that are the essence of this story. To the director of that production, she was the pawn of the big, strong (gay) men. In all fairness, that production focused on the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, and the actual story of Troilus and Cressida was almost incidental. When Cressida was on stage, however, she pranced around in her golden locks until blood was practically pouring out of my ears. I took it personally. If we're going to write a female stereotype, I prefer the villain to the idiot. At least the villain has some power.
When we returned from Shakespeare Camp I decided to adopt a black cat and name her "Cressida as Ava Gardner's Character Kitty Collins in The Killers
", so that when people met her they would know that Cressida is e-vil. That's exactly what I did. Ironically, Cat Cressida is kind of cuddly and sweet it turns out, and she makes friends with all the neighbors. But I think deep down she has betrayal in her heart. She's just waiting for the right moment to spring it on us. Anyway, spread the word people. Cressida may be a bitch, but she ain't nobody else's bitch, ya know?