One of the common characteristics of these plays is the weakness of the central young male character. Both Bertram (All’s Well that Ends Well) and Claudio (Measure for Measure) are — in their different ways — thoughtless and selfish young men who learn humiliating lessons during the course of the drama. Troilus (Troilus and Cressida) is a more complex character, but his romantic idealism is regarded as a weakness by more cynical figures such as Pandarus, Diomed, Ulysses and Thersites. Troilus’s romanticism is a stage of young male development he has to discard, and he experiences harsh disillusionment.
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