This chapter explains performance anxiety as the insistent theme that is a by-product of the play's obsession with its own literary belatedness. Troilus and Cressida thematizes performance anxiety as it relates to sexuality, heroism, and acting itself. Far from being limited to the confines of the text, this performance anxiety has implications for subjectivity, the role of the audience, and the difficulty of mounting modern productions of the play. It is also important to realize that, although Cressida experiences performance anxiety as much as Troilus does, the nature of their anxieties is different. Whereas Troilus fears what he will not be able to perform, Cressida fears what she inevitably will perform. Even when performance is temporarily successful—the conquest of Helen and of Cressida, for instance—it does indeed, just as the lovers had feared, result in all kinds of monstrosity: war, disease, and death.