THE TROJAN WOMEN
Andromache’s obedient, loyal and respectful characteristics as a woman exemplify the ideal wifely status. The ideal wife that she has tried to embody is an obedient, pure and respectful wife. One that does not bring shame to her husband. One that is not adulterous or showy. One that is honourable. Andromache embodies every aspect of the ideal wife in this truly masculine-based society. She keeps her purity by committing to her relationship and showing sincere obedience and loyalty. Andromache would rather be seen and not heard, as her actions as a wife speak louder than her words. This is represented by the wording of having a “silent tongue and modest eyes.” Andromache knows that her opinion as a woman is not pertinent in this society as the Trojan women evidently are struggling against the authoritative and irrational patriarchal forces. Andromache strives to do everything that the ideal wife should do out of her own will. Andromache knows her place as a housewife as she rarely ever leaves the home, as she believes it will “put her in an evil name”. She does not want to get together with other women as it will create gossip and influence her, something she refrains from. She recognizes that talk among women can be altered easily, and will create a biased image on oneself. Hesiod’s Works and Days similarly mentioned that talk was divine, and advised to “not speak evil,” because “you’ll be worse spoken of.” It was easy to recognize the common belief of avoiding trouble over the course of time. Andromache refrains from being showy as it can lead to adulterous behaviour. Andromache believed that an obedient woman should keep her thoughts to herself to avoid intruding factors. Andromache resents ones who convey love from a former husband to a new one by marrying again. Andromache gained the reputation of being a good woman in the society as she stood for the right things. She refrains from bringing shame into the husband’s life. Thus, Andromache is seen as an honourable wife. Andromache developed the image of being the ideal wife. Thus, once Hector was killed by Achilles, she was forced to be the wife of Neoptolemus, Achilles son. In this instance, Andromache gained the new relationship due to her reputable ideals as a woman. However, Andromache feared that this relationship would enslave her to take advantage of her ideal characteristics as a wife. By marrying Achilles’ son, she will be treated as a slave to the needs of Neoptolemus, rather than a loving wife. Andromache said, “I have not so much as hope, the last resource of every human heart, nor do I beguile myself with dreams of future bliss.” Clearly Andromache will forever be enslaved by her relationship and has no hope to have any future bliss. It is ironic how being the most ideal wife led her to living such a hopeless life; it seems as if she was destined to be a slave of man. Andromache was attractive because of her ideal traits as a wife, and had no hope escaping Neoptolemus. Additionally, Andromache felt a lot of misery as she expected the worst as her future as a slave. After the devastating events in her life she felt “better far is death than life with misery. For the dead feel no sorrow anymore and know no grief.” Andromache seemed very upset with the outcome after all of her willful, obedient, and loyal actions, and the force of her committing to another man; especially after the honourable Hector. Andromache had gained a whole new lifestyle after these events. A lifestyle in which she felt no hope or desire to live. B.
Hecuba is advising Andromache to stop discussing Hector’s fate as his life is already over. Hecuba mentions “No tears of thine can save him,” escalating the idea that no matter how much she cries he can’t be saved, what’s done is done, Hector is gone. By ceasing to speak of the death, she should start working on her new relationship; something which Andromache feels poorly about. Hecuba wants Andromache to “honour...
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