The Tragedy of the Trojan Women
In the beginning of The Trojan Women by Euripides, the city of Troy has been sacked, and Poseidon brings attention to Hecuba crying at the entrance of Troy. Poseidon lists the events unbeknownst to Hecuba, including her daughter Polyxena being killed by the Greeks in a sacrifice at Achilles’ tomb, Priam and Hecuba’s children are dead, and Apollo left Cassandra mad (Apollo made her his prophetess). Then enters Athena, who wants to bring joy to the Trojans and give the Greeks a bitter journey home. Poseidon and Athena agree to cause havoc on the Greeks’ journey home and then leave. Hecuba knows the Greek ships are waiting offshore ready to take her and the other Trojan women away to slavery. The chorus enters and asks Hecuba what might happen to them. Hecuba thinks they will be auctioned off to the Greeks. Talthybius gives Hecuba and the chorus information on who they were all assigned to. He tells Hecuba that Cassandra was taken by Agamemnon as his concubine, Polyxena has been assigned to Achilles’ tomb as an attendant, Andromache to the son of Achilles, and she is going to Odysseus. Cassandra enters with a burning torch and prophesies Agamemnon’s wife, Clytemnestra, will murder both her and Agamemnon. Talthybius is disgusted at Cassandra’s words and tells Hecuba to get ready to go on Odysseus’ ship. Cassandra responds by saying Hecuba will die in what is left of Troy, and she will join her mother in the underworld as a victor because she will have destroyed the house of Atreus. Hecuba faints and then asks where Polyxena is. Andromache enters with her son, Astyanax, and tells Hecuba about Polyxena’s fate as a sacrifice at Achilles’ tomb. Andromache tells Hecuba she believes Polyxena’s fate is far better than hers, and she would rather be dead than to live in misery. As Andromache and Hecuba finish speaking, Talthybius enters and tells Andromache the Greeks have decided to kill Astyanax. Andromache curses the Greeks, and Talthybius...
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