43 pages 1 hour read


Trojan Women

Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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Lines 1113-EndChapter Summaries & Analyses

Summary: Lines 1113-1265 (Choral Ode, Astyanax’s Death)

With Helen’s departure, the Chorus launch into an ode, this one taking stock of the current state of affairs, and dreading the future. The Chorus addresses Zeus, the king of the gods, accusingly. They sing the praises of Troy as it once was, emphasizing the quality of the offerings the city would make to the gods. All of the excellent offerings the gods once received are now gone, and as for Zeus, “You sit upon your throne in the heavens, high above us, while blinding flames take the city down” (lines 1130-1132; page 164).

The Chorus turns its focus to the suffering of their families. The women’s husbands have been left unburied and unmourned, meaning their spirits will not find rest. The women and children will imminently be separated to sail to different destinations, and their families will be entirely destroyed. The Chorus moves from its blame of Zeus back to Menelaus and Helen and calls on Zeus to strike the Greeks’ ships before they can reach land.

At the end of the choral ode, Talthybius and his attendants enter, bearing the dead body of Astyanax on Hector’s shield.