43 pages 1 hour read


Trojan Women

Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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Lines 485-828Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Summary: Lines 485-735 (Choral Ode, Andromache)

Following Cassandra’s exit, Hecuba collapses in tears. As the Chorus attempts to help her up, she refuses aid and delivers a speech lamenting her downfall. She reflects upon her past happy life of comfort and familial duty, and contrasts it with her anticipated future as a slave: “I, who had a queen’s bed in the palace, will rest my shriveled carcass on the ground…” (lines 522-523; page 139).

The Chorus responds with an ode reliving the fall of Troy. They describe the giant wooden horse sent by the Greeks, which the Trojans brought inside their walls to dedicate as a gift to the goddess Athena. We hear about how joyful the Trojans were, unaware that the horse was full of Greek soldiers waiting to attack. As the Trojans sang and danced in celebration, the Greeks emerged, slaughtering the men and rounding up the women and children. This devastation occurred the previous night.

Andromache, the daughter-in-law of Hecuba and wife of the slain hero, Hector, enters on a wagon piled with the spoils of Troy. She and Hecuba share a song, in which the reflect upon their personal losses and the loss of the entire city.