Writing Assignment – Week 11

In XXII 477-514, Andromache expresses a climactic lament (in fact, it is the longest and most elaborate lament in the Iliad). Taking this lament as your starting point, compare it to her previous lament (VI 407-439). Next, think about and discuss the other two reactions to Hector’s death in scroll XXII in comparison (you are encouraged draw upon other, earlier laments, as well). Last, think and write about the language of “equal to a maenad (mainadi īsē, XXII 460), taking into consideration similar language in Patroclus’s climactic moment (XVI 698-711). Note, particularly, the phrase “equal [īsos] to a superhuman force (daimōn)” found around line 705 (daimoni isos, translated in our text as “like something more than a man”) and then, importantly, again at 786-7 (daimoni isos, translated “like something greater than human”).

NB: Initial posts should be 350-400 words; each reply should be around 100 words.

23 thoughts on “Writing Assignment – Week 11

  1. Tiffany Afolabi-Brown

    Sorry im a little late guys, housing made the wifi quite unbearable. —–
    Andromache’s lament was especially sad because unlike her first lament which was premeditate, this time she is seeing her husband’s body being desecrated on top of his death. This lament goes into far more detail about what Hektor would miss because of his death and probably most considered, their son who would be affected. She talks about how he their son Asatynax is “the unfortunate” and that “[Hektor cannot him anymore …. Since [he is ] dead” (XXII 485-486). The first lament by Andromache does have considerable similarities in concept, which was that Hektor was leaving behind a widow and a son. Her last words were heartbreaking as she talks about the clothes left sitting out for him and how she would “burn [them] up in the fire’s blazing, no use to you, since you will never be laid in them” (XXII 512-513). There has always been this finality in burning something as though to say that truly that person is no longer there which just puts a tragic end to Hektor even if in the end he did seem a bit unhinged. Compared to other laments such as Achilles over Patroklos I just see it as being far more sad because while Achilles and PAtroklos were best friends they did not necessarily need each other to grow or become men. Hektor’s wife spent some amount of time which for a widow she would probably never see as enough but their son, he would never truly know his father and in the greek culture or even any culture today, growing up without a parent is not only more difficult for the child but often psychologically scarring. Hektor’s death left so much more behind than that of Patroklos. I think as far as emotion Andromache and Achilles both loved their men and mourned them but Asytanax would never be able to have all the experiences with his father and unlike either Achilles or Patroklos, he did not make that choice for himself, his father did.

    In the translation maenad was presented as “raving ones’ and when I looked it up what I was given were women whom served Dionysus. I honestly do not see too much of a comparison between the two words but what I did understand is that they both talking about these different versions of human people. Maenad who in this case is simply someone who serves a god and in the case of daimon, a human who is able to talk on traits like that of a god. Both have different contexts but in the case of Patroklos his sword wielding earned him such a description but these raving women I have a hard time seeing their significance.

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    1. Camille Leeds

      I noticed that, in comparing Andromache’s two laments, while in the first lament, she is focusing on what her loss would be if Hektor died, in addition to her previous losses, but in this lament she is grieving for Astyanax, and what she believes will be the effect of Hektor’s death on his life.
      I think it is interesting that when Priam grieves for Hektor, he demands the Trojans to let him leave the city and supplicate Achilleus for Hektor’s body, i.e. face Hektor, and when Hektor had wanted to leave the city to fight Achilleus, Priam had tried to stop him. Though he cites Achilleus’ probable respect for Priam as a man of his own father’s age as likelihood that Achilleus won’t kill him and will give Hektor’s body back, we also know that Achilleus has said nothing could cause him to do so, and that he would like to kill every Trojan, especially children of Priam, and by extension, Priam himself (21.103-105). I also find it quite interesting that Hekabe is given very little lament, especially as Hektor’s mother.

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      1. Neko Ramos

        Hello Camille, I can definite understand how you would perceive the second lamentation as being more about their son, Astyanax. Andromache is grieving over the fact that her son has to live the rest of his life without having the presence of his father and she will now be forced to take care of him on her own. ” The day that robs a child of his parents severs him from his own mankind ,his head is bowed and his cheeks are wet with tears, and he will go about destitute among the friends of his father , plucking one by the cloak and another by the shirt” In this lamentation , I also noticed that although she is very sad and filled with grief, she is also very content with the circumstances with the full understanding that she literally can not do anything to change them. In her first lamentation, she was fighting the circumstances, fighting and urging Hektor to stay back, and not only did she use pity but she was also angry in that situation. Both Lamentations give off a lot of passion from Andromache, but her first one created a strong sense of urgency because at the time she actually had the ability to change things.

        The other main difference between the two was the fact that Andromache focused more on herself and how much Hektor meant to her, rather than in the second lamentation she was just concerned about the life of their son. In book VI, she goes on to explain to Hektor how much value he holds in her life, which is a string tactic to use to keep him away from battle, “Nay-Hektor you who to me are father, mother, brother, and dear husband” the difference between Andromache lamentation and Achilles lamentation is the fact that he was able to use that as motivation to take action.

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        1. Brittany Matthews

          Neko Ramos,

          I agree that unlike Andromache, Achilleus was able to use his loss as motivation. I also believe that Andromache would have been motivated to take action if she was in the same position as Achilleus. By same position, I mean gender-role wise. In most cultures, women are caregivers and men are protectors. Andromache was taught how to take care of a family and Achilleus was taught how to fight. Achilleus knew that he was stronger than Hektor (9.351-355), so when Hektor killed Patroklos, Achilleus could sense that revenge was possible. On the other hand, revenge was not as attainable to Andromache as it was to Achilleus. As a woman with an infant to take care of, how could she possibly avenge Hektor when his killer (Achilleus) is much more powerful than her? She knew how strong Achilleus was not only because of his reputation as a warrior, but because he was responsible for the murders of her parents and brothers (6.414-428). Andromache lost many loved ones because of Achilleus, so if she was capable to kill Achilleus, I believe she would have been motivated to do so.

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    2. Camille Leeds

      I took AP Latin twice, and so, when I read the line comparing Andromache to a maenad, it immediately reminded me of the part in book 4 of the Aeneid when Dido is compared to a maenad because she is grieving since Aeneas is leaving her. It makes me wonder if maenad comparisons is a trope (is that the word?) of wild anxiety and grief in the classical world or if it was just because Vergil was emulating Homer. Either way, it also brings to mind the story of Agave, a maenad, was so caught up in revelries that she thought her son was a mountain lion, and ripped him apart.
      I went back and looked at 16.698-711, in which Patroklos was attempting to climb the walls of Troy, but Apollo keeps pushing him back down. It says that Patroklos “raged,” as in, like a maenad I am guessing, and it also describes Patroklos acting “like something more than a man.” I think this might have to do with strength, physical strength, which would tie in the maenads, because maenads, with the aid of the god Dionysus, have superhuman strength, to my knowledge. With Andromache, the maenad/superhuman strength reminds me of the stories you hear of mothers lifting trees off of their children, which also makes me think of Andromache being concerned with Astyanax’s future without a father. Both times that Patroklos was described as more than a man, something bad was about to happen to him, and in this scene with Andromache, she is about to find out that her husband is dead, so I think this language might be included in scenes to indicate some bad thing happening to the character.

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      1. Neko Ramos

        I agree that using the term “maenad” to describe Patroklus behavior just simply means that his anger towards Apollo caused him to act like something unhuman and carry on traits of an animal. This term means strength , but in Andromache’s case I believe she exhibits emotional strength during her lamentation. I also want to point out the fact that these two characters have had extreme downfalls in connection with the usage of this “raging” language, which can signify the affect of someone’s wrath.

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        1. Natalie Smith

          Neko,

          I like how you talked about the “raging language”. In language the only way to express emotion is the types of words one uses. I feel like you pointed that out well because you said that their “raging language” signified the affect of their wrath. I am a little confused on the maenad part. From what I know of Greek mythology, Maenads are followers of Dionysus. They are portrayed as wild women and they believe that they are going to be chosen as Dionysus’ wife. I’m not sure how a maenad is animalistic, aside from that they would dress up in fawn skin for their rituals.

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    3. Christopher Boivin

      Truly, Tiffany, there are so many parallels that lie within Andromache’s laments in Scroll VI and Scroll XXII. The similarities of her lament in VI to that of XXII help to reflect an almost prequel to her fear of a death she knows is fated to her young husband and to her own life, a life she describes in both VI and XXII alike as ” . .ill-starred. . . ” (Lines 408 and 481, respectively). In Scroll VI, Andromache speaks, foreshadowing her husband’s ill-fated death as she describes the force of the Danaans onset, “ . . .the Achaians, gathering together, will set upon you and kill you. . . “ (VI.409-10).

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    4. Christopher Boivin

      Andromache knows, as she describes “ . . .some man well skilled in prophetic arts. . . “ (VI.438), that Hektor’s doom foretold by the immortals is inevitable, and woven within his ambition for Kleos. This lament represents a prelude to that of XXII, in both composition and content, as we see a continuity of reference by Andromache to her fallen family, of Eetion, but most especially relating to the fears of her first lament coming to fruition for Skamandrios. We see this vividly in XXII, as she laments publicly, describing abuse from future classmates, “‘Get out, you! Your father is not dining among us’ . . .with his dear father gone, he has much to suffer” (XXII.498-505).

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      1. Katharyn Hill

        I like that you pointed out how his death is inevitable and ‘woven within his ambition for Kleos.’ There is a struggle with families because the husband’s goal is to seek Kleos in battle while the wife relies so much on her husband for providing a good life for her and their children. But often with Kloes comes death leaving the wife a widow and for the family to fall apart. I also find it so sad that Andromache has seen this exact moment coming for such a long time because it is Hektors fate to die but now she finally has to deal with the consequences of his death.

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    5. Danielle Wood

      I definitely see Andromache’s second lament as one of mourning the fact that her son won’t grow up with his father, but I also think another important part of it is that she is worried about both of them having to be poor now that Hektor is dead. “…there will be hard work for him and sorrows, for others will take his lands away from him” (XXII.488-489). It’s also shown here: “Astyanax, who in days before on the knees of his father would eat only the marrow or the flesh of sheep that was the fattest” (XXII.500.501). Now that Hektor is gone, they’ve lost all the luxuries they once had and when the city is taken by the Achaians, they will be poor or, if Achilles were to have his way in the state he’s in, dead. She says in her first lament that Hektor is her everything: “Hektor, thus you are father to me, and my honored mother, you are my brother, and you it is who are my young husband” (XI.429-430) and she really expresses how true that is in this second lament.

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      1. Katharyn Hill

        I really like this point you made Danielle because it shows that Andromache has moved past thinking only the past, and predicting what will happen to Astyanax in the future and the struggles he will face as a man without a father. “…and they pity him, and one gives him a tiny drink from a goblet, enough to moisten his lips, not enough to moisten his palate” (22.494-22.495). She predicts that even the simplest thing, such as a drink, will be hard to get without Hektor there and Astyanax will be looked down on because he is fatherless. Andromache believes that Astyanax will face humiliation at every stage of his life and will constantly be reminded of his father’s death. Andromache went through such a similar situation with her entire family being slaughtered that that could be why this second lament in Book 22 is so detailed about the troubles Astyanax will go through, because she has already experienced them.

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  2. Celina Gauthier

    Hi Tiffany:
    I think the term “maenad” is used to describe Andromache because in Book XXII verse 460 because of the uncontrolled emotion Andromache is feeling. “So she spoke, and ran out of the house like a raving woman with a pulsing heart, and her two handmaidens went with her.” With all fairness, she has good reason to be a raving lunatic especially when you compare her lament in Book XXII (450-515) with her lament in Book VI (405-439). In XXII, she mourns Hektor but her sorrow is more focused on her son’s future. She knows what it is like to grow up in a captive and hostile environment. Her foreboding about Astyanax’s future is not unfounded. (Book VI: 421-426) “And they who were my seven brothers in the great house all went upon a single day down into the house of the death god, for swift-footed brilliant Achilleus slaughtered all of them as they were tending their lumbering oxen; and when he had led my mother, who was the queen under wooded Plakos, here along with his other possessions, Achilleus released her again, accepting ransom beyond count, but Artemis of the showering arrows struck her down in the halls of her father.” Clearly, Andromache watched and felt much suffering in her life. Now, she faces the stark reality, that Astyanax’s will suffer the same fate. She and him will both be taken captive and maltreated, now that their protector, Hektor is dead.
    Celina

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  3. Celina Gauthier

    Hi Tiffany:
    When you compare, Andromache’s grief to Achilleus’s grief, it is difficult to measure. I agree that the idea of Astyanax growing up without a father is reprehensible. The fact that Astyanax is later thrown over the wall of Troy by Achilles’ son Neoptolemus assists in depicting how vicious these people were to one another. Andromache has much to grieve: her husband, her son, the slaughter of her brothers, the death of her father, and the abuse of her mother. Yet, I feel for Achilleus’s grief as well. His longtime friend, companion, brother, is killed during this horrific battle. The method in which he is killed eats at Achilleus also. Andromache begs Hektor to refrain from returning to the battle in Book VI. Yet, Hektor cannot. For the sake of valor and kleos, he returns. But, also, Hektor had a duty to protect Ilion. Patroklos felt an allegiance and duty to defend the Achaians that is why he took it upon himself to return to this battle. Achilleus lost the motivation to fight this battle before he lost Patroklos. Therefore, he lost his friend to a cause that was no longer worthwhile to him. I know I would grieve if I lost my brother, but I would grieve more if I thought I was responsible for his death.
    Celina

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    1. Brittany Matthews

      Celina Gauthier,

      I agree that the way Patroklos died got to Achilleus because he felt guilty that he sent his closest friend to fight but was not around to defend him (18.98-100). I also believe that the way Hektor died got to Andromache in a similar way. She begged Hektor to stay in the city (6.431-434) and probably felt guilty that she failed to convince him. I understand Andromache’s sympathy for her son because he will grow up without his father, but I do not believe that situation is as unfortunate as Achilleus’s situation. Since Astyanax was an infant when his father died, he most likely will not remember any experiences that he shared with Hektor. Achilleus on the other hand, has had years of experiences with Patroklos and had to live the rest of his life (even though it was prophesied to be short) knowing that he could never have experiences like those again.

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      1. Danielle Wood

        Brittany, I definitely agree with your point that Achilles does feel a lot of pain from losing such a close friend, but I still think the suffering for Andromache and Astyanax is at least on par with that. Even though Astyanax won’t remember Hektor, the death of his father and the Trojans loss will still impact their lives hugely and negatively. Andromache has not only lost the man she loves, but her whole life since her family was killed and sacked by Achilles. Now Achilles has killed her husband and the Achaians, because of Achilles, will sack a city she lived in once more. I think they both have lost quite a lot.

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        1. Natalie Smith

          I totally agree that Andromache and Astyanax’s pain is equal to that of Achilleus. I think that the pain of losing the man you consider your everything is on par with losing a brother. In both relationships bonds are created that can never be replicated. I also feel like losing a father is very painful. Astyanax never met Hector, but he will grow up hearing about how his father was dragged around for 19 days. He will also grow up seeing his mother’s pain from losing her husband and from becoming poor. Overall, I agree that both parties have been dealt a significant loss.

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          1. Tiffany Afolabi-Brown

            I see where everyone’s opinion has their merits because deaths should not be compared necessarily in sadness and loss but at the end of the day I feel like if you have to chose any detached person bases the worth of a person’s life based on those peoples who would be effected. If the man who cures cancer is on the plane and another man whose comparable in age and skill but could not cure all those people. I believe it would be reasonable to place the loss of a man who could save millions as inevitably more sad than that of a man who just has less to lose and less impact. To know that so much of Skamandrios’ life would be lead in absence of a father he never really knew just seems more sad. But everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

  4. Aliyah Barbee

    While I do understand Andromache’s point of view, I really cannot sympathize for or with her. Maybe it’s because I’m on Achilles side or because Hector was a soldier in a war he was most likely going to die in- but I just don’t really care. Her lament was so long and understandably so but by the middle of it, I had zoned out. Honestly for me, actions speak louder than words, so laments don’t really much for me. However, the reactions of hectors parents did make me feel bad hector and his family. I really only got an understanding of how much he was loved, in his death

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    1. Tiffany Afolabi-Brown

      Aliyah, while I definitely believe that you may find it hard to sympathize with Andromache, I just do not feel the same way. The way Homer portrayed her lament was similar to the others in that it is almost gut wrenchingly painful in that they would drop to their knees and or pull out their hair. Andromache’s lament is far more disheartening as she used two examples talking about how the bath she made would go unused and the clothes she set out would not be worn. It was not simply about the fact that he was dead but I feel like Homer made it more about what happens after he dies, when Hektor’s gone and everyone else simply has to move on.

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  5. Aliyah Barbee

    I agree with everyone stating this lament was much more heartfelt because Hector was actually dead. In Andromache’s first lament she was only speculating what it would be like, but now she will actually have to experience it. I definitely disagree with Tiffany’s statement that Hector’s death was sadder because he left behind Skammandrios. No one death is sadder than another. Like Camille and Neko, I also think the major difference between the two laments is that in the first one, Andromache focuses mainly on herself and how she won’t be able to continue on without hector. In the second she focuses primarily on her son and the terrible life he will live now that Hector has been killed. Still, the actions of Priam, rolling in the mud with sadness and Hector’s mom tearing her hair out with grief speak way louder volumes than Andromache’s lament. That’s just my opinion, what do you guys think about that? As for the maenad connection…I’m not really understanding what it is you want us to see or think about.

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  6. Nakia Browner

    I agree with Tiffany also, Andromache lament was way more heartfelt and you as the reader felt her compassion for the lost of her husband. During Patroklos death, Achilles wasn’t there to see the actual horrific killing but Hector wife, mother and father were all there to see there beloved husband being killed and body being dragged around their city walls. Andromache lament tis time was for her son who wouldn’t have his father as he grows up. She understood all of what was going to come to her son because of her husbands unfortunate death and that sadden her deeply. I agree that the Andromache first lament and second lament was a little different from each other only because the first lament was only predicting if he died how grief stricken she would have been but now the time has come that his death is real, she is beyond grief and pain, she’s in complete agony.

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  7. Emily Berg

    Tiffany,

    I agree with you that this lament differs from the first because this time she is seeing Hektor’s dead body whereas last time she was anticipating his death. That being said, I think that in this lament, Andromache demonstrates anger rather than mourning. In the initial lament, Andromache pitied herself and demonstrated a pleading, somewhat whining, tone. Here, Andromache demonstrates more anger than mourning towards Hektor, which is interesting especially since he was killed in such a brutal way (being that his body was dragged around). Andromache’s anger is evident when she speaks, “You cannot help him, Hektor, anymore, since you are dead” (485-86). This passage is extremely effective in conveying Andromache’s anger. By saying that Hektor is powerless because he is dead, she is taking away the glory he fought so long for. To be a powerless man, alive or not, in the Iliad is a terrible thing for any man. Andromache’s keyword of “anymore” is especially important since she is pointing out that had Hektor listened to her initially, he would have the power to help. Additionally, Andromache speaks of Hektor’s body being fed on by worms and eaten by dogs (509-10). This, again, conveys Andromache’s anger, although to an extreme extent. Andromache’s lament rids Hektor of any “daimon” he once had.

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