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.

19 thoughts on “Writing Assignment – Week 11

  1. Alexis Rogers

    All,

    Okay, well since the initial poster did not post I will post something.

    I thought it interesting, yet right at the same time that Andromache have this long lament. She touches upon some of the same points that she had “pre-lamented” about earlier when she begged for Hector to stay. I think one of the main parts of her lament was about the fatherless family. Andromache says, “Now you go down to the house of Death in the secret places of the earth, and left me here behind in the sorrow of mourning, a widow in your house, and the boy is only a baby who was born to you and me, the unfortunate” (22.482-485). I believe this was Andromache’s major concern, for she goes on about the sufferings her son may now have growing up without a father. She mentioned this concern in her first lament for Hector’s death when she was foreseeing it: “Dearest, your own strength, will be your death, and you have no pity on your little son, nor on me, ill-starred, who soon must be your widow” (6.406-408). She tried to guilt Hector into staying by calling him out on carelessly abandoning his family. He also mentions how Hector is like both a husband and a father figure to her, so he would be leaving two children and a wife. Therefore, when Andromache laments in book 22 it is even more painful to bear.

    Hector’s mother’s reaction to Hector’s death was also painful to read, but also interesting because she acted similarly to Achilles when he learned of Petroklos’ death. Hector’s mother was so distraught it became physical: “…and now his mother tore out her hair and threw the shining veil far from her and raised a great wail as she looked upon her son” (22.405-407). Achilles did something similar for Petrokolos: “And he himself mightily in his might, in the dust lay at length, and took and tore at his hair with his hands, and defiled it” (18.26-27). Both shared lamenting actions by defiling their physical appearance, or more, making themselves physically hurt as their loved on did as they were dying.

    Does anybody want to take on the second part of the assignment?

    Alexis

    Reply
    1. Janay Johnson

      Great initial post Alexis i agree with some of the great points and comparisons you made. Reading your posts made me come to a new realization of Andromaches lament. I realized that in both of her laments she plans of dying with Hektor in book 22 when she says that they “were both destined to a single fate” it seems that she had plans to die with Hektor. And in book 6 where she says “and for me it would be far better to sink into the earth when I have lost you, for there is no other consolation for me after you have gone to your destiny— only grief; since I have no father, no honored mother.” (Book 6. 410-413).

      Reply
      1. Rebecca Salustri

        Alexis,

        Thank you so much for starting us off on a great point!

        This thread of discussion reminds me of Week 3, when we discussed Andromache’s first lament. As Week 3’s prompt stated lamentation often contains elements of past, present, and future. Arguable both of Andromache’s lament utilize the three devices. However, I think the major distinction between the two laments is in Book 6 she supports her fear of Hektor’s impending doom with evidence from the past. She relates the loss of her father to the Achaian warrior Achilleus (6.414) to her fears of losing another loved one to the Trojan war and leaving her child fatherless. While in her lament in Book 22, Andromache focuses more singularly on the future. Primarily, she seems to fear for the fate of her now fatherless son, Astyanax, who will now be “needy, a boy among his father’s companions” (22.492). She is afraid that the Trojans will not respect her son and he will be in for many hardships as “one whose parents are living beats him out of the banquet/hitting him with his fists and in words also abuses him:/’Get out, you! Your father is not dining among us’” (22.496-8).

        Best,

        Rebecca

        Reply
        1. Alexis Rogers

          HI Rebecca!

          I thought the part about the doom on her son was very influential. However, I believe that your idea of the difference between the two lamentations is my idea of the similarity. You said that Andromache was able to foresee Hector’s doom. In book 22, Andromache also foresee’s “Hector’s” doom, but saying Hector in reference to his son, Astyanax, who should be able to carry on his destiny, but cannot anymore due to the absence of Hector himself: “You cannot help him, Hektor, anymore, since you are dead. Nor can he help you…Yet all his days for your sake there will be hard work for him and sorrows, for others will take his lands away from him” (22.485-489). Clearly this is Andromache showing Astyanac destiny just as she did for Hector, which is truly sad.

          Alexis

          Reply
      2. Ashleigh Hamilton

        With saying that two having a single fate she understands that without the protection of Hektor she will be raped and captured, or raped and killed. As one could understand it would an incredibly emotional impending death; having your husband die and knowing that the troops would come for you next being one of the best prices.

        Reply
      3. Maya Tomes

        Rebecca,

        I agree that Andromache did think she would die with Hector or soon after even though that is not the case. As you stated, she mentioned many statements that would make you think that like being born to a single destiny with Hector and a series of other comments.

        Maya

        Reply
      4. Alexis Rogers

        Hi Janay!

        Thank you!

        I am not quite sure what you mean by thinking that Andromache planned to die with Hektor. You say you see that when she says they were claimed to a single destiny. However, I read that part as more of Andromache saying that their fates were very much similar, since their pasts were similar in comparison too (life growing upp, killing of family members, and homes being ruined). She says, “…you in Troy in house of Priam, and I in Thebe…” (22.478-479). This shows that she is just showing that they started on different paths but met in the middle, and she believed that this means it was fate for them to be together. She was not expecting him to die so soon: “Now you go down to the house of Death in the secret places of the earth, and left me here behind in the sorrow of mourning…” (22.482-483). I think this shows that she was just not ready, not that she planned on dying with him. However, to each his own interpretation.

        Alexis

        Reply
  2. Maya Tomes

    Alexis,

    Thank you for starting the post. I completely agree with everything you said thus far. Andromache’s reaction was hard to read it was extremely saddening as well as when Hector’s mom tried to convince him to not fight Achilles by pulling out her breast in symbolism for Hector being her child that she nursed and cared for. The comparison you made with Achilles lament for Patroclus was excellent as well. Since you have done the first part of the post I will attempt to do the second, but bare with me because I’m a little unsure of what it means. I would think that “maenad” describes Andromache because of the frantic way she is feeling after her realizing Hector is now dead. Taking lines from Book XXII, “So she spoke, and ran out of the house like a raving woman with a pulsing heart, and her two handmaidens went with her.” (XXII, 460-1) Searching the meaning of “maenad” I got the translation “Raving-ones”. After, Andromache realized she would now be a window and her son a fatherless child she was understandably wild with emotions of grief, pain (mentally and physically), and everything else unpleasant. As you stated in your post Andromache results to ripping her hair out and wailing as she looked upon her son who at this instance you can see was definitely her main concern. After re-reading both of her laments she deserves to grieve the ways she does the first lament to me was more about her and her future but at this time it is solely for Astyanax. Andromache’s life has been traumatic she says as much in(Book VI, 407-439) when she explains how Achilles killed her seven brothers, her father, and how Artemis struck here mom down as well. Andromache has suffered much through her life and now Hector is another lost to her, but her son’s future is affected tremendously because of Hector’s fall as well. Her lament was intense and extreme as it should be. I’m unsure of how to compare it to Patroclus’s climax though any ideas?

    Reply
    1. Alexis Rogers

      Hi Maya!

      I think you did fine at defining the word “maenad.” According to princeton.edu (I just clicked on the hyper link), it is properly defined as “raving ones.” This is shown in the line that you quoted, and then you can see how Andromache was just that, a raving one when Homer describes the beginning of her lament: “The darkness of night misted over the eyes of Andromache” (22.466). Although this is describing how she began to lose her ability to breath, the word usage corresponds with the idea of a raving woman.

      Now to attempt to compare Andromache’s lament to Patroclus’ climactic moment, we must refer back to the meaning of maenad. Again, according to princeton.edu, the “raving ones” during their state would lose self-control and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals to pieces. In Andromache’s case, she lost self control eventual and instead began to tear herself to pieces. For Patroclus’ it was interesting because he began to tear all the Trojan warriors to pieces as if they were animals. However, “maenad,” is used to describe women, so to say, “As Patroklos, for the fourth time, like something more than a man came at him…” (16.704-705), was more than accurate to describe a male warrior in the state of frenzy. I was also interesting to describe him this way as he was fighting against that of an immortal. So then again when Petroklos is fighting he is fighting with rage, so he is fighting as if he is immortal: “Three times he charged in with the force of the running war god, screaming a terrible cry, and three times he cut down nine men” (16.784-785). Therefore in this state, like Andromache they ar eboth compared to mythical beings, where when in a certain state, lose self-control, and rage/rave on.

      I hope this is accurate enough and helps out.

      Alexis

      Reply
    2. Rebecca Salustri

      Maya,

      Thank you so much for bringing up the concept of the “maenad.” I do agree that the term is being applied to Andromache as she behaves like a mad woman. As evidence “she spoke, and ran out of the house like a raving woman” (22.460). However, it is important to examine her actions in context with her background. Andromache is no novice when it comes to loosing loved one in battle, particularly to Achilleus. She reveals the fate of her family in Book 6 when she says “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” (6.421-3). Furthermore in Book 6 she pleads to Hektor by saying “you are a father to me, and my honored mother/you are my brother, and you it is who are my young husband” (6.429-30).

      Considering all that she has lost and the fact that her son will now face a situation that is as filled with loss as her upbringing was, it is more than reasonable that she is grief stricken to the point of madness. She is primarily afraid that her son, Astyanax, will be mistreated as, Hektor, is dead and their city may soon fall.

      Best,

      Rebecca

      Reply
      1. Ashleigh Hamilton

        Rebecca…. Do you think her son could survive the war? And even if he did he would be sold into slavery and would never know his father was hektor or the honor his life could have had. I understand the situation you’re proclaiming Andromache doesn’t want her son to have knowing he would be sold into slavery or murdered… either way suffering significant losses

        Reply
        1. Maya Tomes

          Ashleigh,

          Good questions. Sorry for the spoiler alert but I searched this because I also was intrigued about Astyanax’s future. I believe he dies in the Odyssey unfortunately he is thrown from a window by someone, so we will really never know if Andromache was right in how his future would have been.

          Maya

          Reply
        2. Rebecca Salustri

          Maya,

          You are correct, he does die after being thrown from the city wall, but I do not know if it is mentioned in the Iliad or just other parts of the song culture.

          Rebecca

          Reply
  3. Maya Tomes

    Alexis,

    Thank you . I completely agree with your comparison of Patroclus to a maenad. I actually wrote something similar before deleting it out of my post. I was unsure of how to approach it being as I also read that a maenad was a woman not a man. Moving on, I think Sarpedon died in a “maenad” way since we were speaking of Book XVI. He died raging by clawing bloody dust, roaring, yelling for Glaukos to gather people to avenge him as well as saying make sure no-one took his armor. Understanding that he was dying so his manor was definitely appropriate, but comparing his to other’s death he seemed to be in a more furious raving state. Here are the lines if you would like to refer to what I am talking about. “So he lay there felled in front of his horses and chariots roaring, and clawed with his hands at the bloody dust; or as a blazing and haughty bull in a huddle of shambling cattle when a lion has among the herd and destroys him dies bellowing under the hooked claws of the lion, so now before Patroclus The Lord of the shield-armoured Lykians died raging…”(Book XVI, Lines 485-91) would you agree or disagree with my statement?

    Maya

    Reply
    1. Alexis Rogers

      Hi Maya!

      I am not sure if I agree with your statement or not. For one, “maenad,” is reference to a woman. Secondly, the beginning of the description of his death says, “So he lay there felled in front of his horses and chariots…” (16.485). i believe that beginning this passage with these words, shows that there was no greater comparison for Sarpedon. Homer would’ve states something similar to, “so he, God-like Sarpedo…” to show that although he is dying he still seen as a great warrior. Even later Homer describes his death as if he was destroyds by an animal, as if Sarpedon was merely just prey: “when a lion has come among the herd and destroys him dies bellowing under under the hooked claws of the lion…” (16.488-489). This description, in my opinion, shows know more than great respect and acknowledgement for Sarpedon as do the other descriptions.

      Alexis

      Reply
      1. Maya Tomes

        Hi Alexis,

        I know “maenad” is to describe a woman but Patroclus was a man and the prompt asked us to relate it to his climax so I was trying to see if I can find another instance in which it could be related to a man. I do understand your point though about Sarpedon even though I interpreted that line completely different than you. I believe Homer was just trying to give us an image of how Sarpedon was clawing the bloody dust. Can you think of any other instances in the iliad that “maenad” would be related to a man?

        Maya

        Reply
  4. Janay Johnson

    The first lament that Andromache makes in book 6 that foretells Hektors fate and the one in book 22 have many similarities. The main similarity and arguement in her lament is that Hektors death will cause her to become a widow and their son to grow up without a father. Also in both laments Andromache talks about how Hektors bravery will be what causes him to die.

    In contrast in Andromaches lament in book 22 she goes into great detail of their sons fate now that Hektor is dead. Where she says that ” yet all his days for your sake there will be hard work for him and sorrows, for others will take his lands away from him. The day of bereavement leaves a child with no agemates to befriend him. He bows his head before every man, his cheeks are bewept, he goes, needy, a boy among his father’s companions, and tugs at this man by the mantle, that man by the tunic,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.” (22.488-495)

    Reply
  5. Nakia Browner

    I agree that Andromache two lament from book 6 and book 22 are similar in ways because in book 6 she did express how Hectors bravery would be the cause of his death and force her to become a widow and there son to have to grow up without a father. In Book 22 she went further into detail how Astynax would grow up and have to make t in the world hopefully with the respect of his father name and hope his father companions are there along the way.

    Reply

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