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The painting above was created by the Scottish artist Gavin Cre Hamilton. It was painted between 1775 and 1780. He painted four paintings inspired by The Iliad. What is happening in this scene?

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painting of Andromache at Hector's tomb (Neuy)
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Hector's Farewell (Neuy)

Keep these questions in mind as you research the complex relationship between Hector and Andromache:
  1. These two characters are not central to The Odyssey. However, they do represent a Trojan marriage and a counterpart of the marriage between Odysseus and Penelope. What role does Hector play in the deense o the sacred city of Troy?
  2. Is he, like Odysseus, a reluctant warrior?
Like Odysseus, Hector is also a reluctant warrior. He was forced to fight in the war. First, he refused to fight in this war between the Greeks and the Trojans, but because of Paris, he then had to fight the war. Paris set out a duel between Menelaus and himself with Helen as a victor and for the war to stop. However, the result of the dual came out to be that Aphrodite led Paris off the field and Menelaus claimed a victory. As a result, the Greeks then began to attack the Trojans. Hector must now lead the counter-attack. (Neuy)
3. What are some of his personality traits?
Hector was well-known for his courage and his noble nature. He was a Trojan prince and a great fighter. Because of his personality traits, Hector had become one of the Nine Worthies, the mythological figures who were believed to personify the ideals of chivalry. (Neuy)
4. What are the personality traits of his wife? Is she a mother? Does she have sons who are old enough to participate in the defense of Troy? Does she lose any children to the war?
His wife Andromache is one of the most devoted and loyal wives in history. She was an incredibly loving wife.There was nothing she loved more than her husband expect for maybe her son Astynax. However, she was not a particularly fiery woman who stood up for herself. She was a bit meek but Hector treated her well. Her son was not old enough to take place in the war. Astynax was only a baby as the Trojan War ended. Unfortunately, when the Greeks seized Troy, Andromache was not able to escape with Astynax and because of Hector being dead, she could not protect herself or the baby. She was taken as a slave while Astynax was thrown off the walls of Troy thus leaving her with no children. However, Andromache had no real will to live once Hector was killed being the absolute loyal wife that she was.(Yulianna)
5. How does she grieve?
While Hector was out, fighting against Achilles, Andromache knew nothing about Hector, whether he was dead or alive. However, after the fight was done, she was still thinking that Hector was alive, until she heard the crying voice coming from the wall. Then Andromache went out with two of her maids to see what happened and as she saw Hector had been dragged around the town, she was fainted. After she woke up, she cried aloud, with other women came to join in her lament. (Neuy)
6. What are the fates of Hector and Andromache?
Hector’s fate was to be killed by Achilles and after he was dead, his dead body was dragged by Achilles. Achilles tied Hector’s body behind his chariot, leaving his body to trail on the ground, and dragged the body fro before the city. For Andromache, her fate was to survive over the tragedy. She had been captured to Epirus after the fall of Troy, where the daughter of King Menelos was trying to murder her. Then later, she was given to Pyrrhus, Achilles’ son, who was both love and hate her at the same time. And after Pyrrhus’ death, she was married to Helenus and became the queen of Epirus. (Neuy)
7. What are the plots and themes of Hector's final battle? ----
Hector's final battle was between Hector and Achilles. Andromache had talked with Hector and asked him not to go fight with Achilles. Hector had killed Achilles' cousins and now Achilles was challenging him to a battle. Honor was a large theme in Hector's final battle. Hector needed to keep his honor, and Troy's, by going out to fight Achilles. On the other hand, Achilles destroys his honor by destroying the body of Hector once Achilles killed him. Another theme is the importance of a proper burial. In this story, honor and the importance of a proper burial are linked. Here is a picture of Achilles dragging Hectors body on the ground. ~ Anne O
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8. Does he conduct himself nobly? Does she?
9. Can you find any representations of Hector and/or Andromache in ancient or modern art?
10. Does he evoke your sympathy? Why?
11. How do the Greeks remember him?
12. Does Odysseus meet Hector in the Underworld? If so, what is the nature of their discussion? What news has he brought from the world of the dead? Below are the beautiful lines from The Iliad by Homer that describe how King Priam attempted to persuade his son Hector to avoid battle with Achilles. One or two of you may want read this and either paraphrase it or write about it. Note that from the Trojan point of view, Achilles is a monster. I found the text of Book 22 at http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.22.xxii.html.
Someone should try to find Andromache's heartbreaking appeal to her husband to avoid Achilles, too.
Priam raised a cry and beat his head with his hands as he lifted them up and shouted out to his dear son, imploring him to return; but Hector still stayed before the gates, for his heart was set upon doing battle with Achilles. The old man reached out his arms towards him and bade him for pity's sake come within the walls. "Hector," he cried, "my son, stay not to face this man alone and unsupported, or you will meet death at the hands of the son of Peleus, for he is mightier than you. Monster that he is; would indeed that the gods loved him no better than I do, for so, dogs and vultures would soon devour him as he lay stretched on earth, and a load of grief would be lifted from my heart, for many a brave son has he reft from me, either by killing them or selling them away in the islands that are beyond the sea: even now I miss two sons from among the Trojans who have thronged within the city, Lycaon and Polydorus, whom Laothoe peeress among women bore me. Should they be still alive and in the hands of the Achaeans, we will ransom them with gold and bronze, of which we have store, for the old man Altes endowed his daughter richly; but if they are already dead and in the house of Hades, sorrow will it be to us two who were their parents; albeit the grief of others will be more short-lived unless you too perish at the hands of Achilles. Come, then, my son, within the city, to be the guardian of Trojan men and Trojan women, or you will both lose your own life and afford a mighty triumph to the son of Peleus. Have pity also on your unhappy father while life yet remains to him- on me, whom the son of Saturn will destroy by a terrible doom on the threshold of old age, after I have seen my sons slain and my daughters haled away as captives, my bridal chambers pillaged, little children dashed to earth amid the rage of battle, and my sons' wives dragged away by the cruel hands of the Achaeans; in the end fierce hounds will tear me in pieces at my own gates after some one has beaten the life out of my body with sword or spear-hounds that I myself reared and fed at my own table to guard my gates, but who will yet lap my blood and then lie all distraught at my doors. When a young man falls by the sword in battle, he may lie where he is and there is nothing unseemly; let what will be seen, all is honourable in death, but when an old man is slain there is nothing in this world more pitiable than that dogs should defile his grey hair and beard and all that men hide for shame."

The old man tore his grey hair as he spoke, but he moved not the heart of Hector. His mother hard by wept and moaned aloud as she bared her bosom and pointed to the breast which had suckled him. "Hector," she cried, weeping bitterly the while, "Hector, my son, spurn not this breast, but have pity upon me too: if I have ever given you comfort from my own bosom, think on it now, dear son, and come within the wall to protect us from this man; stand not without to meet him. Should the wretch kill you, neither I nor your richly dowered wife shall ever weep, dear offshoot of myself, over the bed on which you lie, for dogs will devour you at the ships of the Achaeans."

Thus did the two with many tears implore their son, but they moved not the heart of Hector, and he stood his ground awaiting huge Achilles as he drew nearer towards him. As serpent in its den upon the mountains, full fed with deadly poisons, waits for the approach of man- he is filled with fury and his eyes glare terribly as he goes writhing round his den- even so Hector leaned his shield against a tower that jutted out from the wall and stood where he was, undaunted.


I think that Hector and Andromache have one of the most ideal Greek marraiges. In the short passage I read about them they seemed to genuinely love each other and their son. However, their love is cut short because Hector is killed by Achilles and then his body dragged all around Troy. Before Hector leaves he says goodbye to his wife and son, praying to Zeus to make his son a great leader and a king someday. Because of the family that he is leaving behind, this causes Hector to become a reluctant warrior.
-Margaret Sanderson