Andromache's Lament

Andromache, one of the few female characters in the Iliad, is part of perhaps one of the tenderest sections of Iliad. Along with Helen, she is the only other mortal woman to have any substantial speaking lines in the entire epic. Unlike women in general in the Iliad, Andromache's role goes beyond being just another spoil of the war. Homer treats her as a counterpart to Hektor(she is, in a sense, his "equal"), giving her actions and words a greater significance. Andromache's lament (Book 22, lines 437-515) is particularly powerful because Homer effectively uses literary techniques here that bring out audience empathy. In the Iliad, Andromache's lament is a poignant, intense passage that serves as a characterization of Andromache, providing the reader with a further understanding of Hektor, Trojan life, and the impact of the Trojan War.

Andromache's lament emphasizes the impact of the Trojan War on life at home and on the family. The Iliad focuses on Achilleus, Hektor, and other heroes in a war-like atmosphere; Andromache provides a contrast to this setting. Through their behavior, the male characters embody war, aggression, and honor, while Andromache becomes the representative for peace, love, and...

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