(105.) Specifically, in Euripides' Hecuba, when Polymestor
is speaking with Agamemnon, the latter says: "On behalf of all those dead who learned their hatred of women long ago, for those who hate them now, for those unborn who shall live to hate them yet, I now declare my firm conviction:/neither earth nor ocean produces a creature as savage and monstrous as woman" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), Hecuba, VV.
Shortly after the sacrifice of Polyxena, Hecuba learns that Polymestor
, the Thracian king and friend to Priam, to whom Priam had entrusted his son Polydorus and the Trojan gold, has murdered Polydorus for the gold.
They blind Polymestor
, who killed her son, and kill his sons by pretending to take a close look at (leussein, 1154) the fabrics of his robes.
Alert to the fact that Euripides' original is an encomium to justice, Arkins quotes Hecuba' s tirade about Polymestor
for Agamemnon's ears in the McGuinness version:
Euripides's Hecuba (Hekabe) is also a mother who murders children, though not her own: to revenge the death of her son, and aided by the other Trojan women, she slaughters the infant sons of Polymestor
before blinding him with their brooches.
Conacher, for example, following Meautis, whom he quotes approvingly, finds Polyxena's moral stand 'sublime' in contrast with her mother's allegedly bestial revenge on Polymestor
. (18) For Hogan, Polyxena's noble character eclipses and subverts the purpose of the sacrifice.
Anyone versed in Greek mythology (there were more then than there are now) would have remembered that, according to Euripides, in later life Hecuba was turned into a dog for blinding Polymestor
, the murderer of her son Polydorus, so you might consider Hector to have been a literal pup, perhaps even the original SOB.
, local Thracian king and guestfriend of Hekabe
As a private individual, Hecuba enacts vengeance on Polymestor
for his betrayal of her trust in killing her son Polydorus.
Polydorus Matthew Douglas Hecuba Vanessa Redgrave Polyxena Lydia Leonard Odysseus, Polymestor
Darrell D'Silva Talthybius Alan Dobie Hecuba's servant, chorus Judith Paris Agamemnon Malcolm Tierney Sons of Polymestor
John Dominici/ Christopher Madden/Otto Pippengar Chorus: Charlotte Allam, Jane Arden, Rosalie Craig, Maisie Dimbleby, Arleen Gonsalves, Lisa McNaught, Michele Moran, Sasha Oakley, Katherine O'Shea, Sarah Quist, Natalie Turner-Jones.
Beaudin points out, however, that there is nevertheless a structural as well as an emotional unity to the play, which begins with the lamentations of Hecuba (Seneca, Troades, opening monologue, followed by dialogue with chorus), and ends with Hecuba again, who produces, as in Euripides's Hecuba, a speech after the revengeful blinding of Polymestor
and killing of his children (although in Euripides this is not the final speech in the play).
But the fear of Polymestor
as revealed in the sentence does not fit the death wishes Hecuba expresses e.g.