Troades Study Questions:
- How do Achilles, Ulysses, and Agamemnon compare to their characters
in the other texts we have read? Do they seem heroic? Why does Achilles
want Polyxena to be sacrificed? What is the argument between Agamemnon
and Pyrrhus? What does this remind you of?
- Why might Seneca choose women as the focus of this play? How might
female characters allow his audience to experience different emotions
than those offered by male characters? Are there any clues in the play
itself that might offer us insight into the ways that these women were
viewed by the audience watching the play?
- Compare the sacrifice of Polyxena to the sacrifice of Iphigenia in
Euripides. What similarities and differences do you see? How does Polyxena
behave? Is she a willing sacrifice? What are the alternatives? Is her
death heroic? How does the crowd react to her death and to the death
of Astyanax? Take a close look at the messenger's description of the
site where they are each sacrificed - if you made a rough sketch, what
would it look like? What is Seneca trying to do with this description?
- How do the representations of Helen and Andromache compare to their
characters in the Iliad? What is the point of the scene between
Ulysses and Andromache? How would you characterize their debate? Why
does she make the choice she does? How do the Trojan women feel about
Helen? How does Helen characterize herself?