Classical Mythology
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Classical Mythology

CLA 2-216-2001

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?

Last Update: Sept. 30, 2001
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