ENGL220 After the Iliad
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  • 1. After the Iliad The Fall of Troy
  • 2. After Hector’s funeral, other forces come to Troy’s aid - one of these was the Amazons
  • 3. They are led by Queen Penthesilea, who owed Priam a favor
  • 4. The Amazons fight bravely, but Penthesilea is killed by Achilles
  • 5. After he kills her, Achilles strips off her armor
  • 6. He falls in love with the dead queen
  • 7. After the death of Hector, who was the pillar of Troy, allies came to help the beleaguered city. Among these were the AMAZONS, then led by Queen Penthesilia, who is credited with the deaths of many Achaeans. However, she met Achilles, and he slew her. But when he saw her dead in all her loveliness, he felt remorse for having slain a thing so sweet. For Penthesilia, they say, looked like an immortal, and in her death she seemed to sleep. This is why Achilles' heart grew wrung, contemplating her who was a wonder of beauty even in death. And as he gazed on her with broken down heart, Thersites brought him to earth: “Achilles! Are you not ashamed to let some evil power beguile your heart to pity of a pitiful Amazon, whose furious spirit purposed nothing else but ill to us and ours? Ha, you are woman-mad, and your soul lusts for this thing, as she were some lady wise in household ways ... Good had it been had her spear reached your heart ... Sorry wretch, where is now all your goodly prowess? Where your wit? ... Nothing there is to men more ruinous than lust for woman-s beauty; it makes fools of wise men ..." [Thersites to Achilles. Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy 1.723] This was the last jest of Thersites, whose mind, they say, was full of a great store of disorderly words. For wrath took the heart of Achilles, who, with a sudden buffet, dashed all of Thersites' teeth to the earth, making him fall dead upon his face, while his blood gushed in a torrent.
  • 8. Memnon The Trojans received new reinforcement from the Ethiopians. They were led by a prince named Memnon, son of Tithonus and Eos, the goddess of dawn. Memnon killed many Greeks, causing the Achaeans to retreat.
  • 9. In the confusion of the retreat, the aged Nestor was surrounded by enemies, among them was Memnon. Antilochus tried to save his father, but he was killed. Nestor was grief-stricken over his son's death, and tried to confront the Ethiopian prince. Memnon, however, saw no honour in such combat against an old man, so he refused to fight with Nestor. Nestor lamented that he no longer has the strength of his youth. Nestor called upon Achilles to avenge Antiochus. Thetis, gifted with the oracle, had warned her son that he would die not long after Memnon. Heedless of his mother's warning Achilles killed Memnon, thereby avenging Antilochus.
  • 10. Memnon killed Antilochus, one of Nestor’s sons Grief-stricken, Nestor wanted to fight Memnon to avenge his son’s death. Memnon refused to fight the old man.
  • 11. Nestor begs Achilles to kill Memnon
  • 12. Thetis warns Achilles that his fate is to die after Memnon’s death
  • 13. Memnon fights Achilles
  • 14. A weighing of souls (psychostasia) is conducted by Zeus to determine who will survive
  • 15. Achilles kills Memnon
  • 16. Eos mourns her son
  • 17. With Memnon's death, the Trojans lost heart, and fled back towards the city's walls, with Achilles in close pursuit. Achilles was at the Scaean Gate, when an arrow from Paris, guided by the archer god Apollo, pierced his heel.
  • 18. At the beginning of the Trojan war Achilles killed Cygnus, the son of Poseidon. At the end of the war, Poseidon stilled grieved for the death of his dear son and hated Achilles with passion for what he had done. In the tenth year of the war, Poseidon sought Apollo: “Dearest to me of all my brother's sons, Who helped me, and for nothing, build the walls Of Troy, is it not pitiful to see These walls about to topple? Is it not Pitiful that so many thousands perished Defending them, the nameless dead, and Hector Dragged in the dirt around the town? Achilles, Fiercer and bloodier than the war itself, Destroyer of our workmanship, lives on, Keeps out of my reach, or I would make him feel The power of my trident. You can find him Better than I can, with invisible arrow: Bring him to sudden death!” Metamorphoses 12. Apollo agreed to help the heart-broken God of the Sea avenge the death of his son Cygnus, and found Paris fighting in the midst of the Trojan lines and presented himself to Paris: “Why do you waste your arrows on insignificant Targets? Serve your people better. Take revenge On your Slaughtered brothers. Kill Achilles!” Metamorphoses 12.
  • 19. OR… There is another variation as to how Achilles died. Achilles had seen Polyxena, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Achilles fell in love with her. Achilles secretly went to her home to ask for her hand in marriage. Polyxena's brothers, Paris and Deíphobus, awaiting his arrival, ambushed and slew him.
  • 20. The body of Achilles so treacherously slain was rescued by Ajax and Ulysses.
  • 21. When the funeral was held in the Greek camp, Thetis came with her sisters, the Nereids, mourning over the death of her son. A funeral pyre was lit, cremating his body. His ashes were placed in the same urn as that of his beloved friend, Patroclus. Arrangements were made for the funeral games.
  • 22. Thetis directed the Greeks to bestow her son's armor on that hero who of all survivors should be judged most deserving of it.
  • 23. Ajax and Ulysses were the only claimants. A select number of the other chiefs were appointed to award the prize.
  • 24. Ajax gave a convincing argument: "Shall Odysseus appear the better man who came last to arms and by feigned madness shirked the war, till one more shrewd than he ... the son of Nauplius [Palamedes], uncovered this timid fellow's trick and dragged him forth to the arms that he shunned ? Shall he take the best because he wanted to take none ? And shall I go unhonoured ... just because I was the first to front the danger ?" [Ajax 1. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.34]
  • 25. By the will of Minerva it was awarded to Ulysses, -- wisdom being thus rated above valor
  • 26. Furious with the decisions of the judges, Ajax decided to kill Odysseus that night. His plan was thwarted, when he was driven mad by Athena, Odysseus' protector. Ajax started killing herd of sheep, imagining that he was killing the Greek leaders who awarded the armor to Odysseus. Ajax slaughtered a large ram, thinking that it was Odysseus. Returning to sanity, Ajax was mortified by what he done, and in his despair, Ajax killed himself with the sword that Hector had given him.
  • 27. Ajax, enraged, set forth from his tent to wreak vengeance upon the Atreidae and Ulysses. But the goddess robbed him of reason and turned his hand against the flocks and herds of the Argives, which he slaughtered or led captive to his tent, counting them the rivals who had wronged him.
  • 28. Then the cruel goddess restored to him his wits. And he, fixing his sword in the ground, prepared to take his own life
  • 29. According to the play written by Sophocles, Agamemnon and his brother, Menelaüs (Menelaus), wanted to expose Ajax's body to the dogs and vultures, refusing to allow the body to be buried. Ajax's half-brother, Teucer, bitterly accused them of sacrilege for not respecting one of their fallen leaders. Bloodshed was prevented between Teucer and the Atreidae (Agamemnon and Menelaüs), only through the intervention of Odysseus. Odysseus argued in favor of burying Ajax in full honour, because he believed that Ajax's bravery had earned that respect. Odysseus also told them that he would like to be given decent burial if he was killed. Agamemnon and Menelaüs had no choice but to respect Odysseus' decision. Odysseus told Teucer that he would not have contested Ajax, if he had realized how much Ajax wanted Achilles' armor. According to one story, the armor was buried with Ajax, but the more common version, say that Odysseus gave the armor to Achilles' son, Neoptolemus.
  • 30. This is still mine, unless you suppose you can take It from me. The use of it I have retained – even Against myself. It has reeked with Phrygian blood Often enough, and now will drip with its own master’s. No man but Ajax can conquer Ajax!” Metamorphoses 13 With those words, Ajax plunged the sword deep into his chest, piercing his heart and draining the life out of his body, which, until that point, had been unscathed during the ten years of war.
  • 31. "Come and look on me, O Death, O Death, -- and yet in yonder world I shall dwell with thee, speak enough with thee: And thee I call, thou light of golden day, Thou Sun, who drivest on thy glorious car, Thee, for this last time, -- never more again! O Light, O sacred land that was my home; O Salamis where stands my father's hearth. Thou glorious Athens, with thy kindred race; Ye streams and rivers here, and Troia's plains, To you that fed my life I fid farewell; This last, last word does Ajax speak to you; All else, I speak in Hades to the dead.” (Sophocles) Then, falling upon his sword, he died. So, in the words of his magnanimous foe, Ulysses passed to the god that ruleth in gloom. "The best and bravest of the Argive host, Of all that came to Troia, saving one, Achilles' self” (Sophocles) On the spot where his blood sank into the earth a hyacinth sprang up, bearing on its leaves the first two letters of his name, Ai, the Greek interjection of woe.
  • 32. Philoctetes
  • 33. Achilles, Ajax, and Patroclos are dead When the war had already lasted for ten years and the Greeks were losing heart, Calchas prophesied that Troy could not be taken unless they had the bow of Heracles to help them.
  • 34. It was now discovered that Troy could not be taken but by the aid of the arrows of Hercules. They were in possession of Philoctetes, the friend who had been with Hercules at the last and had lighted his funeral pyre. Philoctetes had joined the Grecian expedition against Troy; but he accidentally wounded his foot with one of the poisoned arrows, and the smell from the wound proved so offensive that his companions carried him to the isle of Lemnos and left him there.
  • 35. Diomedes and Ulysses, or Ulysses and Neoptolemus (son of Achilles), were now sent to induce him to rejoin the army.
  • 36. So Philoctetes arrived in Troy, and after he had been cured by Podaleiros, killed Alexandros with an arrow.
  • 37. Wounded by a poisoned arrow, Paris remembered the healing powers of the nymph Oenone, whom he had married when a youth and had abandoned for the fatal beauty of Helen.
  • 38. Oenone, remembering the wrongs she had suffered, refused to heal the wound; and Paris went back to Troy and died.
  • 39. Oenone quickly repented and hastened after him with remedies, but came too late, and in her grief hanged herself
  • 40. After the death of Alexandros, Helenos and Deiphobus quarreled over the hand of Helen; and because Deiphobus was preferred, Helenos left Troy and went to live on Mount Ida. But when Calchas declared that Helenos had knowledge of the oracles that protected the city, Odysseus captured him in an ambush and brought him to the camp and Helenos was forced to reveal how Ilion could be captured.
  • 41. This could be achieved if, in the first place, the bones of Pelops were brought to the Greeks.
  • 42. When they heard this, the Greeks had the bones of Pelops brought over
  • 43. Then if Neoptolemus fought as their ally
  • 44. So the Greeks sent Odysseus and Phoenix to Lycomedes on Scyros to persuade him to allow Neoptolemus to go to war. Neoptolemus arrived in the camp, where he received his father's arms from Odysseus, who willingly surrendered them; and he killed a large number of the Trojans.
  • 45. And thirdly, if the Palladium (which had fallen from heaven) was stolen from Troy - for while it remained inside the walls, the city was impregnable.
  • 46. Odysseus went up to the city with Diomedes by night. Leaving Diomedes waiting outside, he assumed a mean appearance and put on shabby clothing, and entered the city undetected in the guise of a beggar.
  • 47. He was recognized, however, by Helen, and with her assistance he stole the Palladium, and then, after killing many of the guards, he took it to the ships with the aid of Diomedes.
  • 48. Odysseus and Diomedes venture into Troy at night, in disguise, and steal the Palladium, the sacred statue of Athena, which is supposed to give the Trojans the strength to continue the war. The city, however, did not fall.
  • 49. The Trojan Horse
  • 50. Finally the Greeks adopt a strategy devised by Odysseus: a wooden horse filled with armed soldiers is to be given the Trojans. It is built by Epeius and left in front of Troy.
  • 51. The Greek army then withdraws to Tenedos, as if abandoning the war
  • 52. The Greek soldier Sinon stayed behind when the Greek army withdrew, and he pretends to the Trojans that he deserted from the Greek army because he had information about a murder Odysseus had committed.
  • 53. He tells the Trojans that the horse is an offering to Athena and that the Greeks built it to be so large that the Trojans couldn't bring it into Troy.
  • 54. Cassandra warns the Trojans against bringing the horse inside.
  • 55. Apollo gave Cassandra the power of a seer, then cursed her so that no one would believe her
  • 56. The Trojan Laocoön warns the Trojans not to believe Sinon ("I fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts”)
  • 57. Laocoon jams his spear into the wooden horse
  • 58. In the midst of his warnings a huge sea monster, sent by Poseidon, comes from the sea and kills Laocoön and his sons
  • 59. Despite that bad omen and warning, the Trojans are determined to get the Trojan horse into their city. They tear down a part of the wall and drag the horse inside.
  • 60. At night, after the drunken Trojans have fallen asleep, the Greek soldiers hidden in the horse come out
  • 61. They open the gates, and give the signal to the main army which has been hiding behind Tenedos
  • 62. Priam lived to see the downfall of his kingdom and was slain at last on the fatal night when the Greeks took the city.
  • 63. He had armed himself and was about to mingle with the combatants, but was prevailed on by Hecuba to take refuge with his daughters and herself as a suppliant at the altar of Jupiter.
  • 64. While there, his youngest son, Polites, pursued by Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, rushed in wounded and expired at the feet of his father
  • 65. Whereupon Priam, overcome with indignation, hurled his spear with feeble hand against Pyrrhus and was forthwith slain by him
  • 66. The men of Troy were slaughtered
  • 67. Andromache pleaded with Pyrrhus to spare her son
  • 68. But Pyrrhus threw the baby over the wall of Troy.
  • 69. POLYXENA, in Greek legend, was the daughter of Priam, king of Troy, and Hecuba. She had been betrothed to Achilles, who was slain by Paris in the temple of Apollo Thymbraeus, where the marriage was to have been celebrated (Hyginus, Fab. 110).
  • 70. As the Greek soldiers were taking women captives after the siege of Troy, Agamemnon was farther down the beaches of Ilion waiting for a storm to calm itself when, “from a gaping hole in the earth, Achilles sprang up as large as life with his sword in hand to challenge all the Achaean hosts and Agamemnon, its chief: “Is this how you all go home, you nation of ingrates? Is this the thanks I get for my deeds and sacrifices? At Troy? My body has been interred, and gratitude, Too, it would seem. I want a prize for myself. My Ghost requires what you have all picked out for Yourselves – a woman, or rather a girl. Polyxena, I shall have. Let her be sacrificed to appease my Neglected spirit.” Metamorphoses 13. The Danaans did as Achilles’ ghost wished. They sacrificed Polyxena, the daughter of Hecuba, wife of Priam.
  • 71. The shade of Achilles afterwards appeared to the Greeks and demanded the sacrifice of Polyxena.
  • 72. She was put to death by Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, on his father’s grave (Ovid, Metam. Xiii. 440 sqq.)
  • 73. Hecuba and Polyxena
  • 74. According to Philostratus (Heroica, 20, 18), Polyxena fled to the Greeks after the murder of Achilles and committed suicide on his tomb
  • 75. s
  • 76. Ajax lesser rapes Cassandra
  • 77. Ajax 2 was a brave man, but at the end of the war, when Troy was being sacked, he raped the seeress and princess Cassandra, who was clinging to the wooden image of Athena, which is believed to have been knocked over from its stand as he dragged her away from the sanctuary.
  • 78. The Achaean kings assembled on account of this outrage, and Odysseus advised to stone Ajax 2 to death for his crime. However, no punishment was decided, but during the returns of the Achaean leaders, the gods sent storms and contrary winds because the Achaeans had despoiled the shrines and Ajax 2 had dragged Cassandra from the sanctuary of Athena.
  • 79. In one of these storms, Athena threw a thunderbolt against Ajax 2's ship; and when the ship went to pieces, he made his way safe to a rock, and declared that he was saved in spite of the intention of Athena.
  • 80. But Poseidon smote the rock with his trident and split it, and Ajax 2 fell into the sea and perished. His body, being washed up, was buried by Thetis in Myconos.
  • 81. After the war, Hecuba was given to Odysseus.
  • 82. Robert Bell writes of Hecuba's encounter with Polymestor after the fall of Troy: Still a boy at the start of the war, Polydorus had been sent to his half-sister Iliona, who had married Polymestor, king of the Chersonese.
  • 83. Iliona
  • 84. Dame Fortune was not kind to Polydorus
  • 85. Polymestor had received part of the Trojan treasury to be held in trust for Polydorus
  • 86. The war dragged on, and Polydorus grew up.
  • 87. When Polymestor saw the way things were going, he decided to appropriate the treasure for himself and killed Polydorus, throwing the body into the sea
  • 88. The body of Polydorus washed up on the shore of the plain of Troy near the tents of the captive women
  • 89. Hecuba, discovering the death of yet another child, was distraught
  • 90. Hecuba quickly sent a message to Polymestor, who was unaware of her discovery, telling him she knew where more treasure was hidden and that he should recover it for her son.
  • 91. When Polymestor arrived with his two sons, Hecuba's companions murdered the boys while Hecuba tore out the eyes of Polymestor (Bell, 222)
  • 92. Hecuba There are different variations as to the death of Hecuba. Some say she was stoned to death by Greeks angry with her for killing Polymestor, others say that she jumped overboard off of Odysseus' ship. One possible end, which Robert Bell calls "symbolic of her total descent" is that she was turned into a dog as she fled from Polymestor's companions (222).
  • 93. Andromache
  • 94. Once Troy was defeated, Andromache, who could have inherited throne and palace, was given as a special award to Achilles' son Neoptolemus. At Thetis advice, Neoptolemus remained two days in the island of Tenedos, which is off the coast of the Troad, and thence he set out for Epirus by land, taking with him Andromache and Helenus, seer and son of Priam.
  • 95. Cassandra
  • 96. When Troy was captured and the Achaeans divided the spoils, Cassandra became the prize of Agamemnon
  • 97. Palamedes defending himself to Agamemnon
  • 98. Having come to the front at Troy, Odysseus, never forgetting that he had been outwitted by Palamedes, kept plotting night and day against him. It is told that Odysseus compelled a Trojan prisoner to write a letter of treasonable purport, which seemed to be sent by King Priam 1 of Troy to Palamedes, and that he dropped the letter in the camp to be found and at the same time buried gold in the quarters of Palamedes.Others have said that Odysseus, referring to a warning in a dream, convinced Agamemnon to move the Achaean camp for one day, and hid by night a great quantity of gold in the place where Palamedes' tent had been. Odysseus also gave to a Trojan prisoner a letter to be carried to King Priam 1, and sent a soldier of his ahead to kill him not far away from the camp. So when the army returned the next day to the camp, a soldier found the letter on the body of the dead Trojan prisoner. And on it it was written: "Sent to Palamedes from Priam" [Hyginus, Fabulae 105]... promising him as much gold as Odysseus had hidden if he would betray the camp according to agreement. Palamedes found guilty of treason This is how Palamedes lost his life through an unjust judgement. For the next day, when Palamedes was brought before Agamemnon, he denied having betrayed the army, but he was not able to convince either the king or anyone else of his innocence, after soldiers went to his tent and dug up the gold that sly Odysseus had hidden. Palamedes' death And so Palamedes was stoned to death by the entire army. But others affirm that there was not such a plot, and that Palamedes was drowned by Odysseus and Diomedes 2 when he put out to catch fish.
  • 99. Now Oeax, son of Nauplius, wishing to avenge the death of his brother Palamedes, informed Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra that Cassandra was being brought by her husband as a concubine to her house.
  • 100. When Palamedes' father Nauplius 1 learned that calumny and a miscarriage of justice had killed his son, he sailed to the Troad, and meeting the leaders of the Achaean army, claimed satisfaction. But all of them favoured Agamemnon, who protected Odysseus, and so Nauplius 1 returned unsuccessful. Revenge, Part One Then Nauplius 1, avenging himself for the outrage he had suffered, traveled through the whole of Hellas and contrived that the wives of the ACHAEAN LEADERS should take lovers. And that is why, they say, Clytaemnestra slept with Aegisthus, Aegialia, wife of Diomedes 2, with Cometes 2, and Meda 2, wife of King Idomeneus 1 of Crete, with Leucus 1. Because of this, Agamemnon was murdered when he returned from Troy, and Diomedes 2 and Idomeneus 1 had to go into exile
  • 101. As a result, Agamemnon fell victim of a conspiracy conceived by his own wife and her lover Aegisthus…
  • 102. Clytemnestra
  • 103. Aegisthus
  • 104. …and was murdered along with Cassandra, who predicted her own fate shortly after her arrival to Mycenae: "... for me waits destruction by the two-edged sword." [Cassandra. Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1149]
  • 105. Clytemnestra was the daughter of King Tyndareus of Sparta and his wife Leda. She was thus the sister of Helen of Troy and Castor and Pollux. Clytemnestra had to suffer through three husbands: Her father, king Tyndareus of Sparta, betrothed her to Tantalus while she was still a virgin. Because Tantalus was the son of Thyestes and king of Mycenae, Clytemnestra became queen. She bore Tantalus a son. Agamemnon killed Tantalus because he was the son of Thyestes who had debauched his mother. He also killed the new-born son of Tantalus. Agamemnon thus obtained Clytemnestra as property from the man he defeated. Because Clytemnestra was queen of Mycenae, Agamemnon became king. Clytmenestra had three children by Agamemnon, Iphigenia, Electra and Orestes. Agamemnon sacrificed Iphigenia to Artemis so he could go fight at Troy. She was corrupted by Aegisthus and turned against Agamemnon. When Agamemnon returned from Troy with Cassandra as his consort, they were both murdered by Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. These two lived together as king and queen of Mycenae until Orestes returned to take vengeance on them for them for the murder of his his father. He killed them both.
  • 106. Helen
  • 107. During the sack of Troy, Menelaus' forces came to the house where Deiphobus 1 and Helen, having married after the death of Paris, lived. When they had her new husband arrested, Menelaus cut him to pieces under torture, lopping off ears and nose, and all of his limbs one by one; and then he led Helen to the ships. Great offences were committed by the Achaeans against the gods while sacking Troy, and on that account they had a difficult return or no return at all. Menelaus wandered for eight years in several Mediterranean before he and his wife could return to Sparta. For it is said that Menelaus, returning with five ships, came first to Sunium in Attica, but thence he was driven again by winds to Crete. And from Crete he wandered up and down Libya, and Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Egypt, collecting treasures probably though pillage. In Egypt he lost his pilot Canobus, after whom the city east of Alexandria was named.
  • 108. At first Menelaus planned to kill Helen
  • 109. But he was overcome by her beauty and simply took her home
  • 110. Aeneas and other Trojans managed to escape.
  • 111. It has been claimed that of all the participants, the women of Troy suffered the most
  • 112. Troy was sacked and burned to the ground