The chiefs are moved by Ulysses’ speech and award the armor to him. Ajax, who bravely survived the Trojan War, can’t survive his own anger at losing. He grabs his sword and says that no one has the power to defeat Ajax except Ajax himself. He stabs himself in the chest. His blood soaks the earth where a purple hyacinth blooms.
Ajax kills himself in the end—defeats himself— in order to avoid being defeated by anyone else. Though it’s unclear why, he is transformed into the same flower that Hyacinthus—the boy Apollo once liked and accidentally killed—became.