The Trojan Women

Andromache Character Analysis

A Trojan woman, the wife of Hector, mother of Astyanax, and daughter-in-law of Hecuba. She deeply loves her child and her murdered husband, and dreads her upcoming pseudo-marriage to the Greek Neoptolemus, who has claimed her as his own. While Hecuba argues that she should go willingly into her enslavement, Andromache remains too proud, and too in love with Hector, to imagine anything but an unhappy future with her captor.

Andromache Quotes in The Trojan Women

The The Trojan Women quotes below are all either spoken by Andromache or refer to Andromache. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Cost of War Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Chicago Press edition of The Trojan Women published in 2013.
Line 568-797 Quotes

Hecuba: O my children….
Andromache: …once. No longer.
Hecuba: Lost, lost, Troy our dominion…
Andromache: …unhappy…
Hecuba: …and my lordly children.
Andromache: Gone, alas!
Hecuba: They were mine.
Andromache: Sorrows only.
Hecuba: Sad destiny…
Andromache: …of our city…
Hecuba: …a wreck, and burning.

Related Characters: Hecuba (speaker), Andromache (speaker)
Page Number: 581
Explanation and Analysis:
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We are the hated of the gods, since once your youngest, escaping
death, brought down Troy’s towers in the arms of a worthless woman;
piled at the feet of Pallas the bleeding bodies of our young men
sprawled, kites’ food, while Troy takes up the yoke of captivity.

Related Characters: Andromache (speaker), Hecuba, Helen
Page Number: 597
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

O my sons, this city and your mother are desolate of you.
Sound of lamentation and sorrow,
tears on tears shed. Home, farewell.
The dead have forgotten all sorrows.

Related Characters: Hecuba (speaker), Andromache
Page Number: 603
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Andromache: She is dead, and this was death indeed; and yet to die
as she did was happier than to live as I live now.
Hecuba: Child, no. No life, no light is any kind of death,
since death is nothing, and in life the hopes live still.
Andromache: O Mother, our mother, hear me while I reason through
this matter fairly—might it even hush your grief!
Death, I am sure, is like never being born, but death
is better thus by far than to live a life of pain,
since the dead, with no perception of evil, feel no grief,
while he who was happy once and then unfortunate
finds his heart driven far from the old lost happiness.
She died; it is as if she never saw the light
of the day, for she knows nothing now of what she suffered.

Related Characters: Hecuba (speaker), Andromache (speaker), Talthybius
Page Number: 630
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

…I gave
my lord’s presence the tribute of hushed lips, and eyes
quietly downcast. I knew when my will must have its way
over his, knew also how to give way to him in turn.
Men learned of this; I was talked of in the Achaean camp,
and reputation has destroyed me now. At the choice
of women, Achilles’ son picked me from the rest, to be
his wife: a murderer’s house and I shall be his slave.
If I dash back the beloved memory of Hector
and open wide my heart to my new lord, I shall be
a traitor to the dead love, and know it; if I cling
faithful to the past, I win my master’s hatred…
I hate and loathe that woman who cast away the once
beloved, and takes another in her arms of love.
Even the young mare torn from her running mate and teamed
with another will not easily wear the yoke. And yet
this is a brute and speechless beast of burden, not
like us intelligent, lower far in nature’s scale.

Related Characters: Andromache (speaker), Hecuba, Neoptolemus, Hector
Page Number: 653
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Andromache: No, Hecuba; can you not see my fate is worse
than hers you mourn, Polyxena’s? The one thing left
always while life lasts, hope, is not for me. I keep
no secret deception in my heart—sweet though it be
to dream—that I shall ever be happy any more.
Chorus Leader: You stand where I do in misfortune, and while you mourn
your life, you tell me what I, too, am suffering.

Related Characters: Andromache (speaker), The Chorus (speaker), Hecuba
Page Number: 679
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

He must be hurled down from the battlements of Troy.
Let it happen this way. It will be wiser in the end.
Do not fight it. Take your grief nobly, as you were born;
give up the struggle where your strength is feebleness
with no force anywhere to help. Listen to me!
Your city is gone, your husband. You are in our power.
How can one woman hope to struggle against the arms
of Greece? Think, then. Give up the passionate contest.
Don’t…do any shameful thing, or any deed of hatred.
And please—I request you—hurl no curse at the Achaeans
for fear the army, save over some reckless word,
forbid the child his burial and the dirge of honor.
Be brave, be silent; out of such patience you’ll be sure
the child you leave behind will not lie unburied here,
and that to you the Achaeans will be less unkind.

Related Characters: Talthybius (speaker), Hecuba, Andromache, Astyanax
Page Number: 725
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Line 1060-1332 Quotes

Achaeans! All your strength is in your spears, not in
the mind. What were you afraid of, that it made you kill
this child so savagely? That Troy, which fell, might be
raised from the ground once more? Your strength meant nothing, then.
When Hector’s spear was fortunate, and numberless
strong hands were there to help him, we were still destroyed.
Now when the city is fallen and the Phrygians slain,
this baby terrified you? I despise the fear
which is pure terror in a mind unreasoning.

Related Characters: Hecuba (speaker), Andromache, Talthybius, Astyanax, Hector
Page Number: 1158
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Andromache Character Timeline in The Trojan Women

The timeline below shows where the character Andromache appears in The Trojan Women. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Line 568-797
Men and Women Theme Icon
Greek soldiers enter the stage, pulling Andromache and her baby Astyanax on a wagon, piled with other spoils of war. The Chorus... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Hecuba and Andromache begin to sing together, alternating phrases. Andromache announces that she will soon go with the... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Fate, Fortune, and the Gods Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Andromache calls out to Hector, her dead husband and Hecuba’s son. Andromache wants to die and... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Andromache reveals that Hecuba has lost another daughter; Polyxena was killed to “pleasure dead Achilles’ corpse.”... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Fate, Fortune, and the Gods Theme Icon
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Hecuba begins to mourn Polyxena. Andromache tries to comfort her. Andromache saw Polyxena die, and was able to perform some funeral... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Andromache believes that death is better than a life of pain. The dead cannot grieve, and... (full context)
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Andromache reflects on what a good wife she was — she rarely talked back, and she... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Andromache remembers the beginning of her relationship with Hector, and compares it to her life now.... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Chorus leader, who has been listening to Andromache’s story, feels solidarity with her. In verbalizing her own suffering, she has also described the... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...is so great she has been “swamped” by disaster, and was unable to respond to Andromache during her earlier speech. Now, however, Hecuba has her voice back. (full context)
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Hecuba advises Andromache to serve her master well, and to make him love her as protection. If Andromache... (full context)
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...entourage of soldiers. He has come with terrible news, and is reluctant to deliver it. Andromache appreciates his sensitivity, but eventually he must speak: Odysseus has declared that Andromache’s son (Astyanax)... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Astyanax will be thrown over the wall of Troy, Talthybius says, and he advises Andromache not to fight this decree. He asks her to consider “how can one woman hope... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Andromache says a tearful farewell to her child, explaining that his father’s valor has proved a... (full context)
Fate, Fortune, and the Gods Theme Icon
Andromache ends her speech by cursing the gods. She knows that if her son is to... (full context)
Line 1060-1332
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Duty, Obligation, and Integrity  Theme Icon
...on Hector’s shield. Talthybius tells Hecuba that the ships have been leaving. Neoptolemus left with Andromache, who was unable to bury her own son. Instead, Andromache has asked that Hecuba and... (full context)