Helen Hekttor's Speech

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Although she was not related to Hektor, Helen’s mourning speech served as a way of retelling her history, celebrating his life, and painting the final image of his legacy. Helen was the “third and last” (Iliad 24.761) to lament Hektor’s death. Andromache was the first, and she focused on how he deserted his family in his quest for bloody glory. Hekabe spoke second and remarked that Hektor, her favorite son, was now dead. Helen’s song of sorrow acted as a bridge between those two laments; she called attention to Hektor’s kindness and humanity as well as his lasting effect after his death. She states that ‘Hektor, of all my lord’s brothers dearest by far to my spirit;’ (24.762), which establishes Hektor’s importance in her life and also calls…show more content…
She begins this section with ‘therefore’ (24.772), because all of her prior utterances represented evidence for why she must mourn Hektor. Helen proclaims that ‘I mourn for you in sorrow of heart and mourn myself also / and my ill luck’ (24.773-774). Labeling Hektor as “sorrow of heart” goes against the “gentleness of heart” that she used to describe him in the previous line, _________________. And by mourning herself and her “ill luck,” Helen is able to find common ground with Hektor and relate to him even further. This relationship is evident in the following sentence; ‘there was no other in all the wide Troad / who was kind to me, and my friend’ (24.774-775). Out of everyone who lived in the palace, including her own husband, Hektor was her only true friend. The others all ‘shrank when they saw’ her (24.775) and did not share the same closeness that Helen held with Hektor. And as Helen finished speaking in tears, ‘the vast populace grieved with her’ (24.776). She was able to relate to her audience because she painted Hektor in a familial and empathetic light. Helen reminded everyone that although Hektor was a husband, son, and protector, he was also a man who cared for others and even showed compassion for the woman who led to his
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