Justification In Euripides 'Hekabe'

1204 Words5 Pages
Euripides ' Hekabe establishes a sense of understanding and empathy for those that take revenge and suggests that it may be justified depending on the situation. Using Hekabe 's anagnorisis (656-657) in which she discovers Polymestor, a man she has trusted with her son 's life, has killed him, Euripides creates a feeling of justification toward Hekabe and her tribe of women 's vengeful act of blinding Polymestor and killing his sons. Hekabe further comes to allow the audience to decide if it was just or not, using the dialogue in lines 1097-1224 to voice both Hekabe and Polymestor 's arguments, however uses Agamemnon 's monologue (1207-1220) to demonstrate how Hekabe 's revenge was ultimately justified. Hekabe 's plot for revenge begins as the servant bears the bad news. The servant brings in the corpse of her son and says "This one here is dead- / But you do not bewail him. / Look at the corpse. Prepare yourself." (653-655). This discloses how unexpected this news is-…show more content…
Only shortly thereafter does a vengeful wave hit her. As she speaks with Agememnon, she speaks of the revenge she seeks- "Revenge is what I want- / I 'd slave my whole life for it" (722-723). For killing her son, and even further, for selfish reasons, revenge on Polymestor is the only option Hekabe sees fit. Both of the previous instances flash us a hint of Hekabe 's true colors. She is brave, keen, and a bit conniving- but through it all, though we may not firsthand experience a mother 's love, we understand it, and in this moment we root for Hekabe and her revenge, because we can only imagine the grief and distress that Polymestor has caused her by taking her last remaining son. Through her monologue and discourse with the servant we can feel her pain, see her sorrow, and understand why revenge is the route she would want to take. The audience can sympathize with

More about Justification In Euripides 'Hekabe'

Open Document