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Pyrrhus, Priam and Hecuba

Hamlet - Allusion Seminars

brittney schwehr

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of Pyrrhus, Priam and Hecuba

Pyrrhus, Priam and Hecuba
Pyrrhus Achilles Priam Hecuba The Fall of Troy - Pyrrhus went to Troy to avenge his fathers death by killing Priam
- The Greeks built a giant wooden horse and hid in it and gave it to the Trojans
" When he lay couched in th'ominous horse" (II,ii,392)
- They went through Troy killing everyone in their path
" With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons" (II,ii,396)
- Priam is too old to use his sword
" Striking too short at Greeks"II,ii,407)
- When Pyrrhus finds Priam he strikes him with his sword and Priam falls
" Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide, But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword" (II,ii,410-411)
- Priam and Hecuba starts to plead for their lives
"Of reverend Priam seemed i'th' air to stick" (II,ii,417)
- Pyrrhus is suddenly unable to kill him
" Like a neutral to his will and matter, did nothing" (II,ii,419-420)
- Then suddenly his desire for revenge comes back
" A roused vengeance sets him a-work" (II,ii,426)
- With no remorse Pyrrhus strikes Priam with his bloody sword and Priam dies
"With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword, now falls on Priam" (II,ii,419-430)
- Hecuba is very depressed left with the 20 children she had with Priam
"About her lank and all-o'erteemed lions" (II,ii,446)
- Pyrrhus cuts Priam into small pieces in front of Hecuba
"In mincing with his sword her husband limbs" (II,ii,452) Foreshadowing
Hamlet vs Pyrrhus - Both Hamlet and Pyrrhus want to avenge their fathers deaths
- Pyrrhus hesitates to kill Priam
" So as a painted tyrant Pyrrhus stood / Like a neutral to his will and matter / Did nothing" (II,ii,418-420)
- Hamlet is hesitating about killing Claudius because he thinks his fathers ghost could be the devil
"The spirit that I have seen / May be a de'il, and the de'il hath power / T'assume a pleasing shape." (II,ii,534-535)
-Another reason is that Hamlet thinks that he is a "coward" (II,ii,506), a "pigeon-livered and lack gall (II,ii,512), a "ass" (II,ii,517), and a "whore" (II,ii,520) Gertrude vs Hecuba - Gertrude watched Pyrrhus cut Priam into small pieces so after her husbands death she became very depressed
"In mincing with his sword her husband limbs" (II,ii,452)
-If Hamlet goes through with this act of killing Claudius, Gertrude will mostly likely have a similar reaction like Hecuba because of the betrayal she could feel toward Hamlet for killing her Husband. Character Development
Hamlet vs. Pyrrhus •Both seek to avenge their father’s murders
•Both are hesitant when taking action
•Pyrrhus’s hesitation is more brief than Hamlet’s
Gertrude vs. Hecuba •Gertrude mourned for two months after her husband’s death, quickly became happy
•Hecuba was a very depressed woman
Claudius vs. Priam •Both older men
•Claudius murdered his brother, Priam murdered a man to whom he was not related
Classical Allusion
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