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Peleus Oh, how perverse customs are in Greece! When the army routs the enemy, they do not regard this as the deed of those who have done the work, but rather the general receives the honor. He brandished his spear as one man among countless others and did no more than a single warrior, yet he gets more credit. [And sitting high and mighty in office in the city they think grander thoughts than the commons though they are worthless. The people are far superior to them in wisdom if they acquired at once daring and will.] It is in this fashion that you and your brother sit puffed up over Troy and your generalship there, made high and mighty by the toils and labors of others. But I will teach you not to regard Paris, shepherd of Mount Ida, a greater enemy to you than Peleus unless you clear off from this house at once, you and your childless daughter. This child, offspring of my loins, shall drive her through this house, grasping her by the hair, if she, sterile heifer that she is, do
Chorus Slavery's yoke would not have come upon the women of Troy and you, woman, would have come to possess the throne of royalty. She could have loosed Hellas from the grievous toils of ten years' exile the young men with their spears suffered about Troy. And marriage-beds would not now be left desolate and old men bereft of their children.
Andromache sung It was not as a bride that Paris brought Helen to lofty Troy into his chamber to lie with but rather as mad ruin. For her sake, the sharp warcraft of Greece in its thousand ships captured you, O Troy, sacked you with fire and sword, and killed Hector, husband to luckless me. The son of the sea-goddess Thetis dragged him, as he rode his chariot, about the walls of Troy. I myself was led off from my chamber to the sea-shore, putting hateful slavery as a covering about my head. Many were the tears that rolled down my cheeks when I left my city and my home and my husband lying in the dust. Oh, unhappy me, why should I still look on the light as Hermione's slave? Oppressed by her I have come as suppliant to this statue of the goddess and cast my arms about it, and I melt in tears like some gushing spring high up on a cliff.
Chorus Many are the women in the assemblies of the Greeks who sang aloud their laments for their luckless men as they left their homes for other husbands. Not on you aloneThese words are probably addressed to Hermione, who is being consoled for the death of her husband. She, too, though for somewhat different reasons from other Greek women, must pass to the home of a new husband. or on your dearest kin have cruel griefs fallen. It is a plague Greece has suffered, a plague! Yet also to the fertile fields of the Phrygians did this pestilence pass, dripping death upon them.