The Iliad Quotes

O my husband…
cut off from life so young! You leave me a widow,
lost in the royal halls – and the boy only a baby,
the son we bore together, you and I so doomed.
I cannot think he will ever come to manhood.
Long before that the city will be sacked,
plundered top to bottom! Because you are dead,
her great guardian, you who always defended Troy,
who kept her loyal wives and helpless children safe,
all who will soon be carried off in the hollow ships
and I with them –
And you, my child, will follow me
to labor, somewhere, at harsh, degrading work,
slaving under some heartless master’s eye – that,
or some Achaean marauder will seize you by the arm
and hurl you headlong down from the ramparts – horrible death –
enraged at you because Hector once cut down his brother,
his father or his son, yes, hundreds of armed Achaeans
gnawed the dust of the world, crushed by Hector’s hands!
Your father, remember, was no man of mercy…
not in the horror of battle.

– Homer

The Iliad, Book 24, lines 852-869. These are the words of the grieving Andromache to her fallen husband Hector near the end of Homer’s epic poem. She laments that their baby boy, without the protection of his father, will end up in slavery or hurled from the ramparts by some Achaean marauder. This is foreshadowing of the terrible death of her son Astyanax, which will happen soon after the fall of Troy. According to Greek mythology he is thrown to his death. The fall of Troy is also foreshadowed, with Andromache prophesying that the city will soon be sacked and plundered.