Composers and their stage works 


(Andromache; Andromacha, 426? B.C.).

Tragedy by Euripides


In the prologue, Andromache, Hector's widow, relates how, after the fall of Troy, she was given to Achilles' son Neoptolemus as a slave and concubine. She has borne him a son, Molossus, but she lives in terror of Neoptolemus's new wife Hermione. Hermione has remained childless, and she ascribes her barrenness to Andromache's evil spells. While Neoptolemus is away at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Hermione and her father Menelaus plot against Andromache. After hiding her son and seeking sanctuary in the nearby shrine of Thetis, Andromache sends to King Peleus, Neoptolemus's grandfather, for help. Menelaus, however, seizes the child, threatening to kill him unless she leaves the shrine. Andromache offers to exchange her life for her sods but learns that Menelaus intends to murder them both. They are saved by the intervention of Peleus. Menelaus withdraws, leaving Hermione to face the wrath of the returning Neoptolemus, a prospect that brings her to the verge of suicide. Orestes, son of Agamemnon, now appears. He explains that before the Trojan War Menelaus had betrothed Hermione to him but had broken his promise and given her to Neoptolemus as a reward for capturing Troy. Since Hermione is unhappy, he feels justified in claiming her as his bride. Hermione goes with him, and presently news is brought to Peleus that Neoptolemus has been murdered by Orestes. The body of Neoptolemus is returned to the grieving Peleus. From above, the goddess Thetis, who is the wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles, announces that Andromache and Hector's brother Helenus will marry and found a royal dynasty and that Peleus will be deified.