|Hecuba gives up her son Polydorus to shepherds to keep him safe|
Troy, 486 CNo matter how prosperous they are, call no one blessed, until they die."--- Euripides, The Trojan Women.
The maids silently decked up the lone woman standing near the window, watching the macabre of human bodies lying waste outside. It was wartime and 10 years of war had got one used to such sights. The maids understood why their Queen Hecuba was dressing up today. They also knew that the same fate was awaiting them. For they were the unfortunate ones, who had survived the war. In today's date, death was more pleasant than life.
"Come, my girls," said Queen Hecuba quietly. "Odysseus would take over any moment. I have no sons left to protect me today. Even my youngest,Polydorus will not be able to reach me on time."
The maids kept their heads bowed down, unable to stop their tears. "I'll not have any tears," said the brave queen. "We'll go like the Royals that we are meant to be. No Greek can call us weak."
"But, my lady, how can you be a slave?" asked one of the maids timidly, "you've always been one of the most powerful queens."
"As you say – 'have been'. Times have changed as we will have to accept it – with dignity."
These were the last words the maids heard from the great Queen Hecuba, before the Greeks barged in led by Odysseus. They were all taken as slaves. They watched mutely as they were divided like cattle amongst victorious army. Even the princesses were not spared. But Odysseus laid a claim over Queen Hecuba, declaring her to be one of his future consorts. Hecuba kept silent but her eyes spitted fire, promising retribution if given a chance.
She sailed with Odysseus homeward bound, ignoring his many taunts and provocations. In her heart, her only joy was that even if her whole clan was destroyed, her youngest son Polydorus was safe.
But not for long.
One early morning the sailors shouted that a body was floating by. Upon investigations, it was found that it was Polydorus.He had come to take revenge for his mother and had been killed in the process. The last ray of hope dimmed and she felt a violent rage overtaking her soul. That moment Odysseus walked up and upon seeing her tragedy, mocked her loss.
Hecuba lost her senses and turned into a wild dog and ripped everyone on the deck. Though she freed all the maidens on that ship, she felt she had had enough and ended her life by jumping into the ocean.
Thus ended the life of one of the greatest Queens of her time - the only character one can call noble in the pages of mythological sagas.
During the Trojan war, much has been said about Helen of Troy, But there is not much said about the fallen queen of Priam, the King of Troy. This is my tribute to her.