Study Guide

Andromache in Troilus and Cressida

By William Shakespeare


Andromache is Hector's long-suffering wife. We don't see her much in this play, but the first thing we hear about her is that her husband verbally abuses her and that everyone knows it (1.2.90). Like Cassandra, Andromache is kind of a prophetess. She dreams about her husband's bloody death on the battlefield and begs him to stay home: "Unarm, unarm, and do not fight today"(5.3.3). He ignores her, of course, after he threatens to "offend" her. And by "offend," we're pretty sure he means yell at, slap, or both, which says a whole lot about Hector's character.

So, guess what happens after Hector blows off Andromache's warnings? Hector runs off to battle and...gets slaughtered. If you've read our analysis of Cassandra, you're probably detecting a pattern here. The guys in this play don't really have any respect for the women in their lives and rarely take them seriously. Hector basically orders Andromache to pipe down and go inside the house, because, like a lot of male characters in this play, he's way more interested in male bonding on the battlefield than his home life.