Prompt: What is Euripides’ The Trojan Women about and how would you recommend I illustrate the story on a storyboard using contemporary imagery?
Copyright © 2023 E Maria Shelton Speller
Euripides’ The Trojan Women” is a classic Greek tragedy that was first performed in 415 BC. It takes place in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Troy at the end of the Trojan War. The play focuses on the suffering of Trojan women, including Hecuba, Andromache, and Cassandra, who are now slaves and concubines for the Greek victors. The overarching theme is the tragic consequences of war, especially for the conquered.
*Here’s a general overview of key scenes that could be included in a storyboard. To modernize the imagery, you could set it in a contemporary conflict or post-conflict scenario:
Hecuba and the Ghost of Achilles: Show Hecuba, the former queen, now a war victim, huddled amidst the ruins of a modern city. She could be depicted as a disheveled woman amid a demolished urban landscape. The Ghost of Achilles could be imagined as a soldier’s spirit, with his picture being revered by soldiers in a military camp.
Hecuba and Talthybius: Depict a scene where a military officer (Talthybius) arrives in a military jeep or helicopter, informing Hecuba about the fates of her children and herself.
Cassandra’s Prophecy: Cassandra, now seen as a deranged war survivor, is shown prophesying the downfall of the Greeks amidst the chaos. The Greeks, represented by the military personnel, dismiss her as a madwoman.
Andromache and Astyanax: Show a touching scene where Andromache says farewell to her son, Astyanax, before he is taken away. This could be a chaotic scene in a makeshift detention center or prison.
Death of Astyanax: The Greek soldiers take Astyanax away (perhaps in a military vehicle). Later, his lifeless body is returned, wrapped in a body bag or blanket, symbolizing the innocent lives lost in war.
Helen’s Trial: Helen, the woman whose elopement sparked the war, is put on trial. This could be depicted as a media circus, with television crews, microphones, and crowds showing a blend of support and disgust.
The Final Scene: The women are taken away. This could be shown with a convoy of military vehicles or buses, while the city of Troy (modern-day cityscape) burns in the background. This powerful scene encapsulates the devastation of war and its aftermath.
Remember, the aim is to translate the original elements of the story into a setting and scenario that contemporary audiences can easily relate to, emphasizing the themes of war, destruction, and human suffering that remain sadly relevant even today.
[Shoutout to Hollywood Trade Unions]