Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Frustration, They Name is ... Frustration

I wrote the Iphigenia episode because it is - to me - a major part of the pre-War activity, says a great deal about interpersonal relations, and is the best way I could think of to introduce Achilles and his character. He, at least, is delighted. I am far less so.

Those don't seem to be reasons enough. Why? Why not? Mulling, fiddling, dithering, indecision. As with Peryton, nothing that happens, happens in isolation. Everything that happens must resonate through the rest of the story. But how does the marriage and death of this young woman do that?

Oddly, the picture I chose at random to depict her in the previous entry might hold the secret. Somehow it must be that her mother brought her to Aulis because she is desperate to find her a husband before all the husband material leaves Greece for uncertain fates. The girl is rather unmarriageable because of some personal defect, and because the reason that all the Greek men are in Aulis instead of their own homes was a marriage into the Pelopeid morass. The men look at Menelaus and see how he is living like a shadow of himself, crowded around by people to whom he is in unpayable debt. What sensible man would choose to step into that?

Achilles would, because it tickles his fancy and because he feels himself immune to the sucking of that morass. He has bigger intentions, and genuinely doesn't care about anything but his own glory. To marry into the High King's mess doesn't bother him. To immediately lead the woman to her death doesn't bother him; he is still Agamemnon's SIL, without the trouble of a wife