Character Analysis Andromache

Andromache is a foil to the other three major characters of the play and underlines the immature and selfish nature of their passions. Her own love for her husband and son is not only unselfish, but is founded on a firm moral basis. To the glory of being Pyrrhus’ queen, she prefers fidelity to the memory of Hector, the most humane and civilized of all the characters in the Iliad, and her devotion to Astyanax is based not on the pleasure her son gives her, but an enlightened concept of the duty a parent owes to a child. Indeed, she is willing never to see him again — to die and let him be brought up by strangers — if this will insure his future.

Unlike the others, she can see beyond the fears and urgencies of the moment, skillfully circumvents Pyrrhus’ stratagems, and ultimately finds a compromise which will save both her honor — that is, her inner self-respect — and her son’s life. Her unswerving loyalty to principle earns her the good fortune she ultimately enjoys, and if Racine ever presented on stage his ideal of what a woman ought to be, Andromache is certainly that woman.