After that recent poem on reading Homer, another which demonstrates the effect of that reading! It’s possible that the family tree of the royal house of Troy may not be too familiar to you(!) so here’s a very useful quick summary: several of the names above are highlighted to make navigation easy. The basic assumption is that ‘you’ (=Cassandre) are equivalent to the prophetess Cassandra of Troy.
Many of the references are not just to the characters but to the relevant myths: – Paris, so handsome that he was chosen to judge the goddesses’ beauty & gained Helen’s love; – Polyxena, whose calm wisdom encouraged Achilles (having captured her) to trust her with the information that led to his death, and who (in Euripides) nobly accepts her death as a sacrifice to Achilles’ ghost; – Helenus, Cassandra’s twin and also endowed with prophetic powers; – Laomedon, perjured because he persuaded Neptune to build Troy’s great walls (see line 9) but then refused to give the promised reward; – Priam, whose pride kept the war going (but who was capable of humbling himself before Achilles, to recover his son Hector’s body, in a truly noble/regal way); – Antenor, not a family member but Priam’s closest and wisest advisor (and an advocate for peace in the war); – Antigone, whose ‘arrogance’ is the centre of Sophocles’ play as her stubbornness leads to confrontation with the state and general tragedy; – Hector, generally considered a noble hero, but who of course has a long list of victims in the Iliad. Generally, Achilles not Hector is seen as the proudly cruel one! Which leaves us only with the reference to Ulysses, who is responsible for the fall of Troy because he came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse. Unusually for a poem that has been set aside, there is a variant in Blanchemain’s version at the beginning of the last line: … que tu combles mon cœur, De brasiers et de morts, de sanglots, et de larmes … as you fill my heart With fire and death, with sobs and tears.