The erstwhile Queen of Troy, now a slave of the Greek victors, like the Chorus, is initially a suffering mother figure. Already broken by the fall of Troy and loss of her husband Priam and many of their children, she learns from the Chorus that the Greeks intend to sacrifice one of her last surviving daughters, Polyxena. After she tries and fails to persuade Odysseus to spare Polyxena, she is tearfully parted from her daughter. A little later, she learns that the Greeks will allow her to bury Polyxena, and she sends a servant to fetch sea-water for the rites. When the servant returns with a body, Hecuba believes it is that of her daughter, but when it is unveiled, she sees that it is the treacherously murdered Polydorus. The Greek commander (and Hecuba’s new master) Agamemnon happens by; Hecuba feels humiliated by her misfortunes and the need to beg Agamemnon for a favor, but she nonetheless persuades him to look the other way while she pursues revenge against her daughter’s murderer. This she does shrewdly, successfully, and very violently. At the end of the play, her transformation into a fiery-eyed dog is foretold. She will leap into the sea, and her tomb will become a landmark for sailors.
Images: She has lived a life as a royal Queen, now to become a slave. She is referred to and says that she, herself is “tired” and “old”.
This Greek Theater Mask is made out of neoprene.