'The Trojan Women' (Τρῳάδες, Trōiades) is a tragedy by the Hellenic playwright Euripides. It was produced in 415 BC during the Peloponnesian War, and is often considered a commentary on the capture of the Aegean island of Melos and the subsequent slaughter and subjugation of its populace by the Athenians earlier that year.

The play was the third tragedy of a trilogy dealing with the Trojan War. The first tragedy, 'Alexandros', was about the recognition of the Trojan prince Paris who had been abandoned in infancy by his parents and rediscovered in adulthood. The second tragedy, 'Palamedes', dealt with Hellenic mistreatment of their fellow Hellene Palamedes. This trilogy was presented at the Greater Dionysia along with the comedic satyr play 'Sisyphos'.

'The Trojan Women' is the story of Hecuba, the once-great queen of Troy and her daughters Cassandra and Andromache, and to a lesser extent Helen, who 'caused' this war. It's a story of slaughter, loss, and slavery, and the tale is not a happy one. In 1971, a movie was made of the film staring Katharine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave, and directed by Michael Cacoyannis. Although technology at the time lacked too much to include the Gods, very little else was changed about the play, and that makes it the most accurate portrayal of the play to date.

In the film, Hecuba (Katharine Hepburn), Queen of the Trojans and mother of Hector, one of Troy's most fearsome warriors, looks upon the remains of her kingdom; Andromache (Vanessa Redgrave), widow of the slain Hector and mother of his son Astyanax, must raise her son in the war's aftermath; Cassandra (Geneviève Bujold), Hecuba's daughter who has been driven insane by the ravages of war, waits to see if King Agamemnon will drive her into concubinage; Helen of Troy (Irene Papas), waits to see if she will live. But the most awful truth is unknown to them until Talthybius (Brian Blessed), the messenger of the Greek king, comes to the ruined city and tells them that King Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus have decreed that Hector's son Astyanax must die — the last of the male royalty of Troy must be executed to ensure the extinction of the line.

The movie is on Youtube, and if you feel like sitting down for a sad but beautiful tale, it's a must-watch. This version is spoken in English, but has Hellenic subtitles, for those of you so inclined. Enjoy!