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Act V, Scene 9 Summary
Enter Agamemnon, Ajax, Menelaus, Nestor, Diomedes and the Rest. Marching, shouts. Agamemnon wonders what the shouts are about Nestor silences the drummers. Soldiers set up the chant that Achilles has killed Hector. Diomedes says, rumor has it that Achilles has killed Hector.
Ajax says if that is really true, let it be without vain boasting as Hector was as great a man as Achilles. Agamemnon asks the others to march along quietly. He asks that someone be sent to call Achilles to his tent. He says that if Hector has indeed died and in his death the gods are with the Greeks, Troy is theirs and ‘our sharp wars are ended.’ They exit.
A quiet scene - the death of Hector is becoming known but not rejoiced. Both the Greeks and the Trojans held Hector in high regard as Ajax’ comment proves: ‘If it be so, yet bragless let it be: /Great Hector was as good a man as he.’ In fact, Hector was a far better man - Achilles is revealed as a mere murderer, a thug. It is a point that Troilus remarks upon in the next scene. There is no sense of joy even in the Greek camp at the elimination of their greatest threat and the mood is decidedly subdued as Agamemnon tells his men to ‘March patiently along.’ At the same time, there is also a realization that a milestone has been reached and that from now on things are going to be different.