Priam

The transition of Priam from a ‘naïve child’ to a wise old man is demonstrated by his capability to be in sync with the outer world rather than his confining court. For the first time in the novel, he ‘makes small sounds’ [pg 207] as he cries over Hector’s body. Although he had previously ‘grieved’ for Hector since he was ‘half-mad with grief’ [pg 45], his sense of loss was merely for the prince and heir to his throne, and not his son. As he is reunited with Hector, he now mourns as a parent, ‘wordless but not silent’ [pg 207]. This phrase regarding Priam’s silence reflects on his history since he has always had a herald to voice the king’s thoughts and opinions, leaving Priam without a need to speak to the community – a silent, powerful and domineering figure. In absence of a herald, Priam has learnt to speak for himself. His ability to also convey non-verbal communication of sadness and grief demonstrate that the king is no longer bounded by the isolation of royalty, but reunited with the rest of mankind.

Use your knowledge of the text, your notes and the paragraph above to make a list of key points about the character of Priam. Use quotes to support your idea of who you believe him to be. How do you think Malouf has depicted him throughout the novel?

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5 thoughts on “Priam

  1. In my opinions, I think Malouf depict Priam as an innocent and spoil person who doesn't understand the real meaning of life before he ransoms Hectors body back . In his royal environment , the only thing that he considers is pleasing people as his role is a king. Until he meets Somax, Malouf has totally changed Priam as a king to a mankind which Priam understands his mistakes from his previous life and how to be a father.

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  2. I think Malouf depicted Priam as a coward at the beginning in the novel. Priam didn’t know how to do anything except for being a king. Priam just let his sons to die for him. But he may not remember all of their names and didn’t even have the feeling of losing a child. After the death of Hector, Malouf started to change Priam step by step. Those changes weren’t happened directly to Priam, but Priam learnt them from the most petty and low person, Somax, in the society of Troy. Malouf created and used Somax to slow depict the changes of Priam throughout Ransom.

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  3. Priam has been depicted as a classic hero as those in comics and tv series. Like Spiderman. The heoric moulding performed by the author Malouf has demostrated the character as an a naive dictator. One that does not know about the existance of a 'griddlecake', just like how Parker didn't realize the use of his mutant powers at the start. Yet, Priam has developed his unique qualities outside his formulated life after the incidents occuring to him after meeting Somax, just like how Parker suddenly became a hero after his uncle's death. Therefore, I hereby conclude that DAVID MALOUF IS A SPIDERMAN FAN!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Some sound ideas here. Please read your comments aloud and train your ear to hear where the writing might sound awkward and the expression unclear.

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  5. From Peter Ye

    Priam is very matter-of-fact about the manifestations of gods: “Often…one or other of the gods will materialise, jelly-like, out of the radiant vacancy” (41)
    ‘He is obliged… to think of the king’s sacred body… as at once a body like any other and an abstract of the lands he represents, their living map’ (p.43)
    As king, Priam has to think of himself “as at once a body like any other and an abstract of the lands he represents, their living map” (43).
    He has to seem unchangeable to his subjects , “The fixed mark to which everything else in his kingdom refers” (54).
    Priam thinks of his own life as a story, one that has been told by himself many times: “The beginning. The long-drawn-out and terrifying business of its middle. Then all in an instant — in what is always a surprise, even when the listener knows already what is to come –the turnabout, the happy end” (64).
    Priam is shown to be a distant father who can’t recall details of the childhood of his sons like his wife can.
    Priam has a role he has to play, hiding the real identity to play the role of the role king: “I’ve played my part, and tried to let nothing peep out of the real man inside so much empty shining” (78).
    In this novel, Malouf uses different things that related with Priam to depict him, and through the people who around Priam to depict him.

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