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Pandarus

From Academic Kids

In Homer's Iliad, Pandarus or Pandaros is the son of Lycaon and a famous archer. Pandarus, who fights on the side of Troy in the Trojan War, first appears in Book Four of the Iliad. He shoots Menelaus with an arrow, sabotaging a truce that could have led to the peaceful return of Helen of Troy. He first wounds but is later himself killed by Diomedes.

Pandarus is also the name of a companion of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid.

In Geoffrey Chaucerís poem Troilus and Criseyde (1370), Pandarus is an active go-between between his niece Criseyde and the Greek warrior Troilus. The lovers pine for each other from afar, fearful of the danger of consorting with the enemy in a war zone, but Pandarus helps them meet in secret and consummate their love. This love story is not part of classical Greek mythology, but was created in the twelfth century. Both Pandarus and other characters in the medieval story who have names from the Iliad are quite different from Homer's characters of the same name.

William Shakespeare used the medieval story again in his play Troilus and Cressida (1609). Shakespeare's Pandarus is more of a bawd than Chaucer's, and he is a lecherous and degenerate individual. Because Shakespeare portrayed him as something of a voyeur, his name has given to the English language the word "pander."

Pandarus is not to be confused with Pandareus.

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Owl Edition

This article contains content from the Owl Edition of Nordisk familjebok, a Swedish encyclopedia published between 1904-1926 now in Public Domain.

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