"What do you think is the most terrifying work of
literature ever written?"
Though I too fall into using them all the time, superlatives really have no
place in literary discussions. But (see, I can't resist either) if one does
introduce a superlative, then there really is no doubt what is the most
ANYTHING in literature. And especially in this case, of the most
"terrigying." There is only one contender, packed into one line:
And so the Trojans buried Hektor, breaker of horses.
Of course with Hektor those being buried are Achilles himself, the Achaean
hosts, the city of Troy, a whole world of terrifying quarrels and almost
equally terrigyin reconciliations: Some god must have made me do it,
Agamenon notes in his reconciliation scene with Achilles. I, too, Achilles
says to a young son of Priam pleading for his life, I too (and look at how
superior I am to all), I too wil die. So why all this clamor aboaut it! The
quietness of that final line (which follows the words of Helen herself in
praise of Hektor) surely cannot be matched for terror.