The Trojan War and its Heroes
To think that the Trojan War was started over the bickering of Goddesses, is truly mind blowing. One of the most famous wars, that is still discussed and studied about today, is seen as a very masculine bloodbath. Now, after reading this week’s chapter, it just all seems so petty situation that snowballed into something more serious than it needed to be. Although the heroes fought to the best of their abilities, it all could have been easily avoided. Surprisingly enough, after reading this week’s stories, I trill have a great appreciation for the Romans and the Greeks.
When it comes to the Trojan War, in the minds of the mortals, the war stared because Paris decided to secretly take his promised Helen from the King Menelaus (Hamilton). In actuality, it started with Eris being sour over not getting invited to the Olympus parties (p. 254). Imagine being that petty, where you mess with someone else’s party, instead of having your own. In spite, she causes the Goddesses to fight over a golden apple (p. 254). Unable to come to a decision, they turn towards the judgment of a human; the very beings that the Gods look down upon. The Goddesses, instead of asking who is “the fairest” (p. 255), they start to persuade him with the most glorious riches. The fact that the ego of these Goddesses brought them to use bribes, is kind of degrading. Nevertheless, the prince Paris chose Aphrodite as the fairest and gave her the golden apple, in exchange for “the fairest woman in all the world” (p.255). While this can be seen as romantic and the most human choice, it would only be the catalyst for disaster.
As Helen, “daughter of Zeus and Leda” (p. 255), was claimed to be the fairest woman alive, she would be Paris’s bride. In his desperation to marry and have her hand, Paris steals her without telling a soul (p. 257), which then causes all of Greece to target all of Troy. This commotion helps reinforce the fact that Women are a man’s greatest weakness. Everything was perfectly set for him to marry her without problems, but his impatience got the better of him. While the cause to the war is ridiculous, I personally think it was a legitimate reason. Some random foreigner took the princess, who was promised to another man, away without a word, is reason enough to start a war.
When it comes to the Greek and Trojan Heroes, I can help but think both sides demonstrate dishonorable traits. On the Trojan side, Paris started the whole war (Hamilton). He showed how much of a coward he was by secretly taking Helen, instead of stating how their marriage was a promise from the Goddess Aphrodite. Then, when he was faced with Menelaus, Aphrodite had to take him away, due to being an unskilled fighter (p. 263). Hector on the other hand, was far more honorable than Paris. He was the son of the King Priam and Queen Hecuba, and the brother of Achilles (p. 260). In the favor of Apollo, he fought bravely and valiantly, even though he knew he would die during the war. He bid his wife Andromache and his only son Astyanax farewell, before returning to the ruthless battle (p. 266). On the Greek side, Odysseus didn’t have the most honorable start, he claimed to have gone “mad” (p. 258). He didn’t want to leave his family behind, much less over a war he described as “a romantic adventure overseas for the sake of a faithless woman” (p. 258), allowing us to understand his disapproval for the war. Regardless of his opinion, he was forced to join and fought with all of his might. His brilliant mind would bring the Greeks victory against the Trojans, demonstrating the most honorability throughout the War (Hamilton).
Hamilton, Edith. “The Heroes of the Trojan War.” Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. Grand Central Publishing, 1942. 253-344.