Trojan War: Fact Or Fiction? Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

The war began with a grand wedding between Peleus, the son of Aeacus, and Thetis, the sea-goddess. Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited to the wedding. Enraged at this, she stormed into the wedding and threw a golden apple of discord on a table. The apple had the inscription “For the fairest” a quarrel soon arose between three powerful goddesses. The three goddesses; Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all wanted the title of fairest. They wanted to Zeus to be the judge of this contest. Not wanting to be involved in the quarrel, Zeus sent Hermes to get Paris, the Trojan prince, so that he could judge the three ("History of the Trojan War").
Each of the goddesses promised to give Paris something in return for giving her the apple. Hera offered Paris power and the richest kingdom on earth. Athena promised to make him a great hero and to give him wealth. Finally, Aphrodite promised a marriage to the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta (Joe "Trojan War"). Paris immediately chose Aphrodite to be the fairest, causing much discord for the others. He quickly set off to Sparta to fetch Helen; however, she was the wife of the Spartan king, Menelaus. When Paris reached Sparta, he saw that Menelaus was not there and he proceeded to abduct Helen. Menelaus was infuriated by this deviousness. He called upon all of Helen’s old suitors who had promised to keep her honor. These suitors did not truly want to go to war, in fact, Odysseus feigned insanity and Achilles pretended to be a woman. However, both men would fight for Sparta. Due to a prophecy predicting a Greek failure without him, Achilles had little choice but to join the war. Odysseus too was found to be pretending and thus forced to battle for Helen. ("History of the Trojan War").
Finding Troy proved difficult for the Greeks. They invaded several cities in search for Helen. After getting many false leads to her whereabouts, the Greeks decided to return home. It was not until Telephus, who was wounded in a siege by Achilles, came to Greece to be healed Did they learn of her location: Telephus was told by an oracle that only the “one who had wounded him could heal him” so he sought out Achilles. Achilles acceded to healing him and in return, Telephus told him how to find Troy ("History of the Trojan War"). When the Greeks reached Troy and attacked, they insisted that Priam, Paris’ father, return Helen to Menelaus (“Trojan War”). When Priam and his son’s backed Paris instead of giving Helen over, the Greeks saw the only way to obtain her was by complete force.
The siege and attack on Troy lasted 10 years. During this tiem many great warriors were said to have died, including, Hector of Troy and Achilles ("Trojan War"). During the first years of this extensive war, Greece fought against the neighboring countries of Troy so that they may cut off Troy’s supplies ("History of the Trojan War"). Once they overtook these countries, it was easier to invade Troy...

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