Trojan War – Book Report

It was only after three decades, when Hamilton was ninety years old, and other published works was she able to travel to Greece. Awards and Recognition Received: 1950 – She received honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters from the university of Rochester and the University of Pennsylvania 1957 ” In Greece, where King Paul of Greece awarded her the Golden Cross of the Order of Benefaction, making her an honorary citizen of Athens. II. Setting Troy – the main setting. It is the city where most ofthe story takes place. It is said that it was located near the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

It was a rich and a very powerful city with high, impregnable walls. Mount Olympus home of the Greek gods where Zeus rules. Mount Ida – a mountain near the city of Troy. This is where King Priam sends his son, Paris, when it is prophesized that Paris will cause the ruin of the great city. Sparta – This is where Menelaus and Helen lives, and where Paris stole Helen away. Aulis – a place described to be impossible to sail through as long as the north winds blow. This is where the Greek army assembles to go to Troy and wage a war. Ill. Character Descriptions Eris – goddess of Discord.

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She threw an apple marked For the Fairest at the banquet hall during an important wedding to cause chaos within the vain goddesses because she was not invited. Hera – Hera is the goddess of marriage and wife to Zeus. She is one of the three goddesses who sought Paris to be judged the fairest. Hera bribed him with the power over Europe and Asia, but still lost to Aphrodite. She favored the Greeks after that, and helped them many times during the Trojan War. Athena – Athena is the goddess of wisdom. She is one of the three goddesses who sought Paris to be judged the fairest.

She promises him that he will lead the Trojan army and lay waste to Greece. After Paris chooses Aphrodite, she helps the Greek army against Troy and even ensures that the war doesn’t end until Troy burns to he ground. Aphrodite – Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty and love. Paris judges her the fairest when she bribes him with the promise that the most beautiful woman in the world will be his. She saves Paris once when he is about to be defeated by Menelaus in a duel. After Troy falls and the Greek army wins, she ensures Helen’s safety and delivers her to Menelaus.

Paris He is one of King Priam’s sons. It was prophesized that Paris will cause the destruction of Troy and, out of fear, his father sends him to Mount Ida. He lived there with the lovely nymph, Oenone. He is revealed to be a coward and weakling in the later parts of the story. It is also mentioned that the Trojans would give him over to the Greeks if they could as they hated him. He dies when he is mortally wounded with the arms of Hercules and is refused by Oenone to be healed with magic after he left her at Mount Ida. Helen – She is the daughter of Zeus and Leda, sister to Castor and Pollux.

Helen was deemed to be the most beautiful woman in the world, so beautiful, that all the young princes of Greece wanted to marry her. King Tyndareus hesitated in choosing a husband for Helen out of fear that the others would rise and nite against him, so he made everyone swear an oath to help Helen’s would be husband and never to harm him. All the suitors, hoping to be chosen, swore this oath. The King chose Melenaus to be Helen’s husband. Melenaus Helen’s husband. He welcomes Paris graciously into their home, but has to leave for Crete.

When he returns to find that Paris has taken Helen, he calls for the aid of all the chieftains who were bound by oath to champion his cause. In the end when great city of Troy falls, he accepts Helen back gladly. Odysseus – King of the Island of Ithaca. He initially refuses to leave his family or a war and pretends to have gone mad until a messenger from the army threatens his son. He has no choice but to join the war. When Achilles dies, Odysseus is chosen to inherit his arms. He is also the one who devised the plan to build the giant wooden horse to infiltrate the city of Troy.

Achilles – son of Thetis. He is considered to be a great warrior and ace of the Greek army. Thetis did not want him to join the war, for he was destined to die at Troy. Odysseus finds him hiding among maidens in women’s clothing. It does not take much convincing for him to join the war. After a fight with Agamemnon, he refuses to participate in the war. When Patroclus is killed by Hector, he stops brooding in his tent and helps the Greek army once more. He kills Hector and disrespects his body and is aware that he will die soon after. Paris kills him by shooting an arrow that is guided by Apollo.

The arrow hits his heel and he dies. It is explained that Achilles was dipped in the River Styx as an infant by his mother so that his body will become invulnerable. She did not, however, remember to dip his feet as well and it has become the only vulnerable spot on his body. Calchus – the Greek army’s soothsayer. He prophesized that they should sacrifice Agamemnon’s daughter so that Artemis will be appeased and let them sail on a calm sea and that they need Hercules’ arms to defeat the Trojans. Agamemnon – He is the Commander in Chief of the Greek army and Menelaus’ brother.

He is devastated when he learns that his eldest daughter must be sacrificed to appease the wrath of Artemis but eventually concedes for the sake of his reputation. During the war, Agamemnon kidnaps a priest’s daughter and brings down Apollo’s wrath on the Greek army. When confronted by Achilles, he is forced to give back the riest’s daughter but not without taking Achilles’ woman as a replacement. When Achilles refuses to battle because of this, Agamemnon tries to make amends by giving back his woman along with many treasures. Hector – son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, husband to Andromache.

Out of all of their other sons, Hector is said to be bravest and noblest. It is said that only Achilles can match him as a warrior. The Trojans call him Tamer of Horses. He is killed by Achilles, with the help of Athena, after he slays Patroclus. His carcass is later stripped of all armor and tied to a chariot with horses made to un around the walls of Troy. The Trojans mourn him for nine days. Ajax – one of the Greek army’s great warriors. He is made insane when he is refused Achilles’ armor and slays a group of cattle, thinking that it is the Greek army.

When his sanity returns and he realizes what he’s done, he kills himself out of shame. The Greek army chooses not to honor his suicide and buries him instead of burning his body at a funeral pyre. King Priam – The King of Troy, husband to Hecuba, and father to Hector and Paris. He sends Paris away to live in Mount Ida when it is prophesized that he will be the cause of the estruction of Troy. When Hector dies and his body is disrespected, Priam goes to Achilles and offers him treasures in exchange for his son’s mangled body. The Greeks kill Priam when the war ends.

Zeus – Ruler of all the gods and husband to Hera. He liked the Trojans best, but chose to be neutral until Thetis approached him and asked him to let the Trojans win so that the war will end. As he was helping the Trojans, Hera distracts him by seducing him and casting a sleeping spell on him. When he awoke, he threatened to lay his hands on Hera but did not in the end. IV. Synopsis Part Four: The Heroes of the Trojan War Prologue: The Judgment of Paris Eris throws an apple marked “For the Fairest’ at King Peleus and Thetis’s wedding to cause discord as retaliation for not being invited to the event.

All the vain goddesses wanted it, of course. But the choice was narrowed down until only Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, remained. They asked Zeus to judge which of the three goddesses is the fairest but he wisely refuses and tells them to have Paris, prince of Troy, judge instead. But instead of letting Paris choose fairly, they each bribe him. Hera offers to make him lord over Europe nd Asia, Athena promises him that he would lead Troy to victory and lay Greece in ruins, and Aphrodite offers to make the most beautiful woman in the world his.

Paris chooses Aphrodite, as it is revealed in later events that he is a coward. Chapter 1: The Trojan War Aphrodite then takes him to Sparta where he meets Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world and wife to Menelaus. Menelaus and Helen welcome Paris as their guest, as they were bound to help each other and never harm one another. This is broken by Paris who takes Helen away from Sparta when Menelaus leaves for Crete. When Menelaus returns and finds Helen gone, he alls upon all Greece for help. The chieftains respond, eager to lay waste to Troy.

Both Odysseus and Achilles of the first rank, however, were missing. Odysseus did not want to leave his family to join the army, so he pretended to have gone mad by planting salt instead of seeds in the field. A messenger from the Greek army was sent to look for him and to test if Odysseus had indeed gone mad, he seized Odysseus’s infant son directly in front of the plow. Odysseus abandons his act, pulls the plow aside, and reluctantly joins the army. Odysseus is then sent to look for Achilles whose mother keeps him rom the army, as she knew that he was fated to die in Troy.

Odysseus, disguised as a peddler, finds Achilles in the court of Lycomedes, hiding among the maidens in women’s clothing. He did not have a hard time convincing Achilles to disregard his mothers wishes. The fleet assembles at Aulis, a place where it was impossible to sail as long as the north wind blew. After days at sea with the strong wind blowing continuously, they find out that Artemis was angry because one of her beloved creatures was slain by the Greeks. The soothsayer, Calchas, tells them that the only way to placate the goddess was o sacrifice Iphigenia, the eldest daughter of the Commander in Chief named Agamemnon.

Everyone thought this was terrible especially Agamemnon, who could not bear the thought of losing his precious daughter. But to uphold his reputation and help the war against Troy, he agreed. He sent home for Iphigenia under the false pretense that she was to be married to Achilles. The winds instantly cease once Iphigenia is killed at the altar and the Greeks sail over a calm sea towards Troy. Protesilaus was the first man to leap ashore and was also the first man to die. The Greek army was strong, but the Trojan City was strong too and held its own.

The city had Hector on its side, a noble and brave warrior. It was said that only Achilles could match him. Both Hector and Achilles knew that they were destined to die in the war. The war raged on for nine years with no sign as to who would win. For a time, the Trojans were at an advantage because of a quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon. Agamemnon had taken the daughter of a priest of Apollo and refused to give her back even when her father begged her to. Because he heard the priest’s prayer, Apollo shot fiery arrows at the Greeks.

Achilles onsulted Calchas and told the troops that the girl must be given back. Agamemnon, enraged, demands Achilles’ woman as a replacement for the one he was forced to return. Achilles vows that Agamemnon would pay dearly for what he’d done. He stays coop up in his tent. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, angrily tells him to have nothing more to do with the Greeks. She then Went to Zeus in Mount Olympus and asked him to grant the Trojans their victory and end the war. Zeus was reluctant at first, as he wanted to be neutral while the other gods and goddesses have divided and sided on either the Greeks or the Trojans.

He concedes and sends a deceitful dream to Agamemnon, promising him victory if he attacks even without Achilles. Achilles stays in his tent while the Greek Army battle against the Trojans. Menelaus and Paris duels in between, as both their armies have decided to let the most concerned duke it out. Menelaus would have won the duel if Aphrodite hadn’t saved Paris and taken him to safety, but no one knows how or where. Agamemnon gets both armies to agree to give Helen back to the Greeks. The Trojans agree because Menelaus won fairly but the gods interfere.

Athena persuaded one of the Trojan soldiers to shoot Menelaus. Even though he was only wounded slightly, the Greeks charge at them angrily. Many soldiers from both sides die while the Gods enter the fray and interfere with the war by persuading both Greek and Trojan soldiers to continue to fight until there is a victor. Hector gently refuses his wife when she pleads for him to command the battle from the walls where it is safer. He leaves her and his son to enter the battle once more. And because Achilles is still brooding in his tent, Hector and the Trojan army drive the Greeks back almost to their ships.

They despair in their camp that evening, while the Trojans rejoice. Agamemnon, desperate to win and not go home disgraced, sends Odysseus to Achilles to tell him that he will return his woman and also give many other gifts. But Achilles will not be bribed. The Greek army refused to give up and stubbornly battled with the Trojans. Hera, who favored the Greeks, went to distract Zeus from aiding the Trojans by seducing him and casting a sleeping spell on him. The Trojans would have been defeated and Hector killed that day if Zeus had not awakened in time.

Apollo heals the heavily wounded Hector and the Trojans turn the tide on the war again and drives the Greeks back against their ships. Achilles still refuses to fight and Patroclus, his beloved friend, asks for his armor so that he could pretend to be Achilles to rally the Greek army and instill fear in the Trojans. Achilles agrees and lets him borrow his armor. Patroclus fights and leads the army splendidly at first until Hector arrives and kills Patroclus. He takes off his own armor and puts on the armor Patroclus borrowed. Achilles is devastated when he hears the news of his beloved friend’s death.

He gains new weapons and armor forged by Hephaestus himself and goes to avenge Patroclus. Hector, knowing that Achilles was oming from him, makes up his mind to face Achilles in battle. He runs away from him, however, three times around the walls. He is stopped and tricked by Athena, who is with Achilles. He kills Hector but his vengeance isn’t yet quenched. He disrespects Hector’s carcass, removing the armor and fastens Hector on to a chariot where the horses run around the walls of Troy, dragging what was left of his glorious self.

King Priam, Hector’s father, goes to the Greek camp with treasures to offer Achilles in order to get Hector’s body back. Achilles agrees and they have a moment of respect towards each other. The Trojans mourn him for nine days, including Helen who calls Hector her “only friend”. Chapter II: The Fall of Troy Achilles’ mother had told him that he was destined to die after Hector. But before he did, he fought and led the Greek army one last time to fight Prince Memnon of Ethiopia who brought a large army to aid the Trojans in the war.

The Greeks initially had a hard time with their battles against Memnon’s army in addition to the Trojans when Achilles slays Memnon in combat. Soon after, Paris shoots an arrow at him and Apollo guides it to Achilles’ heel, the only spot where he could be killed. Ajax carried Achilles’ body out of the warzone while Odysseus held the Trojans back. Achilles’ body was burned at the funeral pyre and it is said that his bones were placed in the same urn that held those of Patroclus. The chieftains of the Greek army, however, had to decide who would take on the honor of wearing Achilles’ armor that was forged by Hephaestus.

The choice was between Ajax and Odysseus. A vote was held and kept secret from the two, and it was decided that Odysseus would inherit the powerful armor. Ajax, humiliated, sought to murder both Agamemnon and Menelaus who he believed had turned the vote against him. But Athena struck him with madness, and he ended up slaying cattle instead. When his sanity returned, he was ashamed of what he had done and killed himself. The Greeks were devastated as another one of their heroes had fallen and victory seemed so far away. They were then told to obtain and use the arms of Hercules.

Odysseus and Diomedes find the arms in an island and return to Troy with them. They were able to mortally wound Paris with the bow and arrows of Hercules. Paris begs to be brought back to the nymph he was living with before in Mount Ida for she knew of magic that could cure any ailment. But the nymph refuses him and watches him die before killing herself. After, the Greeks learn the reason Troy could not be taken. It was because of the Palladium, a sacred image of Pallas Athena. The Greeks knew then, that they had to find a way inside the city.

So Odysseus devised a plan to build a giant wooden horse and put the chieftains and majority of the Greek army inside. He then left a single Greek soldier to lie to the Trojans and convince them to let the wooden horse inside the city. Two of the skeptics were killed at the altar by two serpents and the others think that it is a sign hat they should let the horse inside. In the dead of the night, the Greek soldiers pour out of the wooden horse and set fire to the city. When the Trojans wake up and go out of their homes, they are killed almost instantly. The Greeks also successfully snuff out the Trojan resistance.

Aeneas chooses to save his wife, father, and child instead of helping to claim their city back. His wife dies, though, and he carries his father and child out of the city. Aphrodite helps Helen to safety and delivers her to Melenaus. He accepts her back gladly. At dawn, the Trojan women look at their once-great city in flames. They will be carried off to Greece and be sold as slaves. Hecuba, King Priam’s wife, mourns the city they lost and laments that she is now queen-turned- slave and an old woman without a home. Andromache, Hectors wife, holds her son when a messenger tells her that the boy must be thrown over a cliff.

She says goodbye to him tearfully and kisses him one last time before he is taken away. They also killed Polyxena, Hecuba’s young daughter. The two children were Troy’s last sacrifice. After ten years, Greek had finally lay waste to Troy. V. Theme Analyses a. Interpretation Analyses The Women’s Role in the Trojan War A recurring theme in the story of the Trojan War is that women are the reason for the fighting between men. This is shown when the three goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite go to Paris because of their vanity and desire to possess the apple marked For the Fairest.

The war would not have happened and Troy would not have fallen if not for these goddesses. This theme is also shown when Menelaus calls up the banners of the chieftains after Paris kidnaps his wife Helen and takes her to Troy. And again, when Achilles refused to fight with his brethren in the middle Of the war ecause Agamemnon took his woman as a replacement for the one he was forced to give back. Another recurring theme in the Trojan War is that women are expendable and treated like objects. When the Greek army sails to Troy, Artemis asks for Agamemnon’s daughter.

Although, devastated at first, he does not hesitate to sacrifice his daughter for the sake of his reputation. And it is shown all over the story the way men kidnap women and claim them as theirs with no account for the women’s feelings on the matter (i. e. when Paris kidnaps Helen, when Agamemnon kidnaps a priest’s daughter, etc. After Troy falls, the Trojan men die and their suffering end quickly but the women are sold as slaves and are forced to be treated even more like objects. b. Quotations “Paris who coming, Entered a friend’s kind dwelling, Shamed the hand there that gave him food, Stealing away a woman. “Zeus liked the Trojans best, on the whole, be he wanted to be neutral because Hera was so disagreeable whenever he opposed her openly. ” “Nine days they lamented him; then they laid him on a lofty pyre and set fire to it. When all was burned they quenched the flame with wine and gathered the bones into a golden urn, shrouding them in soft purple. They sent the urn in a hollow grave and piled great stones over it. This was the funeral of Hector, tamer of horses. And with it, the Iliad ends. ” “Troy did not fall because Paris was dead. He was, indeed, no great loss. “All the people cried, “Bring the carven image in Bear it to Athena, Fit gift for the child of Zeus” Who of the young but hurried forth? Who of the old would stay at home? With song and rejoicing they brought death in, Treachery and destruction” “What sorrow is there that is not mine? Country lost and husband and children Glory of all my house brought low. ” – Hecuba With the death of Hector’s son, Troy’s last sacrifice was accomplished. The women waiting for the ships watched the end. ” VI. Conclusion a. Recommendation The best thing about Mythology by Edith Hamilton is how easy it is to understand.

The original Greek literary classics were not written as one whole story. As Hamilton mentions, she pieced everything together from Homer and the Illiad and other plays that tell the story of the Trojan War. Without this book, The Heroes of the Trojan War in particular, we would’ve all had to piece together an enormous puzzle just like Hamilton did. This is the best book bout Greek mythology to recommend to students. b. Opinion I’m ashamed to admit, that before reading the actual story, did not know anything about the Trojan War. All knew was that it had something to do with a wooden horse.

So when I first started reading The Heroes of The Trojan War, I honestly expected it to be just a story about a war between men, fighting about ownership of a particular territory as was the usual. And after I’ve finished the two chapters related to the war, I realized that, yes, the war was about ownership. It was about owning a woman. Menelaus started the Trojan War because Paris stole Helen, his wife. A lot of people might see it as romantic, but see it as men Objectifying a Woman. In fact, the objectification of women seems like a recurring theme in the story.

Paris kidnapping Helen, Agamemnon kidnapping a priest’s daughter, Agamemnon taking Achilles’ daughter as replacement when he is forced to give back the priest’s daughter, and lets not forget how Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter willingly for the sake of his reputation. It looks like Agamemnon is the main culprit of this act, but do not forget that this story was based on a time where men treated women not unlike how they treated cattle, to be sold or bartered ith. When the Greeks finally burned Troy to the ground after 1 0 years of war, the Trojan men were allowed to die protecting their city with honor.

They suffered only for a short period of time. The women, however, were sold as slaves, prolonging their suffering for years and years to come as long as they were still alive. I can’t tell you enough how utterly unfair that is. You have probably realized by now that I’m a feminist at heart. But am also a young woman, and as a woman absolutely cannot stand the goddesses. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite are all vain and jealous creatures. The way they go to engths just to be named the fairest is absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion.

These powerful, immortal, and beautiful goddesses were reduced to a bunch of insecure women in my mind. And being goddesses, you’d think that interfering with mortal businesses would be beneath them. Unfortunately, this is not so as they interfere with the war several times. Hera and Athena, of course, take the Greeks side all because Paris chose Aphrodite to be the fairest. Petty creatures these goddesses are. It is probably because of their immortality that they bear grudges for a long time. If there is one character hat liked in the Story, it would be Hector.