The Trojan War

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Transcript The Trojan War

The Trojan War
Background to
The Odyssey
Causes of the War:
The Fairer Sex
 The marriage of Peleus and Thetis,
mother of Achilles
 Eris (goddess of discord) not invited,
becomes the wedding crasher
 Throws down the Apple of Discord:
“For the Fairest”
 Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all reach
for it. . . .
Causes of the War:
The Weaker Sex
 Zeus appoints Pretty Boy Paris, a
Trojan prince, as the judge
 Enticing party favors are offered:
 Hera = greatness, power, wealth
 Athena = prowess in war
 Aphrodite = the love of the most
beautiful woman in the world
and the winner is . . .
Causes of the War:
The Weaker Sex
 Party favor = Helen, wife of
Menelaus, King of Sparta
 Menelaus’ brother = Agamemnon,
King of Mycenae
 Hera and Athena vow revenge
against Paris and Troy. . .
Causes of the War:
 Paris visits Menelaus, and is
treated to lavish Greek hospitality
 Paris then runs off with his host’s
wife and other “booty”
 Paris marries Helen in 1200 B.C.
“Was this the face that launched a
thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of
Ilium (Troy)?”
-Christopher Marlowe
Dr. Faustus
Preparation for War:
Battlefield of the Gods
Achaian (Greek) Side
Athena, goddess of
Hera, wife of Zeus
Hermes, ambassador to
the gods
Poseidon, god of the
Trojan Side
Aphrodite, goddess of
Apollo, god of
prophecy, light,
Ares, god of war
Artemis, goddess of the
Zeus, sympathetic to
the Trojans
Preparation for War:
Menelaus Rallies the Troops
 Long ago, at Odysseus’ request,
Helen’s father Tyndareus had
made all her suitors swear to
support whomever Helen married
 Menelaus calls on Helen’s old
boyfriends to defend her honor
 However, he encounters some
resistance. . .
Preparation for War:
Menelaus Rallies the Troops
 To dodge the draft, Achilles’ mom
dresses him up as a girl and hides
him with King Lycomedes
Preparation for War:
Menelaus Rallies the Troops
 Odysseus pretends to be insane to
dodge the draft:
 Plows a field sowing salt
 The gig’s up when Palamedes
throws Odysseus’ infant son
Telemachus in front of the plow
 Odysseus later dimes out
(exposes!) Achilles
Preparation for War:
The Greeks
The Greeks (Achaians, Argives, Danaans)
King of Mycenae
central character
greatest warrior
Achilles' friend
and companion
shrewdest, most
subtle and brave
Preparation for War:
Agamemnon Sets Sail
 Artemis, whom Agamemnon had
offended by killing a stag, stills the
great king’s sails
 Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter
Iphigenia to make nice, causing marital
discord with his wife Clytemnestra
 First he sails to the wrong place, but
that’s another story for another time. . .
Preparation for War:
The Trojans
The Trojans
Priam, King of Troy
married Hecuba
49 children
Hector, Trojan prince
Paris, Trojan prince
Forseen to destroy Troy
abandoned, raised by shepherds
War: The first Nine Years
 Battles in Troy and neighboring
regions for nine years
 Greeks win lots of spoils,
including women
The Iliad: Internal Conflict
 Homer’s epic begins in the tenth
year of the Trojan War
 Agamemnon steals Achilles’ war
prize, Briseis
 Achilles refuses to fight and
withdraws his warriors, the
The Iliad: Endgame
 The gods take sides, intervening for
their favorites
 Achilles’ pal Patroklos is killed in
battle wearing Achilles’ armor
 Achilles returns and kills Hector,
dragging his body around Troy from a
 The Iliad ends with Achilles’ allowing
Hector to be buried.
The Fall of Troy
 Apollo guides Paris’ arrow to
Achilles’ heel
 Ajax and Odysseus fight over
Achilles’ armor
 Odysseus wins the armor and
Ajax commits suicide
The Fall of Troy
 The frustrated Greeks cannot penetrate
 Odysseus cleverly schemes up the
wooden horse
 Odysseus steals the Palladium, a
powerful talisman of Pallas Athena
which had ensured Troy’s invincibility
 Helen recognizes Odysseus but does not
betray him
The Fall of Troy
 Greeks sail away as a decoy,
Trojans take in the horse, Greeks
slaughter Trojans
The Fall of Troy
 Achilles’ son Neoptolemus
kills Priam , whose daughter,
the seër Cassandra, is raped at
Athena’s altar and becomes
Agamemnon’s concubine
 The children of Priam and
Hector are sacrificed at
Achilles’ tomb
The Fall of Troy
 Aeneas, a Trojan prince, escapes
(see The Aeneid for the Trojan
point of view)
 Odysseus convinces Philoctetes to
kill Paris with a magic arrow
 Trojan women are divided as
 Helen’s beauty spares her death
The Fallout of the War
 The Greeks burn Troy and sail home,
meeting various miserable fates
 Angered about Iphigenia’s death,
Clytemnestra cozies up to Aegisthus,
who kills Agamemnon upon his return
 Orestes murders his mother and her
lover to avenge his father’s death
The Fallout of the War
 After another ten years
Telemachus laments that his
father Odysseus has not returned
home. . . .
Troy: Myth or Reality?
 Legendary city built under
Zeus’ protection
 Huge protective wall built
with divine aid of Poseidon
 Trojans refused to pay tribute
to Poseidon, who withdrew
his protection
Troy: Myth or Reality?
 Heinrich Schliemann (19th cent.)
uncovered nine successive cities on the
same site in modern-day Turkey
 Schliemann declared the second level
Priam’s Troy (aka Ilium), a burnt city
 Greeks may have wanted control of the
Hellespont Strait (Dardanelles) for
access to the Black Sea
 The archaeological dig is still active but
Archaeological Site: Troy II
Works Cited
“Archaeological Plan of Hisarlik.”
“Map of Troy.” http://en.wikipedia.
ient_times. jpg.