For centuries, the story of the Trojan War has been told- Many battles were fought over a woman. In the end, a gigantic wooden horse was rolled into Troy, not as a peace offering, but as a form of sneak attack. That should be the end of it, right?
Wrong. What people don’t realize is that this battle was neither short lived or easily won. Many men lost their lives protecting the people they loved, the countries they lived in, and the king they fought for. Though many men didn’t believe that the war was necessary, they were still faithful to their leaders. When comparing the movie to the stories, there are several similarities and differences.
In the movie, The Greeks and the Trojans had been enemies for quite some time. In fact, they had just made peace with each other, and were feasting together, when Helen fell in love with Paris and decided to run away with him. Though she was married to Menelaus, Helen went away with Paris to Troy, knowing that he would search for her. She never though that he would wage war on Troy. When hector, Paris’s brother, found out that Helen was on his ship, he ordered the ship to turn around. He knew that Menelaus and Agamemnon would search for her, and didn’t want his country to be in danger. Somehow, Paris convinces him that it would be wrong to turn around, because he’s so much in love with Helen. They keep on sailing, get to Troy, and everything is fine for a few days.
When enemy ships are visible on the horizon, they know that they better get moving on getting the army together, because all hell is on the verge of breaking loose. The first to arrive on the shores of Troy was a man named Achilles. Achilles was a warrior who followed no leader. So, when Agamemnon told him he wanted him to fight for their side, Achilles was hesitant to follow orders. But, knowing that if he fought in this war, his name would be remembered for all time, he went. Now just because he went, doesn’t mean that he followed every order. He gathered his own army, sailed in his own ship, and fought on his own time. His army alone conquered the beaches of Troy, though Agamemnon wanted people to think it was his army. Battles were fought for many weeks, maybe months, and many were killed.
In the end, the Greeks built a big wooden horse, sailed their ships away (with no one on them), got inside the horse, and left it on the beach. When the Trojans woke up the next morning, they believed that the horse was a peace offering. Unknowing of the fact that all of the Greek soldiers were inside of the horse, they wheeled it right into their gates-exactly what the Greeks wanted them to do. The Trojans feasted and celebrated all day, and thought that they had won the war. After everyone was sleeping peacefully in their beds, and the Greeks were sure that they could get out of the horse, they broke the horse apart and wreaked havoc on the city. Buildings were burned, and people were killed. Achilles was killed by a fatal arrow to the heel. The movie ends, and audiences are left confused. Was the death of Achilles an unspoken end to the war? If you go solely by the movie, then yes, you could say that. But what really happened?
In Greek Mythology, it all started because of an argument between Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera. The goddess Eris (Strife) gave the three a golden apple with the inscription «to the fairest». Since no one goddess could judge herself to be the fairest, they must go to someone to pick one out of the three. Who’s the lucky guy? Paris, Prince of Troy. When he picks Aphrodite to be the fairest of the three, she makes Helen- Wife of Menelaus- fall in love with him. He took her to Troy with him, and they were happily in love.
When Menelaus and Agamemnon (King of Mycenae, brother of Menelaus) find out that Helen has run away with a prince of Troy, they are enraged. For ten long years, the Achaeans and Trojans battled with each other over a woman who just wanted to be with the man she fell in love with. In the end, many lives were taken, many heroes lost. Though this should’ve been the end of the war, it was not enough to satisfy Menelaus and Agamemnon. The troops of Agamemnon built a large wooden horse, filled it with their soldiers, and left it for the people of Troy. When the Trojans accepted the gift, they took the horse into their gates.
The men inside the horse waited until nightfall, and then mercilessly slaughtered innocent victims. The entire city had gone to sleep, unknowing that they would be destroyed during the night. The Greeks desecrated the temples, earning the Gods wrath. When all was said and done, few Achaeans returned to their own shores, and many founded new colonies on distant shores.
Nobody really knows what really happened, or if it really happened. All we know is that battles then compared to battles now are pretty much the same- fought over something as little as a beautiful woman who betrayed her husband. Some say that Helen of Troy had a face that could launch a thousand ships. There’s no telling whether or not anyone will ever know the whole, true story of the Trojan War. For now, we are all left wondering about what really happened.