Consequently, the war ends with the destruction of Troy and the flee of the Trojan. In this paper, I will try to discuss the primary season for the fall of Troy. In any war there are usually many causes for victory or loss. These causes could be economic, military power, state’s defenses, strategic powers and even the will to win. In the Ended, the causes could be either the human factor, or the gods’ factor or even both. However, what we see essential in the fall of Troy and the whole war is the strict interference of the gods.
From the beginning, even though it is not part of the Ended, we see the interference of the gods as Helen falls in love with the handsome Paris with the help of Aphrodite. Even though Helen is married to one of the most powerful king of Greece she cannot help but fall in love with Paris. Later on we see another episode of the interference of the gods when Lagoon, a Trojan priest, threw a spear at the horse that was left on the gates of Troy. Shortly after twin snakes came across the sea and ate his sons at the altar.
Then they attacked and ate Lagoon and came to rest at the altar of Minerva. This prompted the Trojan to think that the Gods want the horse to be led into the city. As the events advance we see the destruction of Troy as the gods are watching and manipulating every character like a pawn in a chess game. As Troy is being destroyed, Names wakes up by a vision of Hector who tells him to flee from Troy. Names sees the destruction of Troy and dashes to fight the Greeks as Venus tries to rescue her son from getting killed on the hands of the Greeks.
The Gods’ intervention is very lucid when Venus convinces Names not to hold Helen or Paris accountable for Troy’s downfall but to blame “the harsh will of the gods” (Book II, line 792). If indeed, we take out the intervention of the gods factor then we will see that Helen would not have fallen in love with Paris and this whole war would not have started. Even, if the war started, the Trojan would not have accepted the wooden horse and Troy would not have been sacked or fell to the Greek soldiers From my perspective, I believe that Troy fell because of the constant interference Of the gods. Undoubtedly, this war would not have started without the will of the gods and wouldn’t have ended without them either. I also believe that Virgil tries to diminish the human effect to reduce the blame on either sides of the war. In other words, the reader of this epic cannot really blame either the Greeks for winning or the Trojan for loosing but they both earn our sympathy if not our respect. Virgil cannot diminish the Trojan because in the epic, the Trojan are the founding fathers of Rome.
I think this is very apparent when Virgil explains that not all the Trojan believed that the horse was a gift. This is clear when Lagoon throws a spear at the horse. Moreover, he goes in details about the reasons for the acceptance of the horse within the walls of Troy. In some sense, Virgil tries to explain that the Trojan did not really loose everything but they won their ancestors land where they will be the glory of a new empire. In this paper I showed that Troy fell due to the intervention of the gods.
Without their intervention, Troy would not have been sacked. Moreover, I showed that if we take the divine element the war would not have started or ended the way it did. Also showed the motif of the author to minimize the human factor so the reader can respect both parties of the war. Who Was to Blame? Sir Kenneth Dover Troy has at last fallen. All its grown men have been killed in (or after) the fighting, King Prima among them. Now all its women and children become slaves, chattels, at the absolute disposal of their Greek conquerors.
Hectic, the widowed Queen of Troy, now discovers what it is like to be a slave. So does Andromeda, widow of House’s son Hector, the man who had been Troy’s most valiant defender; so too Cassandra, whom Homer calls “the most beautiful of the daughters of Prima”, now allocated as a concubine to the Greek commander Agamemnon. Trojan Women does not offer us a sequence of events which can be called a “plot” in the usual sense of that word; no suspense, no surprises, no impasse or conflict requiring resolution by a dues ex machine, no “creative” mythology.
We are presented only with the familiar, predictable sequence which belongs to the capture of a city, or rather, to its immediate aftermath, room the herding of the captives to the conflagration of the emptied city with which the play ends. But within this relentless accumulation of brutalities and sorrows we strike a hard core of argument: whose fault was the Trojan War? The question is one which attracted the attention not only of poets, from Homer onwards, but also of a historian (Herodotus) and a sophist (Georgia) in Euripides’ own time and an orator (Socrates) soon after.
The essentials of the myth were exceedingly familiar to Euripides’ Athenian audience from poetry and the visual arts, however varied the details of its treatment by individuals. The goddesses Hear, Athena and Aphrodite demanded of Paris, a son of Prima, that he judge which of them was the most beautiful (a trio of deities, witches – as in Macbeth – or goblins, with a set of three prophecies, gifts, promises or threats, is a common structure in the mythology of many cultures). Paris gave the prize to Aphrodite, and his reward from her was the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta.
Parish’s opportunity came when he stayed as a guest at Sparta in Menelaus absence; he and Helen went back to Troy together, and there they stayed, Prima refusing to surrender Helen, until a combination f Greek cities and tribes conquered Troy at the end of a ten-year war. In Trojan Women Helen is naturally among the captives, and Menelaus orders her to be brought out that he may confront her in House’s presence. His opening words declare that his purpose in fighting the war was not simply to regain his wife but to inflict on Troy just punishment for condoning Parish’s violation, gravely offensive to Zeus, of the laws of hospitality.
This declaration not only establishes Menelaus claim to piety and righteousness but also pre- empty a deference against the accusation (on which more below) “What, all that just to recover Helen? ” Certainly the offence was there; yet in the Odyssey, Helen, so far from being punished by her injured husband, lives with him happily ever after. Modern readers of the Iliad may be forgiven for feeling that it treats the abduction of a beautiful wife on rather the same level as the theft of a prestigious possession – say, a racehorse; we don’t punish the horse for being stolen, we just try to get it back. The implied attitude is not peculiar to archaic Greece; only a few years ago a very successful businessman boasted to a newspaper that he now had “a Rolls, a beautiful wife, and a act”). According to popular Greek belief Menelaus, apprehending Helen when Troy fell, discarded his sword and his vengeful intent when she bared her incomparable breasts. In Trojan Women Euripides solves – or, if you will, evades – the problem of reconciling immovably established legend with the prevailing moral sentiment of his time; his Menelaus takes Helen back to Sparta with the avowed intention of executing her there (an oddly unconvincing refinement).
It is left to the audience, prompted by House’s warning of the deadly power of female beauty over men, to recall what “really” (I. E. N the Odyssey) happened. Menelaus threat elicits from Helen a demand to be allowed to speak in her own deference, a demand to which he yields at House’s request, and it is in fact Hectic, not Menelaus, who takes on the role of Hellene adversary in the rhetorical showpiece which follows. Helen does not deny that she fell in love with Paris, but it must be confessed that her apologia is poor stuff, a display of unconvincing sophistries easily and scornfully rebutted by Hectic.
At one point Helen even employs a vulgar argumentwhichafevyearsearlier Aristotelian had caricatured by putting it in he mouth of Wrong, the personification of sophistic immorality: “If you’re caught in bed with someone else’s wife… You can point to Zeus and say that sexual love is too much for him – and how can you, a mortal, be stronger than a god? ” Unlike Hectic in Euripides, Prima in the Iliad is strikingly courteous and compassionate in his dealings with Helen. L don’t hold you to blame”, he tells her, “it is the gods that blame”. It would be a mistake to treat his words as a logically defensible outcome of hard theological thinking, let alone as expressing the settled opinion of a particular period or area in the history of he Greeks; they are words which could be said to anyone whom the speaker wished to treat generously, safe in the assurance that We cannot actually know whether or not a given event results from a god’s intentions.
In the same way, if one provokes a quarrel and then patches it up – as Agamemnon does in resolving his quarrel (Iliad xix) with Achilles – by claiming that his wits had been disturbed by a malign supernatural force, it is not theological reasoning that secures acceptance of such a plea, but the desire on both sides to stop quarrelling.
More than forty years before Trojan Women, Aeschylus had made the chorus f Ergative elders in his Agamemnon allude to the grief and resentment excited on the Greek mainland by the arrival, year after year, of urns containing the ashes of good men killed in the fighting at Troy and cremated there, “through another man’s wife”. In the Athenian democracy it was possible for people to decide that such-and-such an issue was “not worth a war” ; as indeed some of them did say in 431 when Sparta had declared “If you repeal the Nigerian Decree, there will be no war”.
It looks as if Aeschylus imagines his chorus as wondering “Is it really worth a war, is it worth our lives, to get back Menelaus wife? ” Herodotus, in his curious introductory passage which purports to trace enmity between Europe and Asia back into the heroic age, attributes to the Persians the forthright view that although it is undoubtedly a crime to abduct women it is foolish and irresponsible to take great trouble to get them back; “after all, if they themselves had not been willing, they would not have been abducted” – a plea to which rapists throughout the ages have had recourse.
Perhaps some such sentiment underlies Herodotus treatment Of a famous alternative myth datable at latest to the first half Of the sixth entry BC. According to that version, Helen did not go to Troy at all; Paris abducted her from Sparta, but on the voyage to Troy they encountered a storm which drove their ship to Egypt. There Helen stayed while Paris completed the voyage to Troy; the gods created a phantom in her likeness, which everyone in Troy accepted as being Helen, until the city fell, whereupon the phantom vanished and Menelaus retrieved the real Helen from Egypt on his way home.
That alternative myth was actually adopted by Euripides in his Helen, two years after Trojan Women. Herodotus professes to have learned room “the priests” that Helen stayed in Egypt, but he cannot accept the idea of the phantom, because, he says, when Menelaus demanded Helen back the Trojan simply and rightly denied that they had her. And whether they had Helen herself or a convincing phantom, Prima would never have been so foolish as to imperil his family, his subjects, and the very stones of his city, just so that Paris could enjoy life with Helen.
But since the Greeks did not believe his denial, they embarked on the war which lasted ten years and ended with the city’s total destruction. It is striking that Herodotus does not question the reality of Helen, Paris, Prima and the Trojan War, while making no explicit criticism of Homer for falsifying history on purely artistic grounds (the story that Helen was in Troy was “better suited to epic poetry”). So far as Euripides’ play goes, we can say that the answer to the question, “Who should bear the blame for the horrors exhibited in Trojan Women? Is multiple: Paris, for abducting Helen; Helen, for failing to resist the temptation to leave her husband and children for the enchantingly handsome Paris; Prima, for condoning Parish’s behavior; the people of Troy, for passive acceptance of Prism’s tolerance; and not least, the Greek commanders, for thinking that recapturing the adulterous wife of one of their kings was worth a war. The prologue of the play is spoken, as commonly, by a god, Poseidon, and it becomes a dialogue when Athena arrives.
Poseidon speaks of Hear and Athena as having “joined in the destruction of Troy (I. E. Shared responsibility with the Greeks or joined with each other? )”, and to that extent he endorses Prism’s consoling words to Helen. Nothing from Poseidon, though, about the Judgment of Paris, which plays so prominent a part in Hellene apologia and s rejected as an absurd story by Hectic. Instead, we hear of the terrible storm which will fall upon the Greeks’ homeward voyage, a punishment for the rape of Cassandra by Ajax in the temple of Athena.
Poseidon closes the scene with three somber verses: “Foolish is the mortal who sacks cities and their temples and tombs In after time, he himself perishes”. The First World War engendered in many of its participants a strong feeling that the vast, atrocious suffering which it entailed could not possibly be justified by achievement Of any Of the purposes with which governments embarked upon t. The “futility of war” thus I established itself as a cliche which has endured to this day, even though more recent events have shown how few human actions can be less futile than armed resistance to the threat of extermination.
Trojan resistance was not “futile”, though unsuccessful, but for the Greeks, and above all for Agamemnon and his family, the consequences of the war were catastrophic. A few months before Trojan Women was put on, the island of Melts was captured by its Athenian besiegers, who had needed reinforcement and had been the victim of spirited sallies by the besieged. The Athenians, angered by the stubbornness of the Menials, put all the adult males of Melts to death and enslaved all the women and children.
It is hard to believe that the fate of Melts did not even flicker in the minds of Euripides’ audience, some of whom will have known what it feels like to inflict a fatal stab on a long succession of bound captive men. Understandably impressed by the “Amelia Dialogue” in which Discusses portrayed the original negotiations between representatives of Melts and peculiarly cynical and amoral envoys from Athens, modern readers have tended to imagine hat the treatment of Melts was a new departure for Athens, and indeed for the Greek world.
That impression is quite false, for Athens had treated Skinny in just the same way five years before Melts, and Sparta Hysteria one year before; nevertheless, the modern idea that Trojan Women embodies criticism of Athenian cruelty at Melts still lives. We know – as obviously Euripides could not know – that ten years after the play, when Athens had been decisively defeated, the Athenians feared that they would be treated as they had treated Melts and Skinny; the attitude of Thebes gave them grounds for that fear. There were two important differences between the fall of Melts and the fall of Troy.
The Menials were Greeks, but the Trojan were Phrasing, and although racial, linguistic and cultural differences between Greeks and Trojan are not apparent in Homer, by Euripides’ time they could be imagined and exploited, as they are conspicuously in his Rooster. The other important difference is that the “sacker of cities” in Poseidon warning is taken to have destroyed temples, sanctuaries and ancestral tombs – unlikely in the case of Melts, because the Athenians colonized the site after disposing of its native population, and gross provocation of gods and ancestral spirits is an unpromising start for a colony.