Students have studied different aspects Greek literature for centuries, finding that many of the characters and behaviors written about so long ago are actually universal. The "Trojan War- in is one such piece of literature that has remained interesting for hundreds of years. In examining certain segments of this story, the reader finds that women often are significant to the development of the plot. In fact, the desire of men to have and please women, both mortal and immortal, instigated, perpetuated, and eventually concluded the Trojan War.
A seemingly innocent choice made by the young prince of Troy, in which the most beautiful woman in the world was chosen over power, ultimately led to the beginning of the most famous war in Greek history. While on the hillside outside of Troy, Paris was approached by three goddesses "Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite "in regard to choosing which of the three was the most beautiful. Unfortunately, the contest quickly changed from a competition over beauty, to a battle for who could entice Paris with the best bribe. Three things that appeal most to men were presented to Paris: power to rule a nation, victory in war, and the fairest woman in all the world. Immediately a decision was rendered; Aphrodite would claim the title among the three, and Paris would take claim to the woman of his choice, who would later be Helen of Sparta and wife of Menelaus. Helen and Paris fell in love and ran away to Troy to live together. When Menelaus discovered Helen was gone, and Paris refused to return her, the great war began. For nine years the war waged back and forth in an apparent stalemate. Because of Paris's poor choice, nations were set on end and war was underway.
Nine years into the war, the Greek leader, Agamemnon, made a poor choice involving his desire for a young woman, which again ignited and perpetuated the war. A young maiden, Chryseis, the daughter of the Apollo's priest, was abducted by Greek soldiers and delivered to Agamemnon.