|The Story of the Trojan War:
The Trojan War began from a contest that started at Thetis and Peleus’ wedding. All gods and goddesses were invited to this wedding except for Eris, the goddess of discord. Eris was very upset and thus threw an apple into the party inscribed with "Kalliste"(for the fairest). Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each thought that this apple was for them and began to fight. Zeus realized that someone had to decide who of these three was the fairest. Not wanting to be the butt of hate, he decided to bestow this honor on the helpless Paris. Paris was told what he must decide, and the bribes began. Athena promised Paris good fighting skills and prosperity in war. Paris was a shepherd and didn’t feel that this would help him. Hera tried to bribe Paris by telling him that she would make him powerful and good in politics. Again, Paris could not see the benefit of this to a shepherd. Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world to be his wife. Paris immediately rewarded Aphrodite the apple and the title of "the fairest" because this was the best reward.
Unfortunately the most beautiful woman in the world was Helen, and she was married to Menelaus. Aphrodite made Helen fall madly in love with Paris because of her promise, and thus began the conflict. Helen and Paris ran away together because they were in love. Menelaus was not happy and decided that he would retrieve his wife. The gods, goddesses, past suitors of Helen and family members took sides and thus began the Trojan War.
Odysseus, Achilles, Agamemnon and Hektor were probably the most important and best soldiers during this war. Each of these heroes has their own. The end of the Trojan War is what is most essential to the understanding of the flight home for Odysseus.
Achilles, having dropped out of the war, was asked by his good friend Patroclus to lend his armor in the fighting. Assuming that Patroclus was Achilles (because of his armor), Hektor killed him. Achilles found out about his friend’s death and came back to the war to avenge Patroclus. Hektor got cocky and put on Achilles’ armor; this which further irritated Achilles. Achilles eventually killed Hektor and in his rage dragged him dead around the outside of the castle for days. As is seen in Antigone, to leave the dead unburied was one of the worst things someone could do in Greek culture. Not only did mortals see Achilles behavior as vulgar and indecent, but even the gods were distraught by Achilles’ rage.
The Trojan horse was the final triumph for the Greeks over the Trojans. Odysseus came up with the fabulous plan of building a huge wooden horse inside of which he and chosen warriors would hide. The horse would be presented as a gift to the Trojans, whereupon the Greeks would take the horse inside the city walls. Once inside, the Greek army would wait until nightfall, then they would descend from the horse from a hatch and destroy the Trojans, unannounced, from within their own fortress. After the final defeat the booty is split up and the heroes begin their journeys home. This is where The Odyssey begins.