The War of Troy Lesson Summary Notes and Explanation in English Class 10th


‘The War of Troy’ is a text based on Homer’s Iliad, a Greek Epic Poem. It delves into the War of Troy and the center of its attention, Queen Helen of Sparta. It thus traces on her elopement with Paris and the subsequent defeat of Troy followed by her taken back by her husband Menelaus. 

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The theme of this text is tragedy and war. Set off by the jealousy of Greek Goddesses, two kingdoms warred to death, spilling much innocent blood for a decade, making way for a tale of heartbreak and wide-spread devastation.  


The Most Beautiful Of All:

The text begins by detailing on Achilles’ parents, the mortal Peleus and sea Goddess’ wedding reception where Eris, the goddess of discord, happened to not be invited. Angered, she concocted a retribution plan and threw in a golden apple which stated ‘meant for the fairest’ in there. The fiercely jealous and competitive goddesses Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite, wishing to have it for themselves and unable to resolve the issue, took the matter to Zeus. 


Fearing the wrath of the three goddesses, Zeus took the matter up to Paris, son of the King of Troy. Despite born into royalty, he lived as a shepherd for it was prophesied that he would bring ruin to Troy. Nevertheless, being brought in to resolve the issue, he was promised power and riches should he lend his support by Hera, glory and fame by Athene, and the hand of the most beautiful woman on Earth by Aphrodite. Paris chose Aphrodite, earning the wrath of the other two goddess. Then, with the help of Aphrodite, he eloped with Helen, the Queen of Sparta, to Troy. Her husband Menelaus, overcome by grief and anger, gathered a huge army to wage war against Troy. Amongst the ones who backed him was Achilles. 

The War:

The King of Troy’s son Hector, although realizing Paris’ error, prepared Troy for the fight, which ensued for nine long years with no clear victory. Achilles, the bravest in Greek however, refused to fight on after a trifle with Agamemnon, his commander. His friend Patroclus, in an attempt to resolve the fight, wore Achilles’ armour to deceive the Trojans. Hector, however, killed him in a duel. Hearing this, an enraged Achilles killed Hector in turn, robbing Troy of any hopes of winning. 

Achilles’ Heel:

Now, Achilles’ too had a prophecy which stated that he would die young. To protect him, his mother dipped him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable. His heel however, had not been dipped in the river. When Paris was sent to fight Achilles, he killed him with an arrow to his heel.

The Trickery:

The desperate Greeks resorted to trickery. They made the Trojans believe that they had left, only to remain in hiding in a huge, wooden horse until the Trojans opened their city gates. A young Greek, who called himself Sinon, tricked them into believing that the Greeks had indeed abandoned the war and him along for a minor offense but had left the horse as a peace offering to Goddess Athene. The Trojans believed his story and took the horse back to their city and celebrated.


As night fell, Sinon released the horse. The armed Greeks attacked the Trojans in their sleep, killing them by setting a fire. Menelaus thus found Helen and returned with her back to Sparta. This is a tale of heartbreak and tragedy, set off by envy and greed of the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus.