CLA204H5 Chapter 21: CLA204- Chapter 21

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30 Jul 2016
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CLA204- Chapter 21: The Fall of Troy and Its Aftermath
THE GREEKS AT TROY
The Judgment of the Arms of Achilles
After Hector’s death, allies from far afield came to assist the Trojans. Penthesilea who led a contingent of Amazons, was cut
down by Achilles
oAs she lay dying, he took pity on her, but the wound was mortal. A Greek scoundrel, Thersites, called by Homer
“the ugliest man who went to Troy”, derided Achilles for killing a woman, so Achilles killed him too
Paris, assisted by Apollo, shot down Achilles as he fought near the Scaean gate
After a splendid funreal, the Greeks burned Achilles’ body and mixed his ashes in the jar with those of Patroclus
Achilles’ armor was offered as a prize to the next- best warrior  Ajax
Although it belonged to Ajax, Odysseus claimed it
Sophocles tells the story in his earliest surviving play, how Ajax went mad with anger and his grief at being denied the arms
and how he attacked the Greek captains, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Odysseus, and the others, cutting them to pieces with his
relentless bronze sword- so he thought
When he recovered his senses, he saw himself standing in the midst of a flock of dead sheep, covered in blood from head to
foot
The greek commanders shook w. laughter at his folly. Shamed Ajax walked to a secluded cave near the shore and threw
himself on his sword, the only example of such a suicide in Greek myth.
The Trojan Horse
Although the greatest heroes from both sides were dead, the war still dragged on with no end in sight
Calchas explained that various conditions would have to be met if the city were ever to fall: Achilles’ son Neoptolemus,
conceived when Achilles lived in the women’s quarters on Sycros, would have to join the army; a protective statue of Athena
as city- protector, called the Palladium, which had fallen from heaven, would have to be taken form the city; and the bow of
Heracles would have to enter the action
Neoptolemus was summoned from Scyros; Odysseus and Diomedes, or Odysseus alone disguised as a beggar, sneaked into
Troy and stole the statue; and Odysseus, in the company of Neoptolemus sailed to Lemnos to recover the bow from
Philoctetes, whom the Greeks had cruelly abandoned ten years before
Odysseus instructed an ingenious artisan to construct an enormous wooden horse.
50 warriors- among them Odysseus, Menelaus, Diomedes and Deoptolemus- concealed themselves in the horse’s hollow
belly
The greeks pretended to go home but hid behind the nearby island of Tenedos
A priest of Poseidon, Laocoon also suspected that the horse contained warriors.
oHe came forward and declared Sinon, like all Greeks, to be a liar
oThe horse was a trick, he said, and they should destroy it, and he hurled his spear into the horse’s side
o2 serpents suddenly arose from the sea, made straight for Laocoon and his 2 sons, and strangled them in their coils
as the Trojans watches in horror.
oThe serpents were a sign of the divine anger against a man so impious as to strike the sacred image
The Fall of Troy
The Trojans dragged the horse inside the citadel
oThat night a party of furious joy and abandon raged through the city
In the early morning, the Greeks descended to the ground from the horse’s belly, opened the city’s fates and admitted their
companions, who had returned from Tenedos
oA blood curdling cry pierced the night. Children clung to their mothers’ robes and the slaughter began
oThe Greeks hunted down and killed the Trojan men. They took the women captive. The city burned.
Perhaps the most horrific death was that of old King Priam, whom Achilles’ son Neoptolemus murdered at the altar of Zeus
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