I am watching Troy: Fall of a city on Netflix. I know it’s a tragedy, a Greek one, not the fact I’m watching it. You all know the story. Actually, I bet most people don’t anymore. What most of us know are snippets. Achilles’ heel, he was the super strong hero whose only weak point was his heel. Paris, he who gave his name to the city in France steals a beautiful bride. Helen is the bride, but she is already married. This is sounding more and more like a soap. Nothing new under the sun. Homer, not the guy in The Simpsons, but the writer of many Greek tragedies, got there first.
Helen had a face that launched a thousand ships. By that I don’t mean it looked like a champagne bottle. She was so beautiful that Paris fell in love with her at first sight. He seemed to ignore the fact she was married. Let’s be fair to him; so, did she. They both ignored the fact she had a daughter whom he was supposed to be courting. Listen to me, ‘whom’ and ‘courting’, it must be all these Greek stories making me posh. Getting back to Helen’s ship launching face. The reason that quotes about Helen’s face is so well known is this. After Helen ran away to Troy with Paris (Alexander as he was really called; don’t ask) her husband was not happy. Well, he wouldn’t be would he? This was the days before family courts, arbitration, amicable divorce. It was the days before modern civilisation. Anyone who thinks these ancient times were a golden age at the dawn of civilisation has never read any history.
What did Helen’s husband, Menelaus, do? He gathered his brothers, under the leadership of Agamemnon and went to war against Troy. This is where you are probably getting other vague memories. Troy, who lived there, the Trojans? Hang on, wasn’t there a horse? Something about Greeks bearing gifts? Wait a minute! Were Menelaus and his brothers Greeks? Absolutely, it’s all coming back now isn’t it.
The Greeks attacked Troy. This is a fictional story and Homer is keen to include all of the Greek God’s. Zeus, Aphrodite, Hera, Dionysus, Hermes (no parcels involved) etc. They have a rare old time messing around with the lives of the characters in the story. Paris doesn’t know whether he is coming or going. Although he does a lot of both. He does meet up with a tribe of Amazonian women. Something that has always puzzled me is how a tribe of only women has children? Answers on a postcard to…
While Helen does have a beautiful face. One you might believe could have launched a thousand ships against Troy. Due to spite, jealousy and anger, rather than love, the way Netflix tell it. The majority of the onlookers (Greeks and Trojans) have faces that look like they have lunched on a thousand chips. Much like mine.
What can we learn from all this? Don’t watch Netflix? Don’t take stories too seriously? Don’t take my blogs too seriously? Eat less chips? If you are beautiful don’t run off to Paris… I mean with Paris, it will only end badly. Whatever we learn, be gentle on yourself, smile, don’t take life too seriously.
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