What is the story of the Trojan War?

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drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Trojan War erupted following the elopement of Helen of Troy with Paris, son of the King of Troy. The war itself may be based in actual events (see Magill citation, below), but the mythology surrounding it is the stuff of classical literature. According to Greek and Roman mythology, Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world. When she married, her father required all her suitors to sign a pact that they would all support the man chosen to marry Helen. Menelaus won Helen’s hand. After Helen met Paris and fell in love with him, she ran away with him to Troy. All of the Greeks were honor-bound to support Menelaus in making war on the Trojans to retrieve Helen and take revenge on Paris. Because he was the king’s son, the Trojans were compelled to defend him. The legend of the Trojan War is that it lasted for ten years and was ended only after the crafty Odysseus came up with the idea of hiding the Greek soldiers inside the giant Trojan horse, tricking the Trojans into allowing the horse to enter their city.