If you were Paris, whose bribe would you choose? Athena? Aphrodite? Or Hera?

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esoppelt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question deals with the myth of the Judgement of Paris. Zeus, the king of the gods, had a banquet. But he neglected to invite Eris, the goddess of discord. In retaliation, Eris creates a golden apple and says it should be given to the most beautiful goddess. 

Three goddesses believe they have the right to own the apple. They are Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Hera, the goddess of marriage. They ask Zeus to judge between them but he refuses. Instead he assigns the task to Paris, a man who lives in Troy. 

Each of the goddesses offers Paris a gift if he gives them the apple. Athena offers him wisdom and skill in battle. Hera offers him Europe and Asia. Aphrodite offers him the most beautiful woman in the world. 

In the myth, Paris accepts Aphrodite's gift. She gives him Helen of Troy, who was already married. Helen's refusal to return to her husband led to the start of the Trojan War. So Paris may not have made the best decision.