The gods have foretold a grim future for the youngest son of the queen, and so they have been told to leave the baby in the forest where it will fall to the elements. Instead, he is found by a farmer and raised as his own. The goddesses who are feuding over the golden apple, as to which is the fairest, see the handsome young man and decide to have him settle the debate. He chooses Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, but in doing so, he angers the other two goddesses, Hera and Athene.
While they know who the young man is, he himself does not yet know that his father is the King. When his mother sees him and realizes who he is, Paris is welcomed back into the family, the grim prophecy forgotten. When Paris hears of a woman who is more beautiful than anyone other woman in the world, he forgets his own love, and sets sail to the Greek shores to determine for himself the beauty of Helen.
When he arrives, he is greeted by King Menelaus, and soon after, he is able to meet the queen, Helen. Paris is immediately taken with her and falls madly in love with her. When her husband and his companions ride out, Paris convinces Helen to return to Troy with him. When Menelaus returns home and finds Helen has left with Paris, he is angry. He calls for all of his allies to unite and wage war against Troy. When Menelaus gets to Troy, single combat is challenged with Helen being the prize to the winner, which King Menelaus accepts. But during their spar, Aphrodite throws a cloak of invisibility around Paris and whisks him back to the safety of his house. Helen knows that she should be back with her husband Menelaus, but Aphrodite convinces her to remain with Paris.
This week we are reading The Golden Apple – Single Combat (pages 1-31)
- Do you think the family should have remembered the prophesy about Paris?
- What do you think about the clause Helen’s father placed on all her suitors?
- Why should the gods and goddesses take such pleasure in messing with the lives of mortal men?