The Iliad is a timeless tale of war, revenge, and fate. But who is this Paris we hear so much about? Is he just an angelic figure from Greek mythology or does he have a more important role to play in this epic poem?
Paris is the son of Priam and Hecuba, King and Queen of Troy. He is also the brother of Hector and husband to Helen of Sparta. In Homer’s classic epic poem, Paris serves as a main character. As a young prince, he was sent away by his father in order to protect him from prophesied danger. His absence allowed him to return to Troy with gifts for Aphrodite—the goddess of beauty—in exchange for her help in choosing him as the most beautiful man on earth. This fateful decision would set in motion events that would ultimately lead to the Trojan War.
Paris plays an integral role in Homer’s Iliad because it was his choice that set off a chain reaction leading up to the Trojan War. Without Paris’s decision, there would be no war between Greece and Troy—or at least not one on such an epic scale as portrayed in Homer’s work. His selection also serves as an example of how fate can control our lives; despite attempts by both gods and mortals alike, events still unfold according to their predetermined paths. This theme is repeated throughout the poem as characters struggle against destiny and ultimately fail due to its overpowering presence.