Study Questions Helen of Troy 1. What does Paris say about Agamemnon? That he treated Helen as a slave and he would have attacked Troy anyway. 2. What is Priam’s reaction to Paris’ action? What is Paris’ response? Priam is initially very upset with his son. Paris tries to defend himself and convince his father that he should allow Helen to stay because of her poor treatment. 3. What does Cassandra say when she first sees Helen? What warning does she give? Cassandra identifies Helen as a Spartan and says she does not belong there. Cassandra warns that Helen will bring about the end of Troy. 4. What does Helen say she wants to do? Why do you think she does this? She says she wants to return to her husband. She is probably doing this in an attempt to save lives. 5. What does Menelaus ask of King Priam? Who goes with him? Menelaus asks for his wife back. Odysseus goes with him. 6. How does Odysseus’ approach to Priam differ from Menelaus’? Who seems to be more successful? Odysseus reasons with Priam and tries to appeal to his sense of propriety; Menelaus simply threatened. Odysseus seems to be more successful; Priam actually considers his offer. 7. Why does Priam decide against returning Helen? What offer does he make to her? He finds out that Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter for safe passage to Troy; Agamemnon does not believe that is an action suited to a king. Priam offers Helen the opportunity to become Helen of Troy. 8. What do Agamemnon and Achilles do as the rest of the Greek army lands on the Trojan coast? They disguise themselves and sneak into the city. 9. Hector saves Paris during the fight with Agamemnon. Why does he save he does this? He says he does this because he shares the same blood as Paris. 10. What does Cassandra say must happen in order to avoid the destruction of Troy? Cassandra claims that Paris must die to avoid the destruction of Troy. 11. What does Priam order be done with Cassandra? Why? He orders that she is locked away because he believes that she is crazy. 12. What does Agamemnon propose to end the war? Agamemnon proposes a one on one fight between Paris and Menelaus. 13. In this account, what happens during the fight between Paris and Menelaus? Paris is poisoned and Menelaus defeats him but cannot kill him. Paris does not retreat. 14. What realization does Menelaus make? What does he reveal to Paris about the poison? He realizes that Agamemnon poisoned the spear he is supposed to use. He tells Paris that the poison is not lethal. 15. What does Hector offer? Hector offers to fight Agamemnon in his brother’s place. 16. Who offers to fight in Agamemnon’s place? Achilles offers to fight in Agamemnon’s place. 17. Why does Helen claim Achilles fights? Helen claims that Achilles fights for his own pride and glory. 18. Does Achilles seem to be an honorable character in this version of the story? Why? Achilles does not seem honorable. He kills Hector in an unfair way and then humiliated the body. 19. What is Cassandra’s response to Helen’s question about how to save Paris? She tells Helen that she must surrender herself to Agamemnon. 20. What does Helen do after her conversation with Cassandra? What happens? Helen immediately goes to hand herself over to Agamemnon but he does not accept. 21. Where does Paris go? For what purpose? Paris goes to the Greek camp to try to retrieve Hector’s body. 22. What happens to Achilles? Paris shoots Achilles in the heel with an arrow and he dies. 23. What happens to Paris? Agamemnon kills Paris. 24. What does Priam believe the Greeks have done? Priam believes that the Greeks have retreated. 25. What is discovered outside the walls of the city? A giant horse that they believe to be an offering to the gods. 26. What does Helen caution? Helen cautions that the Greeks cannot be trusted. 27. Why does Priam allow the horse into the walls of the city? He “human sacrifice” left behind tells him that the Greeks built the horse so it would not fit inside the city. 28. In this version what do the Trojans have to do in order to bring the horse inside the walls? They have to knock down part of the wall. 29. Why does Cassandra say Helen’s sacrifice did not work? Cassandra tells Helen that she did not really surrender. 30. Who kills Priam? Agamemnon kills Priam. 31. Who does Agamemnon summon? Agamemnon summons Helen and rapes her. 32. Who appears to help Helen at the end? Her sister Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, appears to help Helen. 33. What happens to Agamemnon? Why? Clytemnestra murders Agamemnon because he killed their daughter Iphigenia. 34. What happens to Helen in the end? Helen leaves with Menelaus, stating that even though she cannot love him, she will follow him.