The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I forgot to note another thought I had while out with Tyson: Paris and Menelaus are both younger brothers, and each has grown up in the shadow of an older brother who outshines him. It seems to me that they've dealt with this in opposite ways; Paris good-humoredly does his own thing and doesn't care what's said about him, while Menelaus tries to please. Maybe that's just my reading, though. I've just been getting the impression that when Hector rags on Paris, Paris shrugs and says, "Yeah, you're right, I'm more of a ladies' man than a fighter, but give me a sec and I'll get my armor on and do my part in defending Troy." But when Menelaus hesitates to kill because he feels a shred of pity for his disarmed victim, Agamemnon comes up and rags on him (Menelaus)--and M. gets back to mercilessly killing, ASAP. It's like the softness was unacceptable just because Agamemnon said it was, and therefore must be stamped out. To me it seems that Paris has a grounded sense of self, while Menelaus is all about how people perceive him. OTOH, I'm no classics scholar, so who knows. I think maybe the idea might have been that Paris was a coward because men were supposed to be eager for battle glory and because reputation was everything. But I noticed that for all the comments about his hair and his luck with the ladies and his using a bow and arrow instead of a spear or sword, Paris did indeed get out there with his sword and cut a figure on the battlefield. And I noticed that he got somebody real good with an arrow (forget who), and whoever it was berated Paris for cowardice even as he (the wounded guy) turned tail and ran off the field. So I get a mental picture of this guy fleeing in his chariot, clutching his wounded thigh as he yells accusations of cowardice over his shoulder, and his yells are getting fainter and fainter as he gets farther and farther from danger, while Paris probably couldn't even hear him in the first place because he's still in the middle of the fighting.

I'm wondering if maybe the mocking comments about Paris were meant to make him an easy sort of Metrosexual-Foreigner-You-Love-To-Hate character for the Greek audience.

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