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Questions about people and myths

Archimonde#3681Archimonde#3681 Registered Users Posts: 83

I always believed that people love mythology and old myths because it’s a door for understanding ancient civilizations.
But after reading a few discussion on this forum and on the totalwar reddit, it seems that I was wrong. A lote of people tend to like the story, like a film script or TV series.

I read a lot of “Pâris/Alexander is weak, he is a traitor, nobody like him, he is the reason of the war the war, he is a coward”, etc.
I can only question myself ? Why ? Why people see Pâris like a true person ? Why such drama for a fictional character ?

Here is three attempts of answers :
1) Too much feelings? They are so fan of the heroes that they forget it is a story
2) They don’t have enough scientifical or historical interests about the myths and their creation
3) Cheating or “stealing a wife” is a taboo and people tend to react with strong emotion. They tend to be at the cuckhold’s side.

Have you other idea ? What do you think ?

The case of Pâris looks like Geoffrey of Game of Thrones or Skyler White in Breaking Bad.

If you don’t like Pâris, please don’t explain me the reasons, it’s too obvious. But instead the cause of it (if you know it).

Have a good day.

PS : Sorry for my English, please correct me if


  • BECKETT1994BECKETT1994 Registered Users Posts: 4
    Having read the Illiad twice, now reading it for a third time since this games release, and being a great lover of Ancient Greek history anyway, that includes the myths and legends because they are part and parcel. Also I dated a girl who was a student of Ancient Greek history so maybe I can answer this.

    People hate Paris because Homer wants us to hate him. Which makes three of your ideas correct.

    In the Iliad, Hector hates on his brother, Helen hates on Paris and they are supposed to be man and wife, lastly even the Trojan soldiers hate on him. Helen even wishes to return to her former husband Menelaus because she despises Paris before Aphrodite shouts her into submission and forces her to his bedchamber.

    Homer portrays Paris as a coward, when Paris steps up to fight a duel and Menelaus takes up the offer, Paris fears for his life. The Trojans and Greeks during the preparation for the duel pray Paris is killed so the war will end sparing them the fighting. Aphrodite whisks him away before he is killed though.

    In other tellings about the end of the Trojan war and its outcomes Paris kills Achilles with a bow which has for centuries been seen as a cowards weapon. Nobody likes the character who kills the hero especially when it is in a cowardly fashion.

    Paris is the closest thing to an antagonist we have on the Trojan side. He seduced a man's wife, that in turn started a war that no one wanted (obviously apart from Agememnon) and he is dispised by all except Aphrodite because he is her favourite.

    If you've ever seduced another man's lady you'll know that people often don't take kindly and that is probably due to an inherently universal human trait. I've been there done that and so I have idea that Paris' cowardice is in part because he hates himself and doesn't want to appear to let anyone down even further by making a miserable display of his prowess in battle. Paris has his moments in the lime light, when Paris rejoins Hector in the fight after the duel, Hector even remarks that he doesn't truly believe Paris is all that much of a coward so maybe him hating himself is more true then we think. I mean he did have the balls to steal a Spartan King's wife, that isn't something done lightly or the act of a complete coward.

    In short the cause of the hate on Paris being so wide spread is because nearly everyone has heard of the Trojan War (so lack of understanding or knowledge probably isn't the reason) and he plays a big part in the reason why we even have a Trojan War and he isn't an all round likeable character.

    Hopefully this explains the cause of the hate for you.
  • Archimonde#3681Archimonde#3681 Registered Users Posts: 83
    Thank you for your answer BECKETT1994. It was interesting to read it.
    But I'm partially satisfied with your explanation.

    -"Homer portrays Paris as a coward, when Paris steps up to fight a duel and Menelaus takes up the offer, Paris fears for his life."

    There is many counter-examples of coward character who is loved by the public. Just another mythical example, Loki in the Viking Legends.

    He is depicted like THE trickster, the true coward, the guy who always create problems, a stealer and a liar, the great traitor, the origin of Ragnarök ... Every tales and legends represent Loki like a miserable and bad god. BUT in Pop-culture, everybody seems to like this character.

    -"Paris kills Achilles with a bow which has for centuries been seen as a cowards weapon. Nobody likes the character who kills the hero especially when it is in a cowardly fashion."

    In our modern society, using a bow is no more a cowardly method. Robin Hood, Legolas, John Rambo, Hawk-Eye, etc. … Instead, badass guys use it ! Nowadays, English people see the long bow as an important weapon of their military history.
  • BECKETT1994BECKETT1994 Registered Users Posts: 4
    You're welcome.

    You are right, there are examples of cowardly characters being loved or popular. Most of those have redeeming factors to their story, personality traits or have been reinvented in a more modern approach though. We live in a time now were most men have grown soft, never been in a fight because fighting is seen as the wrong choice and so it is discouraged. I was a soldier, I've worked security in nightclubs and now I'm a bodyguard, I've seen and been in more fights than the majority of people yet most of the job, especially working security is being "nice" to people to discourage the fighting; they could end up being arrested and if I fight with them, I could lose my job and be arrested.

    This lack of encouragement in modern times to fight makes heroes that win through knowledge, wisdom or rhetoric compelling and attractive to people just as much as the big action stars or heroes of old. Besides, intelligence and charisma is more attractive to women than a man's ability to bludgeon another man to death now adays so men want to replicate those traits in themselves. That's why most arguments go on forever, both men and women, because it is back and forth trying to be more clever. Most arguments are silly, petty things that could be solved in two seconds with a good slap followed by an agreeable handshake then walking away. I am serious. Most of us think it but are worried about repercussions.

    Old myths were stories told at a time when men killed each other for sport and disagreements ended in bloodshed, just as often as words. Cowards therefore were not high on the popularity scale.There are heroes that use words at times over the sword; Oedipus and the Sphinx Riddle, Orpheus the legendary poet who charmed his way through the underworld to retrieve his wife, even Herkales isn't all bloodshed. Jason and the Argonauts is a good example, Jason is not a renowned fighter but he did kill a giant boar, he isn't exactly the brightest crew member and he isn't much of a leader, in the beginning he relies heavily on Herakles, even voting him to be leader. Yet Jason develops through jounrey, goes on to retrieve the golden fleece and is a much beloved hero because he became successful.

    Loki for example is charismatic it is in part because he is the trickster God, he also has his moments of helping the other Gods, even if it is to further his own agenda. Loki also has a powerful mysticism about him in both the old sagas and modern retellings which is attractive. In the Marvel movies Loki is played by Tom Hiddleston, who is a good looking guy, if he was played by someone less appealing he may not be so beloved. Besides their is a simple reason, Loki is a God, even the bad and terrible Gods are to be respected and given their dues. All God's do bad things, yet all have their place.

    In Homer's The Iliad Paris has his beauty and his ability with a bow. Beauty as a trait can be over looked if the personality is not on par, Paris on the inside just doesn't quite match his appearance, not even Helen after she got over his beauty found that much to desire in him. Today everyone remembers Helen's beauty as the face that put a thousand ships to sea, few people remember Paris for his beauty.

    As for the bow, Paris is remembered for his ability in his use of the weapon although that coincides with the death of Achillies for many. If Tom Hiddleston as Loki killed Chris Hemsworth as Thor, with or without a bow then maybe people wouldn't be all that crazy for Loki today because people wouldn't be able to look past his faults and flaws.

    The bow has become a very respected and well loved weapon today in modern times, it is true even in ancient times it was but for different reasons depending on where you were from. For most of human history it really was a loathsome weapon for a man to use on the battlefield, it was a hunters tool, not a weapon of war.
    The Greeks and Romans distained the use of bows in battle.
    Herakles gave the Titans and many others a hard time with a bow.
    Both Odysseus and Paris were renowned for their skill with a bow, yet Odysseus did not use one in battle. Paris even uses a shield, spear and javelin in battle at least to begin with. There is one other character in the Iliad that uses a bow, both Diomedes and Menelaus did not take kindly to this guy though.
    The Persians gave the Greeks a hard time using the bow during their long history.
    The Parthians, Huns, Mongols and Seljuks all gave the Romans a hard time.
    Then the English gave the French a hard time.

    And so the bow has gone down as a beloved weapon, mostly due to the fact that it enabled the underdog to win otherwise unwinnable battles.

    In Total War Saga: Troy though I don't believe any of the Homeric heroes should use a bow it just isn't true to the Iliad.
    Paris should have it is an optional upgrade, same goes for Odysseus I guess, despite not using a bow until the end of his journey home in the Odyssey.
    Archer heroes should be like recruitable captains from Warhammer II, that would have made more sense.
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