Study Guide

The Judgment of Paris Athena

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Athena is the virgin goddess of wisdom and warfare. We think it's a little weird that she even gets involved in this whole beauty contest. Wouldn't a lady as wise and capable as Athena just not give a crap about the whole who's-the-most-beautiful thing? Oh well, we guess everybody has their vanities. Like Aphrodite and Hera, Athena's priorities are shown when she promises to make Paris skilled in battle. This is also a little uncharacteristic for Athena; though she's a war goddess, she's usually only favors it as a last resort. Unlike Ares, the god of war, Athena doesn't like war for war's sake. In some versions of the story, Athena offers to teach Paris lots of different skills, which sounds a little more like the Athena we know.

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