Study Guide

The Judgment of Paris Paris

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Paris is the main man in this story. His name's in the title so chances are he's pretty important. Though the story is called "The Judgment of Paris," we wonder if his judgment is really all that great. When he chooses Aphrodite as the most beautiful of the three goddesses and claims Helen as his prize, he sparks the Trojan War, a ten-year conflict that kills thousands of people and leaves Paris's hometown of Troy in ruins.

We can see why Paris doesn't have all that great of a reputation throughout mythology. Though he's said to be handsome and charming, he's also said to be kind of superficial, selfish, and even a bit cowardly. This is made pretty clear when he sneaks away with the gorgeous Helen, despite the horrible consequences to everyone else. Does he not know what havoc it will bring? Does he not care? Either way, there's no getting around the fact that Paris's judgment is more than a little reckless.

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