A Treasury of Literary Classics -
Greek Mythology Series


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  3. Read the short story and answer the following questions.

The Apple of Discord - The Story of the Trojan War

The Trojan War was the greatest war in ancient Greek history. Homer, a blind poet, documented the events of the Trojan War back in 800 B.C. in The Iliad, the first of his two epic poems about the ancient Greeks. The story selected is adapted from Homer's work and it chronicles the battle based on the real Trojan War. In Homer's work, the fight among the goddesses for the golden apple was presented as the catalyst for the Trojan War.

1. Why wasn't Eris invited to King Peleus and Thetis's wedding?

A. King Peleus and Thetis forgot Eris when they planned their guest list.
B. Eris was known for being poor and would only bring an apple as a present.
C. King Peleus and Thetis wanted to avoid conflict and have a peaceful party.
D. Eris could not get along with other gods and goddesses who attended the wedding.

Your answer:

In the first paragraph:

"... ungracious party guest. Indeed, she was known to start disastrous arguments."

2. What did the following goddesses promise to give Paris in exchange for his favour?

Goddesses Brides offered to Paris
a. Hera
b. Athena
c. Aphrodite

"Hera offered Paris military glory, Athena offered him worldly wisdom, and Aphrodite offered Paris the fairest woman on Earth."

3. Which of the following is NOT an accurate description of the suitors' vow?

A. The vow was intended to avoid conflicts and ensure peace.
B. The vow required all suitors to protect Helen and her husband when they were in danger.
C. The suitors' vow helped Agamemnon to form a Greek army against Troy.
D. Artemis was angry about the vow and started a terrible storm.

Your answer:

A & B: "So many suitors were there that Tyndareus feared his Kingdom would be split in civil war if he chose the wrong husband for his "daughter". He contrived a vow to be taken by all of the many suitors. If Helen or her husband came to distress, all of the other suitors were to come to their aid."
C: "Agamemnon, seeking glory on the battlefield, took advantage the of the suitors' vow and united the forces into a magnificent fleet to take Troy."
D: "The winds howled and torrential rains drenched the land. Calchas, the Greek prophet, told Agamemnon that the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, was angry with the Greeks."

4. Who was NOT a suitor of Helen according to the story?

A. Menelaus
B. Agamemnon
C. Odysseus
D. Achilles

Your answer:

A: Menelaus was the chosen husband of Helen.
B: Agamemnon was Menelaus' brother who formed the army against Troy.
C: Odysseus had been one of Helen's suitors, so he had to honour his vow.
D: Achilles was forced to join the Greek fleet despite his dressing as a woman, which implies that he was one of the suitors who had taken the vow.

5. Put the events in the correct order to show Odysseus's plan to enter the walls of Troy.

  1. The Greeks pretended to give up fighting and retreat by water.
  2. Odysseus ordered a large hollow wooden horse to be made to hide soldiers inside.
  3. The Trojans broke down the wall to take the big horse into the city.
  4. The Greeks attempted to capture Troy in vain for a decade.
  5. A Greek soldier spread rumours that the large wooden horse carried the god's favour.

A. (iv) --> (ii) --> (i) --> (v) --> (iii)
B. (iv) --> (i) --> (ii) --> (v) --> (iii)
C. (ii) --> (iv) --> (v) --> (i) --> (iii)
D. (ii) --> (i) --> (v) --> (iii) --> (iv)

Your answer:

6. Which of the following adjectives best describes Odysseus?

A. stubborn
B. caring
C. resourceful
D. compassionate

Your answer:

A. stubborn: unwilling to change one's opinion or postion on something

B. caring: showing kindness and concern for others

C. resourceful : having the ability to find quick and clever ways to deal with problems

D. compassionate : having sympathy and concern for others

"Odysseus devised a plan full of cunning that was sure to get the Greek army inside the walls of Troy."

7. What happened after the Greeks entered the city of Troy?

A. Menelaus found Helen and killed her.
B. The Greeks carried out mass killing and destruction.
C. The Greeks took all the royal Trojan treasure.
D. The Trojan horse was burnt.

Your answer:

"Once all the Greeks were inside of the city, mass destruction and chaos broke loose."

8. "The Trojan Horse was ultimately the demise of the Trojans, and still stand today as evidence that brains, not brawn , will often win the battle."
"Brain(s)" and "brawn" are often used in idiomatic expressions in English. Based on the excerpt above and the following examples, what do you think is the meaning of the word "brawn"?
(i) John has both brains and brawn. He is good at both studies and sports.
(ii) Tim is all brawn and no brains and always gets into troubles.

A. wisdom
B. manners
C. good appearance
D. physical strength

Your answer:

Study Example (i)

When you have brains, you are good at studies. When you have brawn, you are good at sports.

9. In the story, the Greek soldiers were able to take the city of Troy after a fruitless ten-year siege by hiding in a giant wooden horse. "The Trojan Horse" (or in brief "Trojan") is now used as an idiomatic expression and metaphor in English to mean:

A. a person who is hard-working and determined
B. a programme to attack the computer system
C. a trap intended to deceive and undermine a rival
D. a well presented but useless gift

Your answer:

10. "Apple of discord" is often used as an idiomatic expression in modern English. Based on the story and the following examples, which do you think is NOT a meaning of the expression?
(i) Zoe and Susan are no longer talking to each other. What is the apple of discrod?
(ii) The right to host the next Olympic Games is an apple of discord between the two countries.
(iii) The ancestral property has become an apple of discord among the siblings.

A. a source of trouble or unhappiness
B. a topic to be avoided for social reasons
C. an issue that sows anger and jealousy
D. a cause of argument or rivalry

Your answer:

Options A, C and D are similiar in meaning. A topic to be avoided for social reasons is called a taboo.

The Apple of Discord - The Story of the Trojan War

Score Sheet

Questions Results
Question 1
Question 2a
Question 2b
Question 2c
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8
Question 9
Question 10

Extension: Think and Share

11. If you were Paris, which goddess would you give the gold apple to? Why?

12. A femme fatale is an irresistibly attractive woman who leads men into danger, downfall or destruction. Would you consider Helen a femme fatale? Why or Why not?