The Trojan War was between the people of Troy and the Greeks. It was started because Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was kidnapped. Upon the demand of her return the Trojans refused and a war had begun. After many years of war and fighting the intelligence of one man helped the Greeks to finish and win the war. The Trojan War had been going on for ten years, and Odysseus had a plan to finally end it, the Greeks built a wooden horse, hid in it, and completely obliterated the Trojans. Odysseus had a great role in the Trojan War. Homer states that the name Odysseus means “victim of enmity”.
Odysseus was king of Ithaca. As king his queen was Penelope and together they had a son named Telemachus. Odysseus was the son of Laertes and Anticleia, who was the daughter of Autolycus of Parnassus. In the Odyssey, “Homer portrayed Odysseus as a man of outstanding wisdom and shrewdness, eloquence, resourcefulness, courage, and endurance” (Odysseus). Odysseus was often aided by the goddess Athena who inspired him to generate a plan to trick the people of Troy and end the war. Odysseus was involved in many important aspects of Greek history, such as the Trojan War. His intelligence, wisdom, and cleverness were crucial traits for the success of the Greeks in the Trojan War. The plan to finally end the war after ten years was to build a large wooden horse.
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Inspired by Athena, Odysseus came up with an idea to have a wooden horse built so a small group of Greek soldiers could hide in it to attack the Trojans. Epeius was the carpenter who built the wooden horse large enough to fit the soldiers inside. The group of soldiers that had to hide inside the horse were under the direction of Odysseus. Besides the soldiers concealed within the horse, all the Greek soldiers pretended to abandon the war and sailed to the nearby island of Tenedos to wait for the signal. One soldier, Sinon, voluntarily stayed behind. Sinon pretended to be hunted by the Greeks so the Trojans would allow him to go into the city.
The purpose of Sinon staying behind was for him to gain a small portion of trust from the Trojans and persuade them to take the horse into the city. He was also to give the agreed upon signal to the other Greeks to come back and attack. “The heroes descend, and light the flames that give to the Greek fleet the agreed upon signal for its return” (Struck).Odysseus had his plan put into action and had the horse placed at the gates of Troy.
Sinon had told the Trojans that the horse was a gift from the Greeks to Athena to apologize for the war. Sinon deceived them and they believed that the horse was a sincere gift and put it outside the temple of Athena. A Trojan named Lacoon warned against taking the horse into the city, but was killed by sea monsters. This event influenced the decision of the Trojans to take the horse into the city because they believed it was a sign related to Sinon’s warning that if the horse was to be destroyed it would be fatal. The Trojans were fooled by Odysseus’s plan and the night the Greeks deserted they began to party. After all the people were done partying and were asleep, Sinon opened the door of the horse to let the small group of soldiers out.
“Odysseus and his fellow warriors then descended from within the horse, opened the city gates, and the Greek army routed the Trojans, defiling temples and mercilessly slaughtering all and sundry” (Cartwright). With the help of the soldiers in the horse, Sinon gave the signal to the nearby Greek army and opened the city gates to let them inside. The Greeks destroyed everything and killed almost everyone. All the people that lived in Troy were either killed or taken into slavery. The only members of the royal house who survived were Helenus, Aeneas, Hector’s wife Andromache, and Cassandra who was taken as a war prize by Agamemnon. The plan Odysseus thought of was a great success, but little did the Greeks know that they would be punished by the gods on their return voyage.
Odysseus had a plan to finally end the ten year Trojan War, the Greeks built a wooden horse, hid in it, and completely destroyed the Trojans in a midnight attack. The Greeks were successful with their attack and the Trojans were not prepared for the Greeks to return to the city of Troy and obliterate their city and all the people within it. After the success of the Greeks in the war their method of success got them to be punished by the gods and had a very long, rough journey back home.