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TROY: HOLLYWOOD v. HISTORY
Transcript of TROY: HOLLYWOOD v. HISTORY
: Historically Accurate?
By: Elena Gottesman, Rachel Lee, and Taylor Wilson
As portrayed in the film, it is depicted that the Trojan War only occurred over the course of seventeen days, yet in reality, the war was a ten year siege between the Greek and Trojan forces.
One crucial reason as to why the Trojan War was waged was over the love affair between Helen and Paris, hence the common phrase "the face that launched a thousand ships." Helen fled from Sparta to live with Paris in Troy. In the film, Helen claims that Sparta was never her home. She explains, "My parents sent me there when I was 16 to marry Menelaus." This is historically incorrect considering that her parents were King and Queen of Sparta. Helen, herself, chose Menelaus, a prince of Mycenae, to be her husband, and he gained the throne of Sparta by marrying her.
Are the Names and Dates Fictional?
Accuracy of Set and Costume Design?
The costumes throughout the film are historically correct, portraying weaponry and apparel that parallel to those of the time period.
The set design is mostly accurate, with a protective wall surrounding the city of Troy, making it a very difficult city to conquer.
Some inaccuracies with set design, however, include the following:
The Scamander River ran across the front plains of Troy, yet this was not depicted in the film.
The Trojan War was an epic siege that occurred around 1250 BC between the Greek and Trojan forces. Homer's
is a poetic version of the events, incorporating historical and mythical aspects into the epic poem.
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the movie
is seemingly a historical travesty. The 2004 film, supposedly "inspired" by the text of the
excluded the religious notions of the time period and was instead an over-dramatized war movie that altered historical facts.
Other historical inaccuracies include the fact that, in the film, Hector killed Menelaus in front of both armies to save his brother Paris. Historically, Menelaus did not die during the Trojan War.
Another misinformed aspect of the film is Achilles' supposed "cousin," Patroclus. According to classical history and myth, Patroclus was, in fact, Achilles' lover. While his disguise of Achilles did lead to his death, the facts behind his character were misconstrued in the film
Another falsity in the film is in the realm of religion. Petersen, the director of the film, did not incorporate the influence of the Gods in the decisions made by the Greek leaders. The Gods were a major factor in Greek society, but the film mentioned them on a limited scale.
The names and dates are generally accurate. Although the movie is in many places inaccurate, it does not add fictional characters to the story or give specific dates.
Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War. He is known for defeating Hector outside the gates of Troy. He was killed by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow towards the end of the Trojan War.
Helen of Troy
Scott, A. O. "Troy Film Review: Greeks Bearing Immortality." The
New York Times. The New York Times Company, 14 Mar. 2004. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
"History of the Trojan War." History of the Trojan War. N.p., n.d.
Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
McGurk, Margaret A. "The Truth about 'Troy'" Cincinatti.com. The
Cincinatti Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2004. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
"Trojan War." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 10
Von Tunzelmann, Alex. "No Gods or Gay Men but a Whole Lot of
Llamas." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 28 Aug. 2008. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
Helen of Troy was the wife of King Menelaus. Her abduction by Paris, the Prince of Troy, is the known cause of the Trojan War.
The beginning of the film notes that the war took place about 3200 years ago (about 1196 BC since the movie was released in 2004). This is historically accurate.
Many of the fight scenes are unrealistic and overly dramatized.
Additionally, the romance between characters is overly emphasized and fabricated for the sole purpose of dramatic effect.
Because the historical facts of the Trojan War are based on the "myths" of the
, it is difficult to record the events with total accuracy, leaving much of the history up to these written myths.
Some historical facts presented in the film are as follows:
Achilles fought for the Greeks but was unpredictable and moody (refusing to fight after Agamemnon took away his slave and killing Hector after the death of his cousin, Patroclus, who died in battle dressed as Achilles).
includes the important scene when Hector's father, King Priam of Troy, begs Achilles for his dead son's body. Achilles lets him take it, showing a surprisingly different side to his usually merciless character.
The Trojan Horse
Although there are inaccuracies, the movie does provide perspective on the true motivations behind the Trojan War. It reveals that, although the declared reason for the war was over Helen of Troy, Agamemnon was simply waiting for an excuse to go to war.
During the war, the Greeks moved their ships and hid inside of a hollow wooden horse. The Trojans, thinking that the Greeks had sailed away and left the horse as a gift, brought it into Troy to celebrate. Once inside the walls of the city, the Greeks crept out of the horse and let the rest of the army into the city to destroy it and end the war.
The romance between Helen and Paris is over-dramatized and includes much speculation over the true nature of their relationship (little is known about the depth of their love).
The movie also portrays Helen choosing on her own to go with Paris to Troy, when, in reality, this is not necessarily true.
Although not inaccurate, the disagreement between Paris and King Priam over the Trojan horse is also over-dramatized.