How Accurate Is: Troy (Film, 2004) Part 4

Cassandra, giving a prophecy. Guess how many people believed her?
Cassandra, giving a prophecy. Guess how many people believed her?

Hello everyone! Today’s post will be fairly brief; I just wanted to write a final post for Troy. Of all the omissions in Troy, there is one as yet unmentioned which was particularly glaring. This was the absence of Cassandra, the famous prophet and princess of Troy. In the original Iliad, Cassandra was simply one of Priam’s daughters; it fell to later poets to give her the gift of prophecy along with the curse to never be believed.[1] She would have made a valuable addition to this film, lending a much-needed sense of historic tragedy; the fate of Cassandra is, after all, among the most tragic of the war. Cassandra was a prophet; she would have known she would be murdered by Clymnestra upon reaching Mycenae, but chose to keep silent about it, either because she knew she would never be believed or simply to spite Agamemnon. The mental fortitude required to know the fate of Troy and all its inhabitants but to have her warnings constantly dismissed is incredible. The absence of this complex side character from the war damages the film immensely.

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How Accurate Is: Troy (Film, 2004) Part 3

Paris being saved by Aphrodite.
Paris being saved by Aphrodite.

I hope everyone had a lovely week, and welcome to part 3 of How Accurate Is: Troy! The subject of today’s post is my personal favourite, Hollywood Romanticism. This subset of historical errors is the most widespread in Hollywood, and represents the love of screenwriters for a happy ending. In Troy, these errors find their expression in any departure from the story of the Iliad which steer Troy towards traditional Hollywood romance and a happy ending; this was almost certainly the largest category of errors in Troy. Many of these changes served to make Troy a happier story than the Iliad, but not necessarily a better one.

One of the first changes in this category is also the most ambiguous; the story of Helen itself. In the Iliad and later literature, as well as in discussions surrounding the story of the Trojan War, there has always hovered the question of whether Helen was taken by force or consented to travelling with Paris.[1] Certainly, both sides of the argument have merit; the film, in the spirit of Hollywood Romanticism, settles on the latter. Helen being in love with Paris ensures the palatability of the story, as it is difficult to root for a kidnapper (not to mention difficult to believe it of Orlando Bloom). Therefore, while this does not represent an error per se, choosing this side of the story does represent a predisposition towards the romantic.

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How Accurate Is: Troy (Film, 2004) Part 2

Poor Hector being retrieved by Priam.
Poor Hector being retrieved by Priam.

Hello everyone! For today’s post about Troy, I will be focusing on my second classification of issues with the film: Anti-Myth Realism. (By the way, if anyone has any opinions on the classification system let me know in the comments, because I am considering incorporating it into future posts.) Anti-Myth Realism was, to anyone who has read the Iliad, perhaps the category that loomed largest when watching Troy. What do I mean by Anti-Myth Realism? Essentially, that Troy decided it did not want to be a movie grounded in Greek mythology. This was either because the director felt strongly about the issue or because it was believed (wrongly, in my opinion) that the mythological aspects of the Iliad would serve only to confuse audiences.

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