Position: Prince of Troy
Location: Helen's bedchamber
City of residence: Troy
Paris was not a lucky guy. Other than the fact that he'd been blessed-- and I mean really blessed by Aphrodite, he had a fairly tough life.
Before he was even born, soothsayers were running wildly around the palace of Hecuba, his mother, queen of Troy and wife of king Priam of Troy, and his mother was so upset that she started having nightmares-- nightmares that didn't bode well for the soon-to-emerge Paris. She dreamed that she gave birth to a burning log which razed the whole house of Troy to the ground. This definitely didn't bode well for Paris, and so the long and short of it is that they decided to kill him as soon as he emerged.
Since they didn't want to kill him in cold blood, they decided that they would abandon the poor (and good-looking) baby on the top of Mount Ida so the wild beasts could come get him. This was not a good idea, for, as it turns out, the shepherds that people entrust with this sort of thing always have soft hearts. Why, they even let Oedipus live, and Oedipus was doomed ot kill his father and marry his mother. Big hearts, little brains, I guess. The same was true for Paris. He lived. The shepherd took him home and reared him as his son.
Paris grew strong..and handsome..and irresistable. A wood nymph named Oenone bore him a son, Corythus, as they consorted together on Mount Ida. Then, some goddesses appeared before him, escorted by Hermes. It was that darn Golden Apple dispute. Seems he'd had enough time to grow to manhood, and they still hadn't figured out who was the fairest. They caem down and gave him the apple. Poor Paris had to pick the fairest among them, since he was the fairest of men. He also had a good reputation-- he liked to set bulls to fight one another and he always was just in his decision mof the victor. Ares (the god of war) himself played against Paris, and Paris lost. Paris then impressed the god by presenting Ares's winning bull with a golden wreath. But bulls and goddesses are very different beasts...
The goddesses disrobed, and I'm not lying when I say that they looked divine. I mean, they were goddesses. Paris was having the time of his life. He offered to cut the apple into thirds, but they would have none of it. So, they offered him bribes.
Hera offered him dominion over all Asia.
Athena promised that he would become the wisest and most talented of men,a dn the most cunnignw arrior, if he chose her.
And, Aphrodite, knowing her audience, promised him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife if he chose her.
Without further ado, Paris gave Aphrodite the apple.
"WHAT?" you say. "HOW COULD THE GUY HAVE PASSED UP ON ATHENA'S OFFER?"
Frankly, I don't know. But you have to remember that we're dealing with Paris here-- the guy who really, really likes women, the guy who seduced every woman in Troy who wasn't his relative, the guy who would have (er, is that did?) seduced the goddesses themselves if they'd given him half a chance. you have to consider who this guy is. So, he chooses Aphrodite.
Then, some Trojan fool comes and steals his prize bull. Paris is very upset, because he always was fond of that bull, so he bids Oenone farewell (she promises to heal him if he's ever wounded in battle-- talk about random promises) and heads off for troy, determined to win back his bull.
Turns out that his bull is going to be the prize at the trojan version fo the olympic games, so Paris gears up and WINS EVERY EVENT! The crowd goes wild! The women go mad! Paris is in heaven! The women form a line outside his bedchamber, etc., etc... Then his sister Cassandra (a seeress, nobody ever seemed to believe her although she was always right) discovered that he was actually her little brother Paris whom everyone had given up for dead about 18 years ago. You can bet he took his hands off her then. But, that was great news for Troy so everyone turned out to celebrate the return of Paris, whom they saw as blessed by the gods.
Poor Troy. Paris decided he'd set off and pick up Helen, which is exactly what he did. He arrived at Sparta, Menelaus welcomed him, he and Helen made eye contact, Paris began putting the moves on her, MENELAUS DECIDED TO LEAVE FOR A HUNTING TRIP. WHAT A DARNED FOOL! NOBODY BUT A TOTAL IDIOT LEAVES HIS WIFE AT HOME WITH PARIS, OF ALL PEOPLE, TO GO ON A HUNTING TRIP! A HUNTING TRIP, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! AAAAAAAAGH! Paris took advantage of the opportunity,a nd he and Helen sailed away happily for Troy. By the time Menelaus returned, they were off on some island, learning about the birds and the bees, if you take my meaning.
Menelaus couldn't stand for this, so he called the Greeks to war, remembering the Oath of the Horse, and off they went. The war was a bit embarrassing for Paris, because he didn't fight much. he shot Achilles in the heel with an arrow and fought over the body, wounded Diomedes, and did many more less-famous men in, but he did it all fromt he Trojan battlements so he wouldn't get hurt and so that he could easily return to Helen and do, well, whatever it is that you do with women if your name is Paris of Troy.
Now, I'm not saying he's a coward. I'm just calling him an unconventional fighter. The Greeks, however, soon tired of Paris's "unconventional fighting" and brought in a man named Philoctetes with a poisoned arrow who did him in.
Paris died rather slowly, and remembered Oenone's random promise. So, he headed back to the hills of Mount Ida, but Oenone was too angry to honor her promise so he died at her feet. Poor Paris. The women backfired on him. Of course, after he died, Oenone was very, very sad, and threw herself onto his funeral pyre and died with him. Some nymphs say that after their death, entwined roses grew up over their grave. However, most of the other nymphs agreed that while one rose stood over the grave, the other rose was climbing into Helen's bedchamber. I guess that shows something.
When you're Paris, you never do change much.