It’s All About Me, Paris

Of course it is, although you could say it’s all about me, Alexandros. This is the name I was born with. Personally I much prefer Paris. Alexandros is so warlike. I’ve spurned war, even when she bats her eyelashes at me in the guise of wisdom.

Yes, you may have heard about that. The Judgment of Paris? I’ve turned my back on my wives as well. The way they hide their beauty within the bondage of respectable marriage, only to plot and scheme, struggling to escape their husbands’ hold. Ugh. Such machinations only take a toll on a woman’s beauty.

Do you truly wonder at the choice I made? I rescued the most beautiful woman in the world from the bondage I described.

Helen deserves to be free, to offer herself completely to Love!

For that’s my choice. Always. Love and the lady who offers it.

Some accuse me of stealing Helen. Others accuse Aphrodite of bewitching her. Why, who wouldn’t be bewitched by Aphrodite, loveliest of all Olympians? I myself decreed her so with the blessing of Zeus. The very King of the Olympians values my judgment and taste above all mortals. Why don’t more people respect me?

Why do my own brothers scorn me? I’ll wager they’re jealous. Our father loves me more than all the rest. Like Zeus, he sees my true value. None of my brothers can bear it, especially sweet little Troile. None of my sisters either. They can barely keep from gnashing their teeth with envy at the sight of me. After all, I’m prettier than any of them. Now I’ve brought home a woman who makes all of them look like hags except for Cassandra. She was a hag long before Helen showed up. There’s also that pretty little thing, Troile’s twin, what was her name? Ah, yes, Polyxena. I’m surprised I never noticed her before. I guess she’s been with the Amazons, whose company I wouldn’t expect any maiden to endure. Cressida should be able to help her unlearn any coarse habits picked up from those humourless warrior women. Honestly, the Amazons are as bad as the Achaens, all hair and surly expressions. I’ll tell you why they’re surly. They’re afraid their wives will take a second look at them and see how ugly they are. More Achaen women might be inspired by Helen’s flight to leave their domineering piles of ugliness to find love and beauty.

For that’s what I follow, love and beauty. I once lived with a nymph, whom I abandoned when a goddess beckoned me with a more beautiful woman. You may think me faithless, but who am I to spurn the will of the gods? Least of all the most beautiful of the lot, whom I chose as the fairest? Who am I to spurn Aphrodite’s offering?

To do so would be truly faithless. I shall never lose my faith. Not in beauty.

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