English & EAL

Women of Troy by Euripides (Don Taylor's version)

Lindsey Dang

October 4, 2020

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This blog was updated on 05/10/2020.

Being one of the few texts that was added to the text list this year, Euripides’ play Women of Troy is definitely a daunting task for English (& EAL) students to tackle due to the lack of resources and essay prompts available. In fact, the only materials that can be found on the internet are those analysing the older translation of the play (titled The Trojan Women). That is why we are here to help you as much as we can by offering you a mini-guide of Women of Troy, in the hope that you can get a head start with this play.

Women of Troy is usually studied in the Australian curriculum under Area of Study 1 - Text Response. For a detailed guide on Text Response, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response.

Contents

1. Summary

2. Historical Context

3. Literary Devices

4. Themes

5. Characters

6. LSG-Curated Essay Topics

7. A+ Essay Topic Breakdown

Summary

Women of Troy is a tragedy which takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Trojan war, critiquing the atrocities committed by the Greeks to both people of Melos and Troy. By constructing a play in which women are able to dominate the stage and exude their genuine despair in response to their impending enslavement, Euripides shifts the perspectives from epic tales of Greek and Trojan male heroes to the conversely affected women who suffered at the hands of the heroes while simultaneously providing both the contemporary and modern audience with a unique insight into the true cost of wars. This is especially significant because the society was pervaded by patriarchal values, where women were subordinated to their male counterparts. Euripides’ proto-feminist works were not well received by his peers at the time of writing as women’s personal thoughts and pain were not commonly discussed in the Hellenic repertoire.

Historical Contexts

The Trojan war occurred as a result of the conflict between Greece and Troy and was said to last for over 10 years. According to a tale, during a festival on the Olympus, Athena, Aphrodite and Heras were fighting over a golden apple. They chose a random mortal, which was Paris who would then be the Prince of Troy, to decide who the most beautiful goddess of the three was. As a reward for picking her, Aphrodite promised Paris that he would be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, which was Helen – wife of Menelaus, the Spartan prince. Aphrodite had her son Eros (a cupid) enchant Helen and Paris so that they would fall endlessly in love with each other. Helen then escaped from Menelaus’ palace to be with Paris, starting the war between Greece and Troy. Menelaus was enraged he convinced his brother Agamemnon to lead an expedition to retrieve Helen. The Greek army was commanded to attack the Trojans. The siege lasted for more than 10 years until the Greeks came up with a strategy to abduct Helen from the palace. The Greek soldiers build a giant wooden horse and hid in there to get in the citadel of Troy, attacking them in the middle of the night and won the war. After the war the Greek heroes slowly made their way home. However, the journey home was not easy, Odysseus took 10 years to make the arduous journey home to Ithaca because Poseidon agreed to punish the Greeks for the atrocities committed before and after their victory.

Themes

Wars

Love and lust

Euripides’ works often warn the audience of the detrimental effects brought on by excessive passion, asserting that it is best to moderate emotions and exhibit sophrosyne (the power of self-control over one’s emotions). He often criticizes the goddess of love, Aphrodite for enchanting mortals and leading them into a life governed by love and lust. In this play, he purports that it is inherently Aphrodite’s fault that the Trojans are fighting against the Greeks, as it is Aphrodite who makes Paris and Helen endlessly fall in love with each other.

Potential textual evidence:

In Women of Troy, Euripides presents a particularly acerbic critique on Menelaus’ “uncontrollable lust” in “sen[ding] a hunting party to track down Helen” as he juxtaposes the cost of the Trojan war being and the prize that they receive.

  • “tens of thousands dead”  
  • “giving up the pleasure of his family and children”
  • “these Greeks [beginning] to die”

→ All that in exchange for one woman - Helen

His chastisement is further bolstered by Cassandra’s rhetorical question asking “they kept on dying, for what reason”. This manoeuvres the audience into acknowledging the pointlessness of the Trojan war as it is not worth risking so many lives over Helen or any minor military conflict. In doing so, Euripides once again lambastes the actions of those vindictive and bloodthirsty Greeks.

Cost of war

The play primarily focuses on the loss and pain of the Trojan civilians that survived the war and are sieged in the city after the war and are eventually either killed or enslaved after the Fall of Troy. While the Trojan war is the setting of many famous classical works being examined by various different angles, not many focus on the consequences suffered by women. This enables Euripides to raise the question of whether or not such victory is worth fighting for while simultaneously inviting the audience to emulate the playwright’s disapprobation of such a violent and brutal resolution of conflict.

You can also use the evidence from the above to justify your arguments on the cost of wars. They all aim to magnify the extent to which the Trojan people, as well as the Greeks have to suffer as result of this pointless war.

Potential textual evidence:

We can also discuss how wars affect beliefs and their people’s faith. In the Hellenic society, Gods have always been a significant part of their life as it is believed that mortals’ lives are always under the influence of divine intervention. This is evidenced through the ways in which Hellenic people build temples and make sacrifices to the Gods, thanking the Gods for allowing them to live prosperous lives and begging for their forgiveness whenever they wrong others. This is why it is significant when Hecuba referred to the Gods as “betrayers” in her lamentation, implying that there is a change in attitude in time of tragedy. Events such as this make people question their fate and belief, galvanising them to wonder “what good [gods] were to [them]”.

Integrity and sense of duty

Some characters in Women of Troy are also fundamentally driven by their sense of duty and integrity and act according to their moral code regardless of what the circumstances may be. Hecuba, for instance, sympathises with the Chorus of Troy and acts as a leader even when she lost her title and her home. She is held responsible for her actions but is still governed by her honesty, integrity as Helen makes her plea. Talthybius is also governed by both his sense of duty and integrity. Despite his understanding of Hecuba’s circumstances, he still follows his order and ensures that the Trojan women are allocated to their Greek households. However, he does not disregard her sense of morality and treats Hecuba with understanding and sensitivity.

Helen, on the other hand, does not demonstrate the same degree of moral uprightness. In time of tragedy, she chooses to lie and shift the blame to others to escape her execution. She prioritises her own benefits over everyone else’s and allows thousands of others to suffer from the impacts of her treachery in eloping with Paris.

God/Fate

The prologue of the play opens with a conversation between Poseidon and Athene, foreshadowing their divine retribution against the Greeks. Witnessing the immediate aftermath of the Trojan war, they curse the war which they ironically themselves initiated, thus condemning the horrific injustice of the conflict and the actions of its vengeful and blood thirsty so-called heroes. This is evidenced through the ways in which they punished Odysseus by creating obstacles on his journey home.

However, it can also be argued that the gods in Women of Troy themselves act as a symbol of injustice in a way. From the feminist view, the Fall of Troy and the enslavement of Trojan women demonstrate the gods’ lack of care as they disregard the monstrosities that occur to women after the Greeks’ victory. The divine intervention which is promised in the beginning casts the following injustices cursed upon the women of Troy in a different light as it can be argued that they caused the war. While their retribution against the Greeks can be seen as a means to punish the heroes, it is evident that that they are more concerned about the sacrilege committed and the disrespect they receive after the Trojan war than the injustices suffered by women. This thereby humanises s the gods and fortifies the notion that they also have personal flaws and are governed by their ego and hubris.

The idea that there are forces beyond human control is enhanced, and Poseidon and Athene’s pride proves that humans are just innocent bystanders at the mercy of the gods. It can be argued that the chain of unfortunate events are unpredictable as they are determined by gods, whose emotions and prejudices still control the way they act. On the other hand, the characters in the play do at times make choices that would lead to their downfall and tragic consequences. For instance, it is Menelaus who decided to go after the Trojans just because of one woman and he was not enchanted or under any influence of divine intervention.

Gender roles

Euripides centres his play on Trojan women, enabling the discussion on the cause and effect of war. Given that female’s points of view were not commonly expressed in plays or any forms of art works, Euripides’s decision to have his play focus on women allows the Athenian audience, comprised of mainly male Athenians, to observe a part of the military conflict that was not seen before.

The protagonist Hecuba, for example, is portrayed as the archetypal mother. While this image is presented during the aftermath of the Trojan war, Euripides also uses Hecuba as a representative of contemporary Hellenic women as this archetype is universal for all circumstances. It is evident that Euripides’ play mainly focuses on Hecuba’s grief, with her lamentation dominating the prologue. This implies that the protagonist, in this instance, also acts as a diatribe against the patriarchal society which allows women to suffer greatly as a result of wars and military conflict. However, this play differs from other plays written by Euripides in that he also explores a woman’s burden and responsibility as a leader, allowing the audience to understand the difficulties of being woman of power in time of crisis.

Characters

Hecuba

Mother of Troy

Potential textual evidence:

  • In employing the simile comparing herself to “a mother bird at her plundered nest”, Hecuba reminds the audience of her endless love for the city of Troy, implying that the devastation of her own home also further deepens her pain. In this scene, Hecuba is portrayed as a female leader who rules with her passion and love.  
  • The image her Hecuba as an empathetic Queen is also exemplified through the ways in which she “weep[s] for [her] burning home”. As the term “home” invokes connotation of warmth and affection, Hecuba’s endearment for the city she governs is established, accentuating the portrayal of Hecuba as a leader with a passion for her duties.
  • This in turn propels the audience to be more inclined to feel commiseration for her when she is held responsible for her city’s destruction. As the representative of Troy’s leadership that enables such brutality to occur leading to the wars, Hecuba bears the guilt and responsibility for “[giving] birth to all the trouble by giving birth to Paris” and consequently for the cataclysmic consequences that ramified from Paris’ involvement with Helen (although she is simply an innocent bystander) → Social accountability for war
Mother of her children

Potential textual evidence:

  • From the outset of the play, the former queen of Troy is portrayed as a miserable mother suffering from the loss of her own children and “howl[ing] for her children dead” (echoed by the Chorus, referred to as “howl of agony”). By employing animalistic language in describing Hecuba’s act of mourning over Hector’s death as a Euripides intensifies the magnitude of her emotional turmoil as it is likened to a loud and doleful cry usually uttered by animals → It is almost not humanly possible to endure so much pain
  • This notion is bolstered by the image of Hecuba drowning in “her threnody of tears” as it engages the pathos of the audience, establishing her as a victim of war and emphasizing the poignant story that is to be unveiled.
  • The simile comparing herself to a woman “dragged as a slave” in her lamentation further fortifies Hecuba’s portrayal as a victim of a play. Here, the juxtaposition between her former title “by birth [as] Troy’s ... Queen” and her current state magnifies the drastic change in life and the loss she suffered, compelling the audience to better sympathise with Hecuba. → Powers can be ephemeral in times of crisis

Talthybius

Talthybius is sympathetic towards women, establishing himself as a complicated figure with a strong sense of integrity. This is epitomised through the ways in which he employs euphemistic language when announcing the dreadful news to Hecuba. He tries his best to be sensitive and mitigate the impacts of Hecuba’s daughter death to her, announcing that Polyxena “is to serve Achilles at his tomb” and that “her fate is settled” “all her troubles are over”. He was being sensitive and subtle instead of abruptly delivering the news. While he represents an enemy state, he shows that men can also be compassionate, contradicting the Phallocentric belief that men should only be governed by cool logic.

Chorus of Trojan women

It can be argued that Hecuba acts as the paradigm of the Trojan women as her pain, in a way, represents the suffering of the majority of Hellenic women in time of war (i.e. the deaths of her children, slavery, the devastation of her city), which enhances Euripides’ condemnation of a society where military conflicts can easily be facilitated. The Chorus of the play often echoes her deepest pain, establishing a sense of camaraderie between female characters of the play.

In this play, the Chorus acts as the voice of the “wretched women of Troy”, representing the views of the unspoken that are objectified and mistreated by their male counterparts. After Troy lost the war, women were seen as conquests and were traded as slaves, exposing the unfair ethos of a society that was seen as the cradle of civilisation. By allowing the Trojan women to express their indignation and enmity as a response to their impending slavery, Euripides is able to present a critique on the ways in which women were oppressed in Ancient Greece.

Literary Devices

  • Simile (e.g. dragged as a slave)
  • Euphemism (e.g. serve Achilles at his tomb – euphemism for death)
  • Symbolism (e.g. Hector’s shield or Troy’s citadel)
  • Animal imagery (e.g. howl of agony)
  • Rhetorical question (e.g. for what reason)

Why are these important? Have a watch at how we integrated literary devices as pieces of evidence in this essay topic breakdown:

Video Transcription

Staged in a patriarchal society, Women of Troy was set during the immediate aftermath of the Trojan war – a war between the Greeks and the Trojans. Hecuba is the former queen of Troy, who suffered so much loss as the mother of her children as well as the mother of Troy. She lost her son Hector and her husband in the Trojan war, her daughter Polyxena also died and Cassandra was raped. After the Greeks won, women were allocated to Greek households and forced into slavery, including the Queen of Troy.  She was also the mother of Paris, the prince of Troy. It was purported that Paris and Helen were responsible for initiating the war as Helen was governed by her lust for Paris and left Menelaus, the Spartan prince, for this young prince of Troy. Consequently, Menelaus was enraged by this elopement and declared that he wanted Helen dead as a punishment for her disloyalty. Helen defended herself and lied that it was against her will, crying that she was kidnapped and blaming Hecuba for the Fall of Troy and for the conflict between the two sides. However, Menelaus did not believe in what Helen had to say and decided to bring her back to her home on a separate ship.

The play ended with the Greek ships leaving Troy, which was then on fire. The Trojan were singing a sad song together as they left to prepare for their new lives as slaves living in Greek households.

The play’s main focus is on the suffering of women, as exemplified by the way Euripides chose to portray Hecuba’s loss and Cassandra’s helplessness.

So, our essay prompt for today is

How does Euripides use the structure of the play to explore the role of women and their suffering in time of war?”.

This is indeed one of the more challenging prompts that VCAA wouldn’t probably give, reason being it is a language/structure-based prompt. It requires you to have a much more profound knowledge of the text, and it is not always easy to spot language features, especially in a poetic sounding play like Women of Troy. There is just so much going on in the text! While it is not super likely that you will get this prompt for the exams, I have seen a lot of schools give language/ structure-based prompts to students for SACs as it gives them an opportunity to challenge themselves and look for textual evidence that will distinguish them from their peers. These types of evidence are definitely worth looking for because they can also be used as evidence to back up your arguments for theme-based or character-based prompts.

Now let’s get started.

The first thing I always do is to look for keywords. The key words in this prompt are “structure”, “role of women” “suffering”.

With the structure of the play, we can potentially talk about:

  • Character-related evidence (e.g. strong female character base)
  • Language-related features (metalanguage/ literacy devices)
  • Plot-related features (order of events) – irony, foreshadowing

In a male-dominated, patriarchal society, women are often time oppressed and seen as inferior. Their roles in the society were limited, they were only seen as domestic housewives and mothers. It is important to look for evidence that either support or contradict this statement. Ask yourself:

  • Is Euripides trying to support the statement and agree that women are simply creatures of emotions should only stick with domestic duties?
  • Or is he trying to criticise this belief by showing that women are so much more than just those being governed by their emotions?

Since this play primarily focuses on the cost of wars and how women, as innocent bystanders, have to suffer as a result of the Trojan war, it should not be difficult finding evidence related to women’s suffering. It might include:

  • Hecuba’s loss (she lost her home and children)
  • Or Hecuba’s pain (being blamed for Troy’s ruin)
  • Cassandra’s helplessness despite knowing her fate, surrendering and accepting her future
  • Or Andromache’s “bitter” fate having to give up her child
  • The Chorus voicing their opinion – slavery

Once a prompt is carefully broken down, it is no longer that scary because all we have to do now is to organise our thoughts and write our topic sentences.

BP1: Euripides constructs a strong female character base to contradict the prevailing views of the period that women are inferior to their male counterparts

It is significant that Euripides chose to have a strong female protagonist, as the character herself acts as a diatribe against the patriarchal society, contradicting any engrained beliefs that pervaded the society at the time. An example of an evidence that can support this statement is the ways in which Hecuba dominates the stage while giving her opening lamentation. The lengthy nature of the monologue itself enables Euripides to present his proto-feminist ideas and go against the Hellenic gendered prejudice.

We can also talk about Hecuba’s leadership and her interaction with the Chorus of Trojan women. She refers to them as “my children” and employs the simile “a mother at her plundered nest”. The way the Greek playwright constructs the relationship between characters is worth mentioning as Hecuba in this play is portrayed as a compassionate and empathetic leader, showing that women are also capable of leading others in a way that engenders a sense of camaraderie between them.

Another good thinking point is to talk about how Helen acts as a paradigm of a group of women who had to turn to deception and go against their integrity to survive in time of tragedy.

BP2: Euripides’ selective use of language and literacy devices in portraying women’s pain and suffering further enables him to portray the ways in which women, as innocent bystanders, are oppressed in time of war.

An example of a metalanguage used in this play is the animal imagery the Chorus used to depict Hecuba’s pain. By referring to her pain as a “howl of agony”, they intensify the magnitude of Hecuba’s pain as the term “howl” is usually used to describe a loud cry usually uttered by animals like wolves. This implies that Hecuba, who acts as representative of Hellenic women, has to suffer from an emotional turmoil that is far beyond bearable, which in turn further fortifies the audience’s sympathy for her, as well as the Trojan women.

Another piece of evidence that I would talk about is the simile “dragged as a slave”. It was used to describe Hecuba, the former queen of Troy. By likening someone who used to be at a position of power to “a slave”, Euripides underscores the drastic change in circumstances that occurred as a result of the Trojan war, magnifying the tremendous amount of loss Hecuba experienced. Furthermore, the image of the protagonist’s devastated physical state enhances the dramatist’s condemnation of war as it allows him to elucidate the detrimental impacts such violence and dreadfulness impose on innocent bystanders.

There are, of course, plenty of other evidence out there such as the way in which Cassandra is portrayed as a “poor mad child”, her helplessness surrendering to her “wretched” fate with Agamemnon who wanted her for himself because “. We can also talk about the inclusive language positing “our misery” “our home” used by the Chorus in echoing Hecuba’s pain, etc.

The use of symbolism can also be discussed. For instance, the citadel in the city of Troy in the epilogue acts as a metonym for Hecuba’s resistance before entering slavery. The image of it crumbling exemplifies women’s helplessness and enhance the notion that they are still in positions of explicit subjugation.

BP3: While Euripides primarily focuses on portraying women’s pain and suffering, he does not completely vilify men or victimize women, maintaining an unbiased view so as to underscore the importance of integrity through his characterization of both male and female character.

The last body paragraph of our essays is often the one used to challenge the prompt, showing the assessors our wealth of ideas and depth of knowledge. Basically what we are say is “while our playwright is obvious pro-women, he definitely does not condone everything women do and criticize everything men do”.  In this way, we have the opportunity to explore the ways characters are constructed and the ways they are used in the play to convey its meaning.

If I were to write an essay on this, I would talk about Talthybius and Helen, mainly because they are both complex characters that the audience cannot fully love or hate.

Talthybius is surprisingly sympathetic towards women, establishing himself as a complicated figure. This is epitomized through the ways in which he employs euphemistic language when announcing the dreadful news to Hecuba. He tries his best to be sensitive and mitigate the impacts of Hecuba’s daughter death to her, announcing that Polyxena “is to serve Achilles at his tomb” and that “her fate is settled” “all her troubles are over”. He was being sensitive and subtle instead of abruptly delivering the news. While he represents an enemy state, he shows that men can also be compassionate, contradicting the Phallocentric belief that men should only be governed by cool logic.

Similar to Talthybius, Helen is also a complicated figure as she is both a victim of fate and a selfish character. It is possible for the audience to sympathise with her as she is merely a victim of fortune in that she was bewitched by Aphrodite and governed by her love for Paris, the prince of Troy. However, the ways in which she shifts the blame to Hecuba and makes her pleas preclude the audience from completely sympathizing with her as it, in a way, renders her as a self-absorbed and repugnant character. This notion is further fortified by the fact that she cared so little for the “tens of thousands” lives taken on her behalf as the phrase quantifies and magnifies the cataclysmic consequences of her lust for Paris.

LSG-curated Women of Troy Essay Topics

  1. Euripides’ play Women of Troy mainly focuses on the true cost of wars. To what extent do you agree with the statement
  2. Women of Troy demonstrates that there is no real winner in wars. Discuss.
  3. In the Trojan wars, the Trojans suffered great losses while the Greeks did not suffer. Do you agree?
  4. How does Euripides use language to portray the loss and suffering of Hellenic women in Women of Troy?
  5. Characters in Women of Troy are all driven and motivated by their sense of duty and obligation. To what extent do you agree with the statement?
  6. Hecuba’s greatest pain stems from the deaths of her children. Discuss the statement.
  7. While Helen’ selfishness should be condemned, the audience can still condone her actions due to the circumstances she is in. To what extent do you agree with the statement?
  8. Women of Troy is a tragedy, rather than a war-play. Do you agree?
  9. Euripides argues that fate and fortunes are not preordained, and tragedies do not incriminate. To what extent do you agree with the statement?
  10. It is impossible to sympathise with Helen because she is the most mischievous character of the play. Do you agree?
  11. Women of Troy explores the ways in which a character’s true self might emerge in time of tragedy. Discuss.
  12. In Women of Troy, The Chorus’ only role is to act as the representative of Hellenic women. Do you agree?
  13. In the end, the Gods are not responsible for the tragedies caused by the Trojan war as it happened as a result of poor choices. Do you agree?
  14. Hecuba is the victim of fate. Discuss.
  15. Love is a dangerous passion that can lead to tragic consequences. Does Women of Troy support this statement?
  16. Hecuba is a tragic hero. Discuss
  17. How is the structure of Women of Troy used to convey its meaning?
  18. It is possible for the audience to sympathise with Helen because of her love for Paris. Do you agree?
  19. There is no villain in Women of Troy because everyone in the play suffers. Do you agree with the statement?
  20. Discuss the role of dishonesty in Euripides’ Women of Troy.

If you'd like to see A+ essays based off some of the essay topics above (written by Mark Yin - our LSG content guru and 50 English study score achiever), complete with annotations on HOW and WHY the essays achieved A+ so you can emulate this same success, then you'll definitely want to check out our Women of Troy: A Killer Text Guide! In it, we also cover themes, characters, views and values, metalanguage and have 4 other sample A+ essays completely annotated so you can smash your next SAC or exam! Check it out here.

A+ Essay Topic Breakdown

Whenever you get a new essay topic, you can use LSG’s THINK and EXECUTE strategy, a technique to help you write better VCE essays. This essay topic breakdown will focus on the THINK part of the strategy. If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, then check it out in How To Write A Killer Text Response.

Within the THINK strategy, we have 3 steps, or ABC. These ABC components are:

Step 1: Analyse

Step 2: Brainstorm

Step 3: Create a Plan

Quote-Based Prompt: "Who can forget these sufferings? Time will bring no relief." There is no villain in Women of Troy because everyone in the play suffers. Do you agree with the statement?

The following comes essay topic breakdown comes from our Women of Troy: A Killer Text Guide:

Step 1: Analyse

The quote mentions long-lasting sufferings, and the prompt seems to ask who suffers, and who is responsible. If you’ve been reading this guide in order, a lot of similar ideas from the last four essays might jump out here - I think that’s okay, because ideally you do get to a point where you can ‘recycle’ some of your quotes and ideas between essays (and the examiner won’t have read all your practice essays anyway!).

While I’ll be doing a little bit of that here, I want the main take-away from this essay to be around framing. Even if you’re using similar ideas that you’ve already seen, the trick is to explain and frame your analysis in a way that answers every prompt specifically. This is best done through how you thread your arguments together, and how you make those links. We’ll get into this as we plan.

Step 2: Brainstorm

For now, let’s recap these ideas of suffering and responsibility. Hecuba and the Trojan women suffer, and they argue Helen is responsible - but Helen also suffers, and she argues that the gods are responsible. The gods, as we know, are insulated from suffering because of their divine and superhuman status. So are they the villains?

Step 3: Create a Plan

This is a similar progression of ideas that we have seen before, but I want to ground them in this cycle of suffering-responsibility.

P1: The eponymous women of Troy certainly suffer, and in many of their eyes, Helen is a villain.

P2: However, Helen does not see herself that way - and she is not incorrect. She too seems to suffer, and she sees the gods as the main villains who are responsible.

P3: Euripides may see the gods as careless and negligent beings, but he doesn’t necessarily depict them as cruel; rather, the excessively passionate war itself is depicted as the true enemy, and villainous are those who revel in its cruelty.

As you might notice, parts of this plan are recognisable: we’ve started a few of these essays with a first paragraph about the Trojan women’s suffering, developed that in paragraph two by contrasting with Helen, and ending our analysis with the gods. But when reusing some of those ideas, it’s important to make sure they answer the specific question, modifying and adding new ideas as needed - this way, you don’t rewrite essays for new prompts and risk losing relevance, but you reuse ideas and tailor it to new prompts every time.

The contention for this one will be: the Trojan War undoubtedly has its winners and losers, and few of these characters agree on who the responsible villains are, with some blaming Helen (P1) while she herself blames the gods (P2). However, the gods only form a part of the picture - rather, Euripides depicts war itself as the villain, lambasting those who take pride in inflicting cruelty in the midst of war (P3).

If you'd like to see an A+ essay on the essay topic above, complete with annotations on HOW and WHY the essays achieved A+ so you can emulate this same success, then you'll definitely want to check out our Women of Troy: A Killer Text Guide! In it, we also cover themes, characters, views and values, metalanguage and have 4 other sample A+ essays completely annotated so you can smash your next SAC or exam! Check it out here.

Extra Resources

The Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response

How To Write A Killer Text Response Study Guide

How to embed quotes in your essay like a boss

How to turn your Text Response essays from average to A+

5 Tips for a mic drop worthy essay conclusion

With contributions from Mark Yin - 50 study score achiever, and author of our Women of Troy: A Killer Text Guide!

Download the Women of Troy study guide PDF here

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