About Helen of Troy
Menelaus and Helen, Ajax killing Cassandra. . with most Greek myths, there are several versions of Helen's first marriage (ignoring the weird Theseus story). Everything you ever wanted to know about Helen in The Odyssey, written by masters Helen /; Quotes by Character She's very gracious, telling him stories of Odysseus and managing not to start any At the end, she gives Telemachos a dress for his future wife to wear at the "lovely occasion of your marriage" (). Explore MENELAUS OLIVE OIL's board "Menelaus Depicted In Art" on Pinterest. | See more ideas Telemachus Visits King Menelaus and Queen Helen-"Helen Recognizing Telemachus" by Jean-. MycenaeRoman .. Gluck's 'Iphigenia in Aulis,' Marriage or Murder? .. The Most Inspirational Celebrity Quotes on Aging.
Oath of Tyndareus[ edit ] Tyndareus was afraid to select a husband for his daughter, or send any of the suitors away, for fear of offending them and giving grounds for a quarrel.
Odysseus was one of the suitors, but had brought no gifts because he believed he had little chance to win the contest. He thus promised to solve the problem, if Tyndareus in turn would support him in his courting of Penelopethe daughter of Icarius. Tyndareus readily agreed, and Odysseus proposed that, before the decision was made, all the suitors should swear a most solemn oath to defend the chosen husband against whoever should quarrel with him.
After the suitors had sworn not to retaliate, Menelaus was chosen to be Helen's husband.
As a sign of the importance of the pact, Tyndareus sacrificed a horse. Menelaus and Helen rule in Sparta for at least ten years; they have a daughter, Hermioneand according to some myths three sons: AethiolasMaraphiusand Pleisthenes. The marriage of Helen and Menelaus marks the beginning of the end of the age of heroes. Concluding the catalog of Helen's suitors, Hesiod reports Zeus' plan to obliterate the race of men and the heroes in particular. The Trojan War, caused by Helen's elopement with Paris, is going to be his means to this end.
Judgement of Paris Parisa Trojan prince, came to Sparta to claim Helen, in the guise of a supposed diplomatic mission.
Menelaus | omarcafini.info
Before this journey, Paris had been appointed by Zeus to judge the most beautiful goddess ; HeraAthenaor Aphrodite.
In order to earn his favour, Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. Swayed by Aphrodite's offer, Paris chose her as the most beautiful of the goddesses, earning the wrath of Athena and Hera. Although Helen is sometimes depicted as being raped by Paris, Ancient Greek sources are often elliptical and contradictory. Herodotus states that Helen was abducted, but the Cypria simply mentions that after giving Helen gifts, "Aphrodite brings the Spartan queen together with the Prince of Troy.
Some say a host of horsemen, others of infantry and others of ships, is the most beautiful thing on the dark earth but I say, it is what you love Full easy it is to make this understood of one and all: However, Helen was sought by many suitors, who came from far and near, among them Paris who surpassed all the others and won the favor of Tyndareus and his sons.
Thus he won her fairly and took her away to Troia, with the full consent of her natural protectors. Homer narrates that during a brief stop-over in the small island of Kranaiaccording to Iliad, the two lovers consummated their passion.
On the other hand, Cypria note that this happened the night before they left Sparta. The Rape of Helen by Francesco Primaticcio c. This painting depicts Paris' judgement. He is inspecting Aphrodite, who is standing naked before him. Hera and Athena watch nearby. Those three authors are Euripides, Stesichorus, and Herodotus.
Eidolon is also present in Stesichorus ' account, but not in Herodotus' rationalizing version of the myth. In addition to these accounts, Lycophron states that Hesiod was the first to mention Helen's eidolon.Troy: Agamemnon helps his brother
According to these priests, Helen had arrived in Egypt shortly after leaving Sparta, because strong winds had blown Paris's ship off course. King Proteus of Egyptappalled that Paris had seduced his host's wife and plundered his host's home in Sparta, disallowed Paris from taking Helen to Troy.
Paris returned to Troy without a new bride, but the Greeks refused to believe that Helen was in Egypt and not within Troy's walls. Thus, Helen waited in Memphis for ten years, while the Greeks and the Trojans fought.
The Greek fleet gathered in Aulisbut the ships could not sail for lack of wind. Artemis was enraged by a sacrilege, and only the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter, Iphigeniacould appease her. In Euripides Iphigenia in AulisClytemnestra, Iphigenia's mother and Helen's sister, begs her husband to reconsider his decision, calling Helen a "wicked woman". Clytemnestra tries to warn Agamemnon that sacrificing Iphigenia for Helen's sake is, "buying what we most detest with what we hold most dear".
In a similar fashion to Leighton, Gustave Moreau depicts an expressionless Helen; a blank or anguished face. Lithographic illustration by Walter Crane Before the opening of hostilities, the Greeks dispatched a delegation to the Trojans under Odysseus and Menelaus; they endeavored without success to persuade Priam to hand Helen back.
She is filled with self-loathing and regret for what she has caused; by the end of the war, the Trojans have come to hate her. When Hector dies, she is the third mourner at his funeral, and she says that, of all the Trojans, Hector and Priam alone were always kind to her: There is an affectionate relationship between the two, and Helen has harsh words for Paris when she compares the two brothers: Helenus or Deiphobusbut she was given to the latter.
During the Fall of Troy[ edit ] Helen and Menelaus: Menelaus intends to strike Helen; captivated by her beauty, he drops his sword. A flying Eros and Aphrodite on the left watch the scene. Detail of an Attic red-figure krater c.
In Virgil 's AeneidDeiphobus gives an account of Helen's treacherous stance: Men who had been boys when Helen married came forward to enlist in a cause that the gods transported her to Elysium. This was the most fitting end of the story since Helen was, after all, immortal.
Consequently, Menelaus could scarcely have carried out his intention of killing her when he was reunited with her at Troy. Immortal or not, her physical remains and those of Menelaus were supposed to be buried at Therapne in a temple dedicated to them. Writers even followed her into the afterworld, where they had her marry Achilles, making him her fifth husband, following Theseus, Menelaus, Paris, and Deiphobus.
From there she was even said to have blinded the poet Stesichorus for writing unflattering things about her; she restored his vision when he recanted and composed a poem in her praise. The most fascinating thing about Helen was her story.
It was far better than she was. We do not see any real character development in her and have to regard her as a pawn of the gods. The larger story is involved with the people around her, their rise and fall. She herself seemed almost oblivious to the horrors that surrounded her. She displayed very little emotion and no remorse. She seemed removed and largely unaffected by the outcome of the war. In most accounts of her final years she was not even made to pay for her part in the calamity that touched virtually every family in Greece.
It is small wonder some writers contrived alternative versions in which she was made to pay a debt to society. From Women of Classical Mythology: We have little reason to doubt it, but we have little more to believe that it was the greatest conflict ever to have occurred. The Greeks however, thought that it was: With the passage of time these heroic exploits had entered the realm of legend, people were convinced that the gods had taken part, and history became myth.
The Trojan War glows with a dark fire at the dawn of time as the unsurpassable model for all the wars that were to come. An extraordinary phenomenon must have an extraordinary cause.
Did Homer think so? It is impossible to tell: One thing is clear: The affair started with a woman being raped and a raid -- an act of brigands. Paris went off with plundered treasure, and a queen to boot. With Aphrodite's blessing, he made the queen his wife. But other bards, whose work has been lost, were not satisfied with such a humble explanation. They built up a cycle of epics telling the whole story of the war from the beginning.
They described the origin of the affair ab ovo. They accepted that Zeus wanted to decimate the human race which had become too numerous, and posited a whole series of events: This woman, Helen, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda; as Zeus had disguised himself as a swan to seduce his beloved, Helen and her brothers the Dioscuri were born ab ovo -- from an egg.
This explication of the whole episode entails several difficulties. The main question is the extent to which Helen accepted the fate assigned to her. Did she act of her own free will? It was not long before people wondered if she had followed Paris voluntarily. It is an important distinction. In the first instance it could be said that she was the occasion of the war, which makes her no less odious; in the second she was responsible for the war, and could thus be hated as a scourge, and also condemned on moral grounds.
Such condemnation became increasingly necessary in the eyes of the Greeks, who were developing a personal morality, but was ever less acceptable to those among them who saw Helen as a goddess. The immorality of religious myths shocked more than one right-thinking person in the fifth century BC. In some towns, Sparta in particular, there were temples to Helen, feasts of Helen and a cult of Helen, who figured as the protectress of adolescent girls and young married women.
It would be shocking if elsewhere she had set an example of adultery. And the closer we go towards presenting the story in human terms, the closer we come to the unacceptable. Aeschylus turned Helen into a being who was both abstract and divine, a sort of curse closely allied to the goddess Nemesis, -- who according to some traditions was her mother, and not Leda.
Helen of Troy - Wikipedia
But Euripides saw his heroine purely as a woman; he did not even accept the possible intervention of Aphrodite to inspire Helen with an irresistible passion. Hecabe says so very forcefully in the Troades: How far is this psychological speech, which uses allegory, also an impious speech casting doubt on the existence of the gods? It is not easy to say.
In any case it is almost at the opposite pole from the chorus in Agamemnon where Aeschylus says of Helen that she is the Erinyes, the 'wife of tears' and 'the priest of Ate'; we are also a long way from the suggestion that Helen has a sort of divine mission, making her the instrument of fate: The virtual disappearance of the religious aspect of Helen that surrounded her with an aura of sacred terror laid her open to the most scathing insults.
People expressed amazement that the Trojan War should have been fought over such an unimportant creature -- a woman -- adding that the woman in question had absolutely no value because she herself had no sense of her own dignity.
A fine assortment of insults could easily be garnered from Euripides. This tradition did not stop with him; at the height of the neoclassical period in Europe the name of Helen became a simple figure of speech, a metonym that could be used to designate any woman who was dangerous because she was flighty; in Schiller's Maria Stuart one of the queen's most persistent opponents can find no worse epithet for her than this: Euripides was alive at the time when sophistry was born.
No doubt he was as amused as anyone else by the idea of pleading lost causes.
Helen of Troy
Gorgias and Isocrates each produced a eulogy of Helen. The tragic poet had shown them the way by putting a plea in the heroine's own mouth Troades ff. There is censure of the power of the gods, the origin of desire and the power of seduction: Or there is praise of beauty. From whatever angle it was approached it was not a comfortable morality: A philosophical dimension loomed. Homer was happy to concede that the Trojan populace felt ill-will towards Helen, but the finest Trojans, Priam, his advisers and Hector, found it impossible not to respect her.
At one point in the Iliad VI. Homer's successors never tired of pondering a parallel between Helen and Achilles. One of the poets of the epic cycle had proposed a meeting between the most beautiful daughter of Zeus and the most valiant of heroes. Much later it was imagined that these two marvellous beings were united beyond death on the fabled Isles of the Blessed.
But Euripides had already pointed out Helen 99 that Achilles had been prominent among Helen's suitors, and that the Trojan War had been envisaged also with a view to allowing Achilles to distinguish himself op.
Paradoxically the concern to elevate Helen from the realm of sordid anecdote and restore her to an epic role, was to have the effect of casting doubt on the epic itself.
Since it was vital that beautiful Helen should be virtuous, it was claimed that she had never been in Troy, that Zeus had put a phantom in her place or that a king of Egypt had snatched her from Paris to protect her. The second version, which was known to Herodotus, has had a long life: Wolf imagines that the Trojans pretended Helen was within their walls so as not to lose face. The first version also effectively makes Helen an object of derision, and again presents in an exaggerated form the bitter judgement so often repeated -- a woman was not a worthwhile cause for people to kill one another.
Yet this was not the point of view expressed by Euripides, the poet supposed to hate women, in his tragedy Helen. Not only does he depict her character in the same touching, majestic light as his Alcestis or his Polyxena in Hecabehe even extends the study of the sufferings of misrepresented innocence to a tragic interrogation of the identity of the person: Helen is a woman who has been robbed of her very name and face.
Saved because the gods finally proclaim the truth, she can rejoin or at least expect to rejoin the pleasant atmosphere of the feasts in Sparta I. Was it Helen herself who captivated him, as much if not more than the throne of Sparta? Or did he simply want his own city to rule? An escape from his brother's control and command? Menelaus, from Wiki Commons If Helen was simply a means to an end, then no wonder she ran off with Paris.
But if she wasn't-- if he loved her even more than Sparta's throne-- and let's not forget that Helen's beauty was such that even the mightiest of men fell within her thrall-- might he have developed a close relationship with her prior to their marriage? Kept a jealous eye on her interactions with other men? With his potential competition? What might that have driven him to? And how much harder might it have been for him when he realized she'd been abducted once already, by Theseus, a well known and highly acclaimed hero, if not an even more powerful king than Agamemnon.
In the Myths, Menelaus is relentless in trying to retrieve Helen while she's in Troy, he makes for a sympathetic character in the Iliad, and in the Odyssey, after he's brought Helen home again, and they begin to build their life together anew. But I don't buy that it's only about love. The thing that people overlook in the Iliad is that it's entirely possible that without Helen, Menelaus had no legitimacy as a king.