THE TROJAN WAR: Task 1 - Helen in 'The Iliad' - Homer
In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy also known as Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the . The marriage of Helen and Menelaus marks the beginning of the end of the age of heroes. .. () is the source of the famous quote "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?. Helen of Troy is a character referenced in literature for over years. One of the first mentions of this mythically beautiful woman comes from. Menelaus, in Greek mythology, king of Sparta and younger son of Atreus, king of Mycenae; the abduction of his wife, Helen, led to the Trojan War. During the war.
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.
Helen of Troy
In addition to these accounts, Lycophron states that Hesiod was the first to mention Helen's eidolon. 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: In Odysseyhowever, Homer narrates a different story: Helen circled the Horse three times, and she imitated the voices of the Greek women left behind at home—she thus tortured the men inside including Odysseus and Menelaus with the memory of their loved ones, and brought them to the brink of destruction.
In Aeneid, Aeneas meets the mutilated Deiphobus in Hades ; his wounds serve as a testimony to his ignominious end, abetted by Helen's final act of treachery. From one side, we read about the treacherous Helen who simulated Bacchic rites and rejoiced over the carnage of Trojans.
On the other hand, there is another Helen, lonely and helpless; desperate to find sanctuary, while Troy is on fire. Stesichorus narrates that both Greeks and Trojans gathered to stone her to death. He had demanded that only he should slay his unfaithful wife; but, when he was ready to do so, she dropped her robe from her shoulders, and the sight of her beauty caused him to let the sword drop from his hand.
Can it be that her beauty has blunted their swords? Fate[ edit ] Helen returned to Sparta and lived for a time with Menelaus, where she was encountered by Telemachus in Book 4 of The Odyssey. As depicted in that account, she and Menelaus were completely reconciled and had a harmonious married life—he holding no grudge at her having run away with a lover and she feeling no restraint in telling anecdotes of her life inside besieged Troy.
According to another version, used by Euripides in his play OrestesHelen had been saved by Apollo from Orestes  and was taken up to Mount Olympus almost immediately after Menelaus' return.
A curious fate is recounted by Pausanias the geographer 3. They say that when Menelaus was dead, and Orestes still a wanderer, Helen was driven out by Nicostratus and Megapenthes and came to Rhodeswhere she had a friend in Polyxothe wife of Tlepolemus.
For Polyxo, they say, was an Argive by descent, and when she was already married to Tlepolemus, shared his flight to Rhodes.
At the time she was queen of the island, having been left with an orphan boy. They say that this Polyxo desired to avenge the death of Tlepolemus on Helen, now that she had her in her power.
The character of Helen in The Penelopiad from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
So she sent against her when she was bathing handmaidens dressed up as Furieswho seized Helen and hanged her on a tree, and for this reason the Rhodians have a sanctuary of Helen of the Tree.
Astyoche was a daughter of Phylas, King of Ephyra who was killed by Heracles. Odysseus made the contestants swear to defend whichever man won Helen in case someone Penelope remembers Helen smiling during the marriage, happy that Penelope was moving to Ithaca, which she considered a Anyway, all the men were staring at Helen, not her.
Penelope thinks this was actually lucky, because it distracted from her nervousness. This made Penelope happy, but also made Helen Ruins My Life One of these stories was about how Theseus and Peirithous had abducted Helen when she was not yet twelve, intending for one of them to marry her when A captain from Sparta arrived in the harbor and Odysseus invited him to dinner. At one point, a song described Odysseus being bathed by Helen, and Penelope did not like that part.
The Suitors Stuff Their Faces The Suitors also had all agreed that whoever would marry Penelope In some parts of Greece, she was revered as a goddess. Indeed, the early stories are extremely vague but the poet Stesichoruswho lived around BC, purportedly slandered Helen — and was struck blind after doing so. The story goes that he recovered his sight after he denied that Helen ever went to Troy.
According to this source: The people of Asia made no matter of the seizure of their women. The Greeks, however, for the sake of [Helen], recruited a great army, then came to Asia, and destroyed the power of Priam. Helen through the ages Beyond antiquity, many have continued to struggle with the enigmatic Helen.
Indeed, the Greek commander Diomedes states: In many ways, the painting focuses on the image of Helen as an impossibly beautiful mortal. Her hair is golden, and she is draped in elaborately decorated apparel.