Homer’s Odyssey Book 4: Helen of Troy again | a classical blog
Odysseus does not trust Helen. He does not reveal his plans until she has sworn that she will not betray him. And rather than initially helping. HELEN OF TROY, the face that launched a thousand ships, has been Racism, inter-species marriage, and child abduction: the very un-Disney world of the. Q: Why was Helen of Troy's affair with Paris so important that it resulted in the start of Troy controlled a key trading position, both in relation to it being strategically Belief that this was a sacred duty helped early cultures develop trust outside.
The likelihood that Menelaus ran across Helen during her childhood, even higher. And it's entirely possible that he had his sights set on her as his bride from very early on, knowing that even if he couldn't persuade Tyndareus, Agamemnon, by all accounts a powerful man, probably could.
And I suspect that Agamemnon knew full well his brother's desire, or else why would he have married Clytemnestra, and not the more beautiful Helen? She was certainly the greater prize. Admittedly there was a complication of inheritance.
The husband of Helen would become the king of Sparta, but Agamemnon probably wouldn't have minded in the slightest expanding his sphere of direct influence. He seemed driven by a lust for power and conquest.
But did Menelaus share that lust? 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.
Odysseus does not trust Helen.
Helen loves Theseus: Helen and Menelaus
He does not reveal his plans until she has sworn that she will not betray him. The Greeks are hidden in the belly of the wooden horse and have been taken into the city: The rest of the Achaeans kept silent too, though Anticlus wanted to call out, and reply, till Odysseus clapped his strong hands over his mouth, saving all the Achaeans, and he grasped him so till Pallas Athene led you away.
Helen can sense something is wrong: It works like a spell, tempting the soldiers to reveal themselves and cry out. Once again the gods are blamed for her betrayal, but whether or not you see Helen as culpable the scene is a striking statement on the power of the female voice. Helen can imitate any woman. No one can truly pin her down or understand her. Helen at the Scee Door by Gustave Moreau Featured image is taken from Study of Helen by Gustave Moreau.
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. 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. Tlepolemus was killed by Sarpedon on the first day of fighting in the Iliad. Nicostratus was a son of Menelaus by his concubine Pieris, an Aetolian slave.
Megapenthes was a son of Menelaus by his concubine Tereis, no further origin. In Euripides 's tragedy The Trojan WomenHelen is shunned by the women who survived the war and is to be taken back to Greece to face a death sentence.
This version is contradicted by two of Euripides' other tragedies Electrawhich predates The Trojan Women, and Helenas Helen is described as being in Egypt during the events of the Trojan War in each. The scene tells the story of the painter Zeuxis who was commissioned to produce a picture of Helen for the temple of Hera at AgrigentumSicily.
To realize his task, Zeuxis chose the five most beautiful maidens in the region.
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The story of Zeuxis deals with this exact question: The ancient world starts to paint Helen's picture or inscribe her form on stone, clay and bronze by the 7th century BC. Her legs were the best; her mouth the cutest. There was a beauty-mark between her eyebrows.
This is not the case, however, in Laconic art: In contrast, on Athenian vases of c. In a famous representation by the Athenian vase painter MakronHelen follows Paris like a bride following a bridegroom, her wrist grasped by Paris' hand. This is not, however, the case with certain secular medieval illustrations.Troy Movie - Extended Edition - Hector Talks With Menelaus
Artists of the s and s were influenced by Guido delle Colonne 's Historia destructionis Troiaewhere Helen's abduction was portrayed as a scene of seduction. In the Florentine Picture Chronicle Paris and Helen are shown departing arm in arm, while their marriage was depicted into Franco-Flemish tapestry. Upon seeing Helen, Faustus speaks the famous line: Helen is also conjured by Faust in Goethe's Faust. In Pre-Raphaelite art, Helen is often shown with shining curly hair and ringlets.
Other painters of the same period depict Helen on the ramparts of Troy, and focus on her expression: Cult[ edit ] The major centers of Helen's cult were in Laconia. At Sparta, the urban sanctuary of Helen was located near the Platanistas, so called for the plane trees planted there.
This practice is referenced in the closing lines of Lysistratawhere Helen is said to be the "pure and proper" leader of the dancing Spartan women. Theocritus conjures the song epithalamium Spartan women sung at Platanistas commemorating the marriage of Helen and Menelaus: First from a silver oil-flask soft oil drawing we will let it drip beneath the shady plane-tree. Letters will be carved in the bark, so that someone passing by may read in Doric: I am Helen's tree.
The shrine has been known as "Menelaion" the shrine of Menelausand it was believed to be the spot where Helen was buried alongside Menelaus.
Despite its name, both the shrine and the cult originally belonged to Helen; Menelaus was added later as her husband. Clader argues that, if indeed Helen was worshiped as a goddess at Therapne, then her powers should be largely concerned with fertility,  or as a solar deity.
Nilsson has argued that the cult in Rhodes has its roots to the Minoan, pre-Greek era, when Helen was allegedly worshiped as a vegetation goddess. The Second Part of the Tragedythe union of Helen and Faust becomes a complex allegory of the meeting of the classical-ideal and modern worlds.