Helen and menelaus relationship questions

Was Helen really to blame for the Trojan War – or just a scapegoat?

helen and menelaus relationship questions

Questions and Answers about Helen of Troy but Princess of Sparta . Question: What is the relation between Helen of Troy and Alexander the Great. Answer. Helen's husband Menelaus appealed to his brother Agamemnon, to help rescue his wife. But Paris paid no heed to marriage vows. He sailed to Sparta, . Thank you. Support The Guardian. Paypal and credit card. Topics. This is the Discussion Guide for Helen of Troy by Margaret George. havoc, they differ wildly on questions about the nature of her character and adultery. . I am not aware of any ancient sources for Helen's relationship with Gelanor or her.

One man, Protesilaus, leapt off his ship nevertheless and charged at the beach, though he had joined the expedition the day after his wedding, after a single night of marital bliss. Protesilaus was cut down by Priam's son Hector and dispatched to the halls of Hades. But when she heard the news, his young wife could not accept his death and made an image of him and took it to her bed.

And the gods, feeling pity for her, allowed Protesilaus to return from the underworld for one more night. Then, when Hermes came next morning to take Protesilaus back to Hades, his wife could not bear this second separation, nor did the image of him console her any more, and so she burned it and threw herself on the bonfire too, anxious to join her newlywed husband if only in the land of the shades.

Now that Protesilaus had fulfilled the prophecy, the Greeks took heart and leapt off their ships, determined to break through the ranks of the Trojans. One man, above all, prevented them: Cycnus, son of the sea god Poseidon, whose body and hair were snowy white, and who was quite naked, having no need of armour.

helen and menelaus relationship questions

Like the Nemean lion, his skin was invulnerable to metal. Many Greeks died at his hands as he brushed off their swords and spears as if they were grasses or poppy stems. Soon his white skin was smeared red with the blood of his victims. It was beginning to look as if the expedition would be over before it had even started.

But mighty Achilles picked up a pebble from the beach and threw it at Cycnus with all the strength he could muster. Now Cycnus lay dead and when they saw what had happened, the Trojans turned tail and ran all the way back to their battlements, leaving the Greeks to beach their ships and set up an encampment in peace. Meanwhile Menelaus and cunning-tongued Odysseus went to Troy and entered her mighty gates, having been granted safe passage by Antenor, wisest of Priam's advisers.

They addressed the assembled Trojans. We have not come for booty or glory or to make war for no reason. Or would you wage war? So Troy can be a sanctuary for the world's ravishers? Helen did not come unwillingly. Indeed she cannot keep her hands off me.

She is pleased to have a man in her bed at last. Is it not you who are being violated? Are you going to send me afield still further to some man whom you have taken up in Phrygia or fair Meonia? Menelaus has just vanquished Paris, and is to take my hateful self back with him. You are come here to betray me.

Go sit with Paris yourself; henceforth be goddess no longer; never let your feet carry you back to Olympus; worry about him and look after him till he make you his wife, or, for the matter of that, his slave- but me? I shall not go; I can garnish his bed no longer; I should be a by-word among all the women of Troy. Besides, I have trouble on my mind. I will stir up fierce hatred between Trojans and Achaeans, and you shall come to a bad end. She wrapped her mantle about her and went in silence, following the goddess and unnoticed by the Trojan women.

On this Helen, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, sat down, and with eyes askance began to upbraid her husband. You used to brag that you were a better man with hands and spear than Menelaus. Then why not go at once and challenge him again- but I should advise you not to do so, for if you are foolish enough to meet him in single combat, you will soon fall by his spear.

Would you consider Helen as a Hero in the Iliad? And do you feel sorry for her? Helen was more of a victim than anything else. Her decision to take off with Paris was not a rational one, so she had no real active role. Her speeches are meant to elicit pity. One reason is that she was the daughter of the head god Zeus. The suggestion of Robert Graves is that Helen is actually Aphrodite herself. He suggests that Paris receives the apple rather than gives it as a prize and that the apple is a sorb, the fruit of the service tree.

When sliced cross-wise this fruit reveals a star, a representative of the goddess in her five stations: Aphrodite is the agent of these transformations and the apple is her symbol. At the time of the Trojan war when Helen lived iron was available but it was not yet used for weapons. Helen lived at the very end of the Bronze Age. Did Paris give Helen of Troy an apple? In the most recent version of the Judgment of Paris story, Paris gave the golden apple of Discord to Aphrodite in exchange for Helen.

But an apple or a quince is the symbol of Aphrodite and an older version of the story may have Aphrodite giving the apple to Paris so he could get Helen.

Homer's Iliad: Book III

Helen also could have been a goddess of love herself and this would involve exchanges of apples with Paris of the sort just mentioned. But it is also possible that what was exchanged was not an apple at all but a bag of letters. Notice that there are three fates just as Paris judged three goddesses. What is the relation between Helen of Troy and Alexander the Great.

Alexander the Great was greatly influenced by the Iliad in which Helen plays a major role. What role did Helen Of Troy have in the odyssey of homer? Helen was the wife of Meneleaus who Telemachus visited. How was Helen depicited in The Odysseys compared to her depiction in the Iliad?

In the Iliad she is the unhappy tool of Aphrodite. In the Odyssey she is a regretful, retired, beauty queen. A house in the Troy of Homer would have been a rectangular building with a flat roof.

Each house may have had one door. Windows were few and small. Some houses had a centyral fireplace with a corresponding large hole in the roof. But for many the fireplace would have been outside. Helen is manipulated not manipulative.

Aphrodite either makes Helen more attractive, so men desire her more, or she increases the desire of men who are interested in her. She also made Helen fall in love with Paris so he could easily abduct her.

Was Helen really the most beautiful woman on Earth? The ancient Greeks though so. But they also thought the Greek women were the most beautiful on Earth, so the sculpted them in stone. Now the Venus de Milo is the standard for feminine beauty. If Helen was not, then who was?

Who, for that matter, has ever been more beautiful than Helen? Did Helen fall in love with Paris, and go with him willingly or was she tricked by Aphrodite? If she did fall in love with Paris, why was she moaning and groaning about her first husband during the Trojan War?

Helen was used by Aphrodite. She fell in love with Paris because Aphrodite made her do it. She was not tricked. No mortal can exceed the beauty of the goddesses, but they can nearly equal them, which is what Helen did. She was the most beautiful then, but there are few that have even come close to her since.

After all, how many wars have been fought for the love of a woman. How many children did Helen have? Some myths refer to her having a son as well as a daughter.

Top Documentary Films: The Real History of Troy

In the Odyssey Homer says: If he had the most beautiful woman as his wife, why did Menelaus have to be such a pig as to sleep with another woman?

Helen was not a fertile woman. If Menelaus was to have an heir he would have to have it by another woman. This was standard practice in ancient Greece. Helen was abducted and raped when she was young and this incident may have rendered her infertile. Paris abducted Helen and set off a chain of events that resulted in the destruction of Troy and most of the Greek civilization as it was then known.

This event starts a very dark period in the history of the Greek peoples. She was skilled in the use of drugs as Homer reveals in the Odyssey: Presently she cast a drug into the wine whereof they drank, a drug to lull all pain and anger, and bring forgetfulness of every sorrow. Whoso should drink a draught thereof, when it is mingled in the bowl, on that day he would let no tear fall down his cheeks, not though his mother and his father died, not though men slew his brother or dear son with the sword before his face, and his own eyes beheld it.

Medicines of such virtue and so helpful had the daughter of Zeus, which Polydamna, the wife of Thon, had given her, a woman of Egypt, where earth the grain-giver yields herbs in greatest plenty, many that are healing in the cup, and many baneful. There each man is a leech skilled beyond all human kind; yea, for they are of the race of Paeeon. How come they never had any color photographs of Helen? Helen lived years before the invention of photography.

How did Helen of Troy die? Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3. The account of the Rhodians is different.

  • Questions and Answers about Helen of Troy but Princess of Sparta

They say that when Menelaus was dead, and Orestes still a wanderer, Helen was driven out by Nicostratus and Megapenthes and came to Rhodes, where she had a friend in Polyxo, [10] the 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.

helen and menelaus relationship questions

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 Furies, who seized Helen and hanged her on a tree, and for this reason the Rhodians have a sanctuary of Helen of the Tree.

Helen died almost years ago and no pictures were made of her before she died. Even though the others are immortal goddesses, and as alive today as they were then, still no one has sighted them in over years.

Were those men really willing to lay down their lives for Helen? That is what the bards said and the ancient Greeks believed them. Doubts have been raised, but no archeological evidence has been found. Maybe Helen was not so beautiful. Only there were few beauties at that time, so that she was precious. She was not only beautiful; she was the most beautiful woman in the world; not only at that time but for many years to come. After all, how often has a face launched a thousand ships?

That the ancient Greek women were very beautiful is certified by the many images that remain of them. The Venus de Milo is still the standard by which feminine beauty is judged. A Greek woman was used as her model. And the Greeks were proud to claim that their women were so beautiful that they seduced the very gods who came to have sex with them and produce their talented offspring.

How did Helen Start the War? Tyndareus, the father of Helen, was afraid that Helen would not be protected so he mad all the suitors of Helen swear allegiance to the one who was successful. The war was started because Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world was abducted by Paris.

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He was able to do this because he was bribed by Aphrodite into his saying that she was the most beautiful deity. Hera and Athena insisted that Helen be pursued because Paris slighted them. The apple caused the Judgment of Paris which you should click on the Menu Directory to see. Theseus raped Helen and Iphigenia may have been the result. When Menelaus married Helen Hermione was born as their only child.

Homer leads us to believe that Paris and Helen lived as man and wife in Troy, but others are not so sure. Herodotus thinks Paris got as far as Egypt with Helen and lost her there.

Menelaus did go to Egypt and brought Helen back. Before the end of the Trojan war after Paris was killed his two brothers fought over Helen. Deiphobus won and forced Helen to marry him.

Can you show me a statue made for Helen? Nothing remains of Helen except the stories about her and her bath: It is a large stream of salt, tepid water, flowing from a rock into the sea. What were some of the conversations Helen and Paris had that proved her misfortunate beauty? This time, with the help of Minerva, Menelaus has vanquished me; another time I may, myself, be victor, for I too have gods that will stand by me.

The rape of Helen

Come, let us lie down together and make friends. Never yet was I so passionately enamored of you as at this moment- not even when I first carried you off from Lacedaemon and sailed away with you- not even when I had converse with you upon the couch of love in the island of Cranae was I so enthralled by desire of you as now.

Why was Helen of troy hated because she was beautiful? 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.

Menelaus and Helen – Trojan War

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?