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Helen of Troy

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What was her crime?
Being Helen of Sparta? Being Helen of Troy,
or being beautiful?|
[ ] [ ]Holly Alban TuckerCLAS250W, Fall 2011, Assignment #1 Prof. Benjamin Sammons
September 13, 2011|

What was her crime?
Being Helen of Sparta? Being Helen of Troy,
or being beautiful?

I propose that Helen was not the cause of any of the woes that befell the Trojans or the Achaeans. I propose that her birth and consequently her resulting beauty made her a target of both the gods and the mortals. For the purpose of this paper, Helen’s “Beauty” will represent her personality and physical features. “Surely there is no blame on Trojans and strong-greaved Achaians if for long tie they suffer hardship for a woman like this one. Terrible is the likeness of her face to immortal goddesses.” (Book 3.156-158) Homer does not reveal whether or not Helen was taken by force or willing accompanied Paris. However, he does imply that she was taken from Argos along with several other possessions of Menelaus. Paris saw Helen as something as beautiful as he, and decided that he needed her by his side. I suggest that Paris embellished the truths of his manhood strengths in order to ease Helen’s conscience of her impending betrayal. Helen reminds him of his boasts in (Book 3.430-431) when she says, “There was a time before now you boasted that you were better than warlike Menelaus, in spear and in hand and in your own strength.” In these verses we see that Helen’s “beauty” may have caused her to attach to the one man she thought was the alpha male. However, she has come to realize that she already had the alpha male in Menelaus and now regrets being with Paris and his falsehoods that have fueled the war. Another instance where we can observe Helen’s “beauty” as a cause for her character’s plight is when Aphrodite, the goddess of love, displays her loathing and jealousy of Helen when she says, "Wretched girl, don’t tease me lest in anger I forsake you, and...

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