About Helen of Troy
Clytemnestra: Clytemnestra, in Greek legend, a daughter of Leda and Upon his return, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon. Demystified · Quizzes · Galleries · Lists · On This Day · Biographies · Newsletters king of Sparta, whose daughters, Clytemnestra and Helen, they respectively married. Hi and Welcome to this special quiz. It's part of our “Know Thyself” goal and motto . Helen Fisher's Personality Quiz has now been taken by over 14 million people. Test your knowledge of the significance of Clytemnestra in Greek Mythology with an interactive quiz and printable worksheet. was the sister of Helen recall - access the knowledge you've gained on Clytemnestra and her relationships with .
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. 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.
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.
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.
Agamemnon - Wikipedia
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.
Agamemnon Review Quiz #1
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.
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. 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. No doubt he bore in mind that according to a tradition relayed by Plato Phaedrus a the poet Stesichorus had been blinded by the gods for speaking ill of Helen, recovering his sight only after reciting the Palinode a recantation.
It is impossible to know which of the two traditions Euripides was more committed to, that which he followed in his Helen or the other which is evident in the rest of his plays, where he attacks her as fickle, flirtatious and brazen.
We can only note that other heroic characters were also depicted by Euripides in a none too favourable light: If Hecabe reproaches Helen, she does not spare Odysseus. Reading the great tragedies that conjure up the fall of Troy Traodes, Hecabe and to some extent Andromache as well we get the impression that the judicious balance that Homer's epic poems preserved between the two opposing sides has been upset, and certainly not in favour of the victors.
The legend also became degraded. Once seen as a divine scourge, Helen was now regarded as a hateful woman.
Clytemnestra | Greek mythology | butaivilniuje.info
Others merely adopted a light, frivolous, scornful tone when writing about her. How could we justify censuring those poets for whom Helen is perfectly and impudently at ease with her conscience, always supposing she has one?
All the same, Helen is cast with remarkable frequency as a burdened soul who finds it hard to recognize her own identity, in the work of both those who stick to the Trojan version and those who adopt the Egyptian variant.
One of the first times he mentions Helen Homer speaks of her 'sobs'. And the distress of the innocent Helen in Euripides' play is immense.
Beside this motif there is another: Helen is par excellence the woman carried off by a stranger. Abducted by Theseus, then by Paris, recaptured by her brothers, then by her husband, snatched from Paris by an Egyptian king, then from the son of that king by Menelaus, taken off by Simon Magus, then by Faust, sent to the heavens or to the Isles of the Blessed: It will be remembered that in Troades Helen is 'held prisoner with all the women taken in Troy' 1, She is imprisoned like Hecabe, Andromache and Cassandra.
For the film he produced in Cacoyannis had a cage built in which Helen was discovered, and suddenly booed. And in the plea she makes, however sophistical it may be, the reviled princess claim that her time spent in Troy has always been to her a period of captivity.
Morality and psychology would lead one to expect many subtle differences in the relationships between the characters. Euripides, for example, organized his tragedy round a conflict between Helen and Hecabe, and Tennyson made his poem a complaint levelled at Helen by Iphigenia. Beyond these incontrovertible specific aspects, however, one feature remains: When the warriors have perished, the women will be dragged far away from their land to the houses of new masters.
The epic of Troy tells us that a city can die.
- Helen of Troy
Homer finishes the Iliad with a lament. Standing beside Hector's body Helen speaks to him, thanking him for never having insulted her. She is not afraid to compare their misfortunes; there are sensitive feelings that the old myth, facing darkness, may neglect: Agamemnon was the commander-in-chief of the Greeks during the Trojan War.
During the fighting, Agamemnon killed Antiphus and fifteen other Trojan soldiers, according to one source. Even before his "aristea," Agamemnon was considered to be one of the three best warriors on the Greek side as proven when Hector challenges any champion of the Greek side to fight him in Book 7, and Agamemnon along with Diomedes and Big Aias is one of the three most wished for to face him out of the nine strongest Greek warriors who volunteered.
And after they reconciled, even Achilles admits in Book 23 that Agamemnon is "the best in strength and in throwing the spear. The Iliad tells the story about the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles in the final year of the war. Following one of the Achaean Army's raids, Chryseisdaughter of Chrysesone of Apollo's priests, was taken as a war prize by Agamemnon.
Chryses pleaded with Agamemnon to free his daughter but was met with little success. Chryses then prayed to Apollo for the safe return of his daughter, which Apollo responded to by unleashing a plague over the Achaean Army.
After learning from the Prophet Calchas that the plague could be dispelled by returning Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon reluctantly agreed but first berated Calchas for previously forcing Agamemnon to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia and released his prize. However, as compensation for his lost prize, Agamemnon demanded a new prize. As a result, Agamemnon stole an attractive slave called Briseisone of the spoils of war, from Achilles.
Agamemnon, having realized Achilles's importance in winning the war against the Trojan Army, sent ambassadors begging for Achilles to return, offering him riches and the hand of his daughter in marriage, but Achilles refused, only being spurred back into action when his closest friend, Patroclus, was killed in battle.
Although not the equal of Achilles in bravery, Agamemnon was a representative of "kingly authority". As commander-in-chief, he summoned the princes to the council and led the army in battle. His chief fault was his overwhelming haughtiness; an over-exalted opinion of his position that led him to insult Chryses and Achilles, thereby bringing great disaster upon the Greeks.
ClytemnestraAgamemnon's wife, had taken Aegisthusson of Thyestesas a lover.