Helen of Troy

In: English and Literature

Submitted By urhon3y
Words 486
Pages 2
Helen of Troy is quite possibly one of the most inspired characters of all time, including modern and ancient literature. She has become a symbol of man's erotic desires and of all of the varied moods of womanhood (Pollard 1). The ancient myth that forever associates her with beauty and the Trojan War was first recorded in written language by Homer, but continues to be written about today. ( see examples of modern poetry about her) Her story is one that is intricately intertwined with many of the Greek gods and goddesses.

The beginnings of the story of Helen have little to do with her personally. As was characteristic of Greek mythology and the interactions of the deities with their human counterparts, she was never more than a puppet in various heavenly battles, beginning with three goddesses, and then stretching to include all of the deities on Olympus, the place in the sky from where the gods and goddesses reigned.

The first event that would end up directly leading to the Trojan War was that of the wedding of King Peleus and the immortal sea nymph Thetis. The goddess of Discord, Eris, was not invited to the wedding, and in order to get revenge, she threw a golden apple into the midst of the wedding party. It was marked "For the Fairest," and although all of the goddesses felt that they were deserving of it, only three actually fought over it. Those three were Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. Zeus, the king of the gods, was asked to judge which of these three was the fairest, but he refused because Hera was his wife, and told them that a young mortal named Paris, or later, Alexandros, was an excellent judge of beauty.

The goddesses each tried to bribe Paris before the competition began. Hera's offer was of sovereignty over all of Asia, while Athena offered him victory in war, but Aphrodite's offer of the most beautiful woman in the entire…...

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