Menelaus - Wikipedia
Antonio Canova Helen of Troy. So when it became known that King Tyndareus of Sparta was offering in marriage his stepdaughter Helen, . He married Samia, daughter of the river god Meander, and had children by her . In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy also known as Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the . The marriage of Helen and Menelaus marks the beginning of the end of the age of heroes. .. Wilde portrays this new Helen as the antithesis of the Virgin Mary, but endows her with the characteristics of Jesus Christ himself. Before her marriage to Menelaus, Helen lived with Leda and Leda's husband, King Tyndareus of Sparta. When the time came for Helen to marry, she had many .
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. 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.
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.
Helen of Troy
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.
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. Lewis includes a fragment entitled "After Ten Years". In Egypt after the Trojan War, Menelaus is allowed to choose between the real, disappointing Helen and an ideal Helen conjured by Egyptian magicians.
Suitors came from all over Greece, hoping to win the famous beauty. Many were powerful leaders. Tyndareus worried that choosing one suitor might anger the others, who could cause trouble for his kingdom. Odysseus advised Tyndareus to have all the suitors take an oath to accept Helen's choice and promise to support that person whenever the need should arise. The suitors agreed, and Helen chose Menelaus, a prince of Mycenae, to be her husband. Helen's sister Clytemnestra was already married to Menelaus's older brother, Agamemnon.
For a while, Helen and Menelaus lived happily together. They had a daughter and son, and Menelaus eventually became the king of Sparta. But their life together came to a sudden end. She had promised him the most beautiful woman in the world after he proclaimed her the "fairest" goddess.
When Paris saw Helen, he knew that Aphrodite had kept her promise. Some stories say Helen went willingly, seduced by Paris's charms.
Others claim that Paris kidnapped her and took her by force. When Menelaus returned home and discovered Helen gone, he called on the leaders of Greece, who had sworn to support him if necessary. The Greeks organized a great expedition and set sail for Troy. Their arrival at Troy marked the beginning of the Trojan War. During the war, Helen's sympathies were divided.
At times, she helped the Trojans by pointing out Greek leaders. At other times, however, she sympathized with the Greeks and did not betray them when opportunities to do so arose. Helen had a number of children by Paris, but none survived infancy.
Helen of Troy - Wikipedia
Paris died in the Trojan War, and Helen married his brother Deiphobus. After the Greeks won the war, she was reunited with Menelaus, and she helped him kill Deiphobus. Then Helen and Menelaus set sail for Sparta.