Relationship between odysseus and helen

Odysseus Relationships by Emily Rivers on Prezi

relationship between odysseus and helen

Helen's husband Menelaus appealed to his brother Agamemnon, to help And so Menelaus sent out Odysseus of Ithaca, most cunning of. Helen of Troy, Greek Helene, in Greek legend, the most beautiful woman of Greece and the indirect cause of the Trojan War. During an absence of Menelaus, however, Helen fled to Troy with Paris, son of the Trojan relation to Oenone. Odysseus also known by the Latin variant Ulysses (US: /juːˈlɪsiːz/, UK: /ˈjuː lɪsiːz/; .. Odysseus' attempts to avoid his sacred oath to defend Menelaus and Helen offended Roman notions of duty, and the many stratagems and tricks that he .. Splitting the difference: gender and myth in ancient Greece and India.

When Agamemnon thought he was slitting his daughter's white throat, he was really slaughtering a deer. Iphigeneia herself had been spirited away by the goddess to become her priestess among the people who inhabit the northern shores of the Black Sea, the people known as Taurians.

When the fleet arrived at Troy, the Trojans were expecting them. The Greeks dropped anchor some way off the beach and waited in their ships, even Achilles, for it had been prophesied that the first to land on Trojan soil would be the first to die and Achilles had yet to make a name for himself that would outlive his time on the planet.

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.

Odysseus and Tyndareos, about the wedding of Helen

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.

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? 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. 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?

relationship between odysseus and helen

Being Queen of the Underworld has a Poe-like fascination. Someone noted that even though Persephone is only in the Underworld half the year, people die all year, so what happens to them if they die when she is away? I have also heard a suggestion that she actually preferred the company of Hades to that of her mother, Demeter, and that far from being tricked, she ate the pomegranate seeds on purpose so she could stay with him.

She became a literal femme fatale, ruling from her black marble throne over the dead. Atalanta, the swift-racing maiden who also hunted the fearsome Calydonian boar and joined Jason and the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece, would certainly lend herself to a modern reinterpretation.

She was the foremost female athlete in Greek mythology, and also beautiful, of course. All retelling of myth proves how alive these stories still are and how they resonate with us today. Some retellings are just that and others seek to reinterpret the myths in new ways. In general I think the ones that do not seek to overthrow the basic mind-set of the stories fare best, such as the works of Mary Renault. The main decision, whether to keep the gods as main players or not, is the key one.

Without the gods, much of the motivation of the human characters collapses. Attempts to substitute something else, for example, making the war at Troy just about trade, fall flat.

One of the surprises readers will encounter in Helen of Troy is the unflattering portrayal of Odysseus. Full of deception, yes, but Odysseus is certainly one of the most likable characters in ancient literature. Why did you portray him as little more than a conniving liar? Other stories make him more and more low minded, so that he lies in wait for revenge on Palamedes because he once outsmarted Odysseus by revealing his trickery, thereby sending him to the war.

With trumped-up charges, planted evidence, and false witnesses, he gets Palamedes condemned to death by stoning. A modern military analyst has said that today Odysseus would be court-martialed for his failure to bring any of his men home, after needlessly endangering their lives throughout his mission.

Not much of a recommendation! However, he has always been a popular and likable character in the sense that rogues in general are likable characters. We like seeing how he gets out of scrapes, and he is endlessly resourceful and entertaining, and his wiliness serves him well. The blundering Agamemnon, returning from Troy, walks mindlessly into his palace, suspecting nothing, where he is immediately murdered. Odysseus, returning from Troy, scouts out the situation in Ithaca, disguises himself, and prevents such a fate.

Now how can we help but like, even admire, such a character? And the novel is told from her point of view. How could she like the man who invented the Trojan Horse and thereby caused the fall of Troy? Do you find the pagan world to be spiritually impoverished?

relationship between odysseus and helen

Some people in the pagan world itself found the official state rites and sacrifices lacking in meaning, and they turned to mystery religions that offered a deep personal connection to the gods and promised a richer afterlife. The Eleusinian Mysteries, described in the novel, were wildly popular and continued to be celebrated even after the Roman Empire became officially Christian.

Early Christians freely adapted some elements of the mystery cults, infusing them with their own interpretation. Also, by the time of the beginning of Christianity, many Greeks and Romans had ceased to believe in the Olympian gods as having any sort of reality, which left a great hunger in their lives, especially as these gods did not offer them moral guidance or a consistent code of ethics to follow.

Christianity, more immediate and more reassuringly personal, guided them in new spiritual directions. The classical world in general, and Greek myth in particular, seems to be experiencing a renaissance in twenty-first-century popular culture. What makes these myths so enduring? What makes them especially popular in contemporary culture?

The myths all center on basic questions, desires, or needs on our part, so they endure forever. Passion—how important is it to the complete life?

War—why do we seemingly need it? Destiny—how much do we control, how much are we controlled by outside forces? The answers are endlessly relevant and fascinating to us, and we explore them over and over again by revisiting myth.

Helen of Troy | Myth & Significance |

In myths we see them in their starkest, stripped—down form, where we can study them directly. And besides that, they are just cracking good stories that carry us along. If you give in to passion, what will happen? If Troy is too strong to be assaulted, what sort of trick will do the job instead? Myth is personal that way. You invent your own version of the myth as you relive it. There have been several portrayals of Helen in the distant and recent past. What were you hoping to accomplish with this one?

What do you think is the most controversial or startling element of your portrayal? When I was in Sparta doing my research on Helen, my hotel room had a view of the hilltop where her palace had stood.

Helen of Troy

In the dream she was not at all as I had imagined her. She was neither blond nor redhaired nor brunette, but had masses of hair that was more the color of cognac or topaz. Her presence was powerful and electrifying. So that is the Helen I felt she wanted the world to know, and the Helen I tried to portray.

This strong, intelligent, questioning Helen is the most startling element of my portrayal, but I also wanted people to know she had a life beyond the fall of Troy.