Read Helena by Euripides Johann Adam Hartung Online


Title : Helena
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ISBN : 18338141
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 582 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Helena Reviews

  • David Sarkies
    2019-05-20 06:01

    Rewriting the Trojan War28 April 2013 This is probably one of my all time favourite Greek plays, namely because Euripides takes a well known Greek epic and completely turns it on its head. I actually studied this particular play in Greek and Roman Drama and the focus of the lectures was on the idea of appearance and reality. It seems that this is something that was explored back then as it is now in the post-modern movement, which makes me think that there is nothing modern about post-modernism. Basically, according to Euripides, Helen was never taken to Troy but rather taken to Egypt and hidden away and a phantom sent with Paris namely because the gods did not actually want Helen to be defiled by the Trojans. The idea was that if the Greeks failed at Troy (which makes me think that, in Euripides' mind, the outcome of the Trojan War was never certain) then she would be safe in Egypt. However, one does question whether, if the Greeks did fail, would the Greek homeland be under threat. Now, the idea of appearance and reality is that not everything was as it seemed to be. The Helen that was taken by Paris was not the true Helen, but rather a ghost. Also notice that there is a suggestion that nothing may be unique, as Menelaus says 'may there be two Sparta's'. Once again this is an idea that reverberates through to our time as we explore the idea of alternate dimensions: dimensions where everything is almost the same except for one thing which separates them. There was a particular television series, Sliders, that even explored this concept of alternate universes. There is the question of futility: the entire Trojan War was fought over nothing but a ghost, despite the fact that Menelaus had no idea that Helen had been spirited away to Egypt. Not only had he spent ten years at Troy fighting, but another seven years attempting to return home. It adds another layer of futility to the idea of war (and remember that during the time that Euripides was writing, Athens was in the middle of a major war). I suspect that there is an anti-war sentiment coming out here. However, the one thing that strikes me in this play is that Euripides is rewriting history to redeem Helen. Throughout history Helen has been seen as, well, a slut, because she deserted her husband and ran off with another man, and it was not as if she went unwillingly. It seemed in many cases that she agreed to leave with Paris (and if you watch the modern movie Troy – brilliant movie by the way – it is clear from there that Helen was a willing participant in the whole affair). However, not only is Helen entirely ignorant of what happened, she is also entirely innocent. What Euripides is doing is in effect redeeming not only Helen, but all women. He is effectively saying to the Greeks 'your attitude towards women is bad, they are not sluts, and they are not untrustworthy, and here I will show you.' Mind you, he did not need to redeem Helen to do that because all the Greeks needed to do was to look at the Odyssey to see an example of a virtuous and faithful woman. However, I suspect that there is more to this play than redeeming women. Euripides wanted to redeem Helen, because, in his mind, she had been hard done by. The question that is raised is, what if she was not a willing participant? What if she was forcefully taken by Paris? What if she never went to Troy and was stranded in a foreign land and held prisoner? Another side note is that we also see a vision of Egypt from the eyes of a Greek. Okay, we see a lot of that in Herodotus, but here we see the land being described as 'the Jewel of the Nile'. Sometimes we tend to disconnect Greece from Egypt (or at least I do) when in reality there was probably a lot of connections. Mind you by the time that Euripides was writing, Egypt was little more than a Persian possession, however Euripides is not writing about now, but about the past, around the time of the Trojan War. Looking at a time line (and mind you I do not necessarily agree with them, but we will work with them) the destruction of Troy occurs around the time of the Pharoah Rameses II, and we are told in this play that the previous Pharoah was Proteus, who is held in high regard, which, to me, is suggestive of Rameses (who, no doubt, would have been known to the Greeks).

  • Phoenix2
    2019-05-17 00:40

    One of my favourite classical, ancient writings. The story is very interesting, a twist of the classical tale. The ending is particularly thrilling, as you are anticipating the recognition scene.

  • Sandra
    2019-05-23 03:39

    La peculiarità di questa tragedia di Euripide è l’inquadramento del personaggio principale, Elena di Troia, che nella mitologia classica era individuata come la causa della guerra di Troia, donna bellissima che proprio per colpa della sua bellezza tante morti produsse per gli Achei e per i Troiani. Nell’immaginario collettivo Elena era la bella senza cuore, donna di facili costumi, traditrice del marito Menelao per seguire un altro bellissimo, Paride, portatrice di infelicità ovunque andasse e infelice essa stessa perché maledetta in ogni luogo della terra allora conosciuta come infame e svergognata (nel mondo di oggi…beh lasciamo perdere).Euripide, in questa tragedia, ci offre invece una versione diversa da quella classica, ci presenta una donna che nulla ha avuto a che fare con la guerra di Troia perché portata da Giove, suo padre, in Egitto, mentre nel Mediterraneo ferveva la guerra, dopo che un suo doppio, creato dalla volontà della dea Era, fu mandato a Troia con Paride e subì l’infamia che sappiamo. Questa è la peculiarità dell’opera, che presenta per prima cosa la novità del doppio –che pure una certa parte aveva nella mitologia greca, basti pensare ai Dioscuri-, ed inoltre la figura di una donna fedele, una moglie legata al ricordo del marito creduto morto in guerra, al ricordo della figlia che per colpa della sua infamia non ha potuto sposarsi, e , quando il marito Menelao, sbarcato dopo lunghe peripezie marittime in Egitto, compare improvvisamente al palazzo dove la donna è tenuta come prigioniera in attesa che acconsenta al matrimonio con il signore di quei luoghi, l’amore per lo sposo risorge più forte e passionale, così i due organizzano la fuga con l’aiuto della sorella del pretendente, una sacerdotessa che ha natura mezza divina mezza umana ed ha uno stretto contatto con le menti degli dei dell’Olimpo (una figura ambigua, abbastanza singolare, che è usato come escamotage per arrivare al finale). Non ho molto da dire sulla bellezza della tragedia greca, che ho letto negli anni scolastici per obbligo e non mi ha mai appassionato, soprattutto le parti in cui il coro eleva dei canti agli dei, inserendo miti e personaggi dei più svariati a me sconosciuti. Molto meglio invece vedere le rappresentazioni in teatro, qui dalle mie parti c’è il teatro romano di Urbisaglia, dove ogni estate vengono rappresentate tragedie e commedie greche e romane, spettacoli sempre molto di successo e suggestivi. Se venite da queste parti in vacanza al mare o in montagna, approfittatene.

  • Steven
    2019-04-29 04:36

    Many tales might be clear, and yet not true.The story of Helen that has her sailing off to Troy with seducer Paris, leaving behind her husband and home, is clear; but is it true? In Helen, Euripides provides an alternative version of Helen’s tale, one that was suggested by Herodotus some thirty years earlier. Helen never went to Troy. Instead, after rivalry among gods over Paris, Hermes whisks her off to Egypt while a phantom takes Helen’s shape to accompany Paris to Troy. While Troy falls, Helen remains in Egypt, faithfully awaiting the arrival of her lawful husband Menelaus, under especial protection of king Proteus. Proteus dies - and this is where the play begins. The back cover of my collection of Euripides’ plays describes Helen as a comedy, which I find strange. Sure, there are moments of lightheartedness, and Euripides parodies himself in several places; but the overall impression one receives, which is solidified in the beginning of the play, is one tragedy. While the play does end on a rather happy note (depending, to be fair, on your sympathies), Helen’s early despair is symptomatic:Strong griefs ask strong lamenting. Who shall be Pattern and partner to my crying soul? What tearful song can match the toll Of deep pain paid by silent misery?I adore these lines, and this play so far is my favorite by Euripides.

  • Elena
    2019-05-20 07:48

    I had heard about a version of the myth according to which Helen was never actually kidnapped by Paris because the gods had hidden her and replaced her with 'her image', but had never been able to locate the source. This tragedy by Euripides recounts what happened to the real Helen, so blamed for being the cause of the Trojan war when in reality she never even met Paris. I loved it.

  • Maria Pallozzi
    2019-05-13 08:57

    Euripide presenta una Elena abbattuta e disgraziata, con il nome infangato da una colpa, l'adulterio, di cui lei non si è realmente macchiata.Ella infatti asserisce che quando Paride scelse Afrodite nella disputa tra questa, Era e Atena, per ottenere in cambio l'amore di Elena, Era si vendicò sul figlio di Priamo creando un fantoccio in tutto e per tutto uguale alla bella donna e lo fece giacere con lui.Così Elena viene indicata come traditrice pur non avendo mai tradito Menelao, che dal canto suo ha combattuto per dieci anni a Troia per rapire quel fantoccio spacciato per sua moglie e riportarlo a Sparta e ora non riesce a tornare in patria. Egli, vestito di stracci si trova a sbarcare in Egitto, vuole parlare con il re mentre la falsa Elena è sorvegliata a vista dai suoi servi, all'improvviso incontra la vera Elena che le racconta la sua verità, confermata in seguito dai guardiani che hanno visto disfarsi la donna custodita in aria. Allora Menelao riabbraccia la sua vera moglie, ne riconosce la lealtà, insieme fanno un patto: tornare a casa o morire con la stessa spada (più o meno).Con l'astuzia la donna riesce a persuadere la profetessa sorella del re a non rivelare la presenza di Menelao sul territorio egizio (non so perché ma il re detesta i Greci), e a convincere il re stesso (gli si promette in sposa dicendo che Menelao è morto in mare)a donarle una nave, delle armi, del cibo per "onorare il ricordo del marito alla maniera dei Greci". Insomma, la vicenda è tutta qui.Molto interessante questa visione dell'Elena, che viene vista per la prima volta non come una sgualdrina che si serve della sua bellezza, ma come una vittima senza colpa e con il nome infangato proprio a causa della sua natura.Interessanti il dialogo finale tra il re Teoclimeno e un servo che cerca di calmarne la collera alla scoperta dell'imbroglio messo su da Elena e Menelao.

  • AGamarra
    2019-05-13 00:59

    La Helena de Euripides constituye otra vez más un drama que una tragedia. Esta Helena es la versión más noble, tímida y pudorosa que puede existir de la esposa de Menelao. En efecto, recoge la leyenda que dcia que Helena nunca se fue con París sino que una creación de Hera, una Helena "de nube" fue la que acompañó a París y a Menelao luego que este la traiga de Troya.La verdadera está en poder del hijo del fallecido Proteo rey de Egipto, llamado Teoclimeno, quien a pesar de los deseos de su padre quiere casarse a la fuerza con Helena.La angustia de Helena da paso a la esperanza luego de ver a Menelao y ambos tienen que burlar a Teoclimeno y su hermana Teonoe, quien para colmo de males es adivina. poca tensión en este más bien drama que cuenta con buenas alusiones a la familia de Helena y al destino de algunos griegos.

  • Red
    2019-05-08 04:54

    Homer wrote about Helen 800 BC and he did so like a whistleblower. His claim was beware of Helen. He was brave in this acts because deities could punish severely. Like striking with blindness. But Homer was already blind so he had nothing to fear on that.Some 200 years later an other Greek poet made a critical poem on Helen. His name was Stechisorus. And he was indeed blinded for his act. But clever as he was he wrote a palinode on the subject and said no I never said something critical on behalf of Helen. After that he could again see.And again 200 years later we have Euripides making a play on the life of Helen. No critical remarks here. On the contrary she is a victim herself, only virtue and good conduct has she.It has been a slow recovery for Helen but justice is done after al by Euripides.

  • Michelle Abramowitz
    2019-05-17 04:49

    3.5Clever Helen

  • Ananya Ghosh
    2019-05-18 08:41

    Since I had loved Medea by Euripides, I instantly decided on reading Helen when I saw it in the list of options for my assignment. But this wasn't as alluring or powerful as Medea had been. But Euripides being the first Greek dramatist I read, I admit I'm still biased to him.The story follows the Greek Queen Helen who faces a personal tragedy as she becomes the reason behind the Spartan War because of Paris' lust for her. While throughout history, Medea was blamed for the war and Paris' lust, Euripides is known to be sympathetic to his female characters and thus gives a version of the story that shows Helen as a poor character played out by destiny and Gods' whims and shows Gods to be biased and moody and using humans as characters in their play. Zeus and Aphrodite bear the brunt, yay! But the whole plot was dealt with very lukewarm dialogues and action and with what I've read of Euripides, I expected better, though this was not bad. Still recommend this if you are into Greek drama.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-26 07:40

    Some people see this play as a kind of feminist or proto-feminist text. I disagree. There is nothing remotely feminist about it. Euripides doesn't question or examine the underlying values, misogyny and double standards (like he does in Medea) of a society that blames Helen for the Trojan War (e.g. he doesn't question why it was acceptable for men to have multiple relationships, but unacceptable for a woman; why it was acceptable for a husband to leave his wife, but unacceptable for a wife to leave her husband; why women were treated as the property of men; why the entitlement of men justified a war; why Helen was (and still is) unfairly blamed for the actions of Paris, Menelaos and Agamemnon (it was Agamemnon, not Helen, who launched a thousand ships)).In this play Helen doesn't deserve to be blamed and hated precisely because she didn't go to Troy; it is assumed that if she had gone to Troy with Paris, that placing the blame on her would be entirely right, proper and justified. Therefore Euripides' Helen offers nothing new or radical in its attitude towards women. Rather it reinforces the patriarchal view of a "good" woman: someone who remains faithful to her husband no matter what (Menelaos says that even if he dies and someone marries Helen against her will, that it is still a betrayal on her part because 'force is just an excuse', and it is best if Helen kills herself instead of betraying him like that).

  • Sveta
    2019-05-15 01:59

    "Ah me! ye Sirens, Earth's virgin daughters, winged maids, come, oh! come to aid my mourning, bringing with you the Libyan flute or pipe, to waft to Persephone's ear a tearful plaint, the echo of my sorrow, with grief for grief, and mournful chant for chant, with songs of death and doom to match my lamentation, that in return she may receive from me, besides my tears, dirges for the departed dead beneath her gloomy roof!"Most beautiful harmony"LEADER: … And I will myself go in with thee, and with thee inquire of the maiden’s oracles; for ‘tis a woman’s bounden duty to share a sister’s trouble."ayyy feminism!"MENELAUSI come as a shipwrecked man and a stranger, whom heaven protects.PORTRESSWell, get thee to some other house than this."+5 women"MENELAUSWhen? Surely I have never been robbed of my wife from the cave!"poor Menelaus, even when he shoves his wife into a cave she gets taken from him"MENELAUSNo robber I, or minister of evil.HELENAt any rate the garb wherein thou art clad is unseemly."consider yourself sassed*

  • Maan Kawas
    2019-04-23 04:48

    A beautiful light paly by the great Ancient Greek playwright Euripides, which tells a different version about the story of Helen of Sparta, based on the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus’ suggestion. The play has a happy ending – although it contains some element of a tragedy - were the beloved spouses are re-united and go back together to their own homeland. The play includes a number of themes and points, such as the power of reason, women’s ability to find solution (even through tricks), appearances/illusion vs. reality, marital fidelity, forgiveness, misunderstanding, honor, personal glory, virtue, identity, lineage, the intervention of gods in man’s life. It is shocking to know that the war, which led to tremendous destruction and loss, was based on a mere illusion, through the manipulation of gods, but at the same time that reveals the craziness of war and the devastating consequences it can bring on people and cities. I loved the trick by Helen, which helped her win back her husband, while reflecting her wittiness and creative thinking; and I also loved the story of Zeus and Leda. The translation is beautiful and readable, and I enjoyed read it.

  • Manuel Alfonseca
    2019-05-23 00:48

    Interesting counterpart to The Iliad, where Euripides follows the alternative legend, that Helen never went with Paris to Troy (the gods replaced her by a phantom with her appearance), while she was brought to Egypt, there to await Menelao's arrival after the destruction of Troy, in this way solving the apparent discrepancy between The Iliad and The Odisea, when Telemachus arrives in Sparta and finds there Helen reintroduced as queen as though nothing had happened.This book has influenced other authors, among them C.S.Lewis, who wrote a fragment ("After ten years") which he never finished, and is published in The Dark Tower and Other Stories.

  • Matthew
    2019-04-28 01:00

    It is often felt that men are more indulgent to a woman with a pretty face, but one of the more unusual instances of this is Helen of Troy, a woman of unusual beauty who never existed outside of fiction. Nobody has ever really seen her, yet men act as if they have. A savage and prolonged war was fought after Helen eloped with Paris, the son of the Trojan king, leaving her Spartan husband Menelaus behind. That alone might seem to be cause for condemnation, but a number of male writers have been surprisingly lenient to Helen, making excuses for her behaviour or assigning a happy ending to her. There are other less happy outcomes, including one where she is hanged, but the woman whose actions caused so many deaths is often excused as if her reputed beauty is itself enough to soften hearts. The Odyssey shows Helen safely back home in Sparta living happily with her husband, and expressing regret for her actions, which are viewed sympathetically by the men. A belated and bizarre example lies in Goethe’s Faust where Helen has returned to Sparta only to discover that the meal her husband is preparing on his return will include herself as the main course. This version makes Helen the sympathetic intended victim, and Menelaus the villain. In another play, The Trojan Women, Euripides’ treatment of Helen was ambiguous. There Menelaus came across as oafish and brutal, dragging Helen away by the hair to punish her. This may reflect the fact that Sparta was unpopular in Athens at a time when the two states were at war with one another. It seems strange that Menelaus should fight a war for ten years only to savagely treat the woman that inspired his fighting, but it possible that the conflict and the death of so many men has embittered him. As for Helen, it is uncertain how we should regard the famous beauty. Euripides presents two countering arguments. The first is from Helen herself, who suggest that she could not control her actions because they were the work of the goddess Aphrodite. If this is the case, then Helen is as much a victim as any of the other Trojan women who are reduced to servitude by the conquering army. By way of countering her views, her vindictive mother-in-law Hecuba pours scorn on Helen’s far-fetched story about the gods, and seeks to undermine the idea that Helen was a reluctant bride to Paris. In this play, Euripides does not firmly take sides but merely presents the two views. It is when we get to the play simply called Helen that we get a more sympathetic view of its titular character, and a storyline that competes with Goethe’s version for sheer oddness. In this account, Helen is blameless for the events that happened at Troy for a simple reason – she was never even there. Instead she was spirited away to Egypt, and forced to live there while a second Helen made out of air took her place. While Helen is not an anti-war play, it certainly builds on the negative depiction of war in Women of Troy. That play showed the atrocities of war, but this one shows its futility. Men were literally fighting over air. The Chorus at one point suggests that the whole conflict could have been resolved by courteous diplomacy. Whether it was fought for a woman or for air, the war hardly seems justified. Menelaus reappears in this play, and he too is a more sympathetic character. He is still trying to return home from Troy, but has been detained by the gods for 17 years. He is shipwrecked in Egypt where he discovers the real Helen, a chaste woman who has been true to him all these years. However a further problem arises. The Egyptian king Theoclymenus wishes to marry Helen for himself, and he kills Greeks who pass into his country. The couple finally find a way to escape by duping Theoclymenus into believing that Menelaus is dead, and that Helen needs to carry out funeral rites for him at sea. They then take over the ship, kill the Egyptians and escape. This bloodthirsty finale shows that Euripides is no pacifist. The play is regarded as a comedy, and some elements can be treated that way. Its final happy ending offers reassurance too. However there are tragic elements underlying it. Helen has been trapped in exile for many years, and the Greeks and Trojans have fought for nothing.At the root of this is the arbitrary will of the gods. They had decided to take Helen away and provoke the war, but gods are changeable. Just as the Greek-loving Athene turns against the victors in The Trojan Women, so Hera, the defender of the Trojans, suddenly comes out in favour of Menelaus in this play. It may be a reflection of decline in the beliefs in the old gods that dramatists such as Euripides provide a constant critique of them.Helen is essentially a rewrite of Iphigenia in Tauris, another Euripides play. It is astonishing that two figures connected with the Trojan Wars should apparently turn up again many miles away from the conflict, but too late to prevent the revenge killings done in their name, but there it is.It is a peculiar play that vindicates Helen by the most improbable means. However there is something strangely comfortable in the idea that the husband and wife are able to achieve a reconciliation that cancels out the apparent reasons for their separation.

  • Keely
    2019-04-24 00:54

    3.5 stars. This play has completely changed my opinion of Helen of Troy. Euripides continues to blow me away. His portrayal of Helen was really great. I also really loved the smoke and mirrors element to this play. Nothing was solid. Every moment was layered.

  • Gerasimos
    2019-05-03 04:48

    One of the masterpieces of Ancient Greek Literature. It is not one of my personal favorites, though.

  • Maura
    2019-05-15 00:39

    Read for School.

  • Laz
    2019-04-24 03:52

    I personally love this. It's all about Helen.

  • J
    2019-04-25 00:42

    There isn't a listing for this fun BBC radio drama version of this, but the Trojan War goes meta with Helen spinning a story about the gods creating a vaporous mist version of her that was the one that left Sparta to go with Paris to Troy, while the real Helen hid out in a cave. So the war was about what? Look, it's clear Greece wanted to smash an economic, political, and military rival and this whole Helen story is just a sham cover to do the deed. It's the "weapons of mass destruction" of its era, but it's the reason that has come down in popular accounts. At any rate, Menelaus gets all sneaky like Odysseus in this go-about and trickery wins the day in a lightly told tale of the aftermath of the war.

  • Pam
    2019-05-08 08:39

    I like the craftiness of Helen in this version. However, by removing Helen's presence in Troy, too much of her character as I have come to know it was lost. She did not seem like the same Helen. I did like her comment to Aphrodite "Reverend Goddess, if you acted with some moderation, you would be the best of all the gods."

  • Stephanie :}
    2019-05-04 01:02

    Read this for a college lit class. Greek myths aren't really my thing, but Helen was entertaining enough. It flowed easily; for me it wasn't one of those old books you have to force yourself to keep reading, and I didn't need a dictionary open next to me to look up a million unfamiliar words like I have to do with good ole Shakespeare.

  • Jeanne
    2019-04-25 07:43

    Helen and Menelaus can be quite the power couple when they want to be.

  • Nicoletta
    2019-05-16 07:42


  • Dmk
    2019-05-11 03:47

    It was really interesting to read alternative version of story of Helen. I prefer classic one though.Portraiting Helen as super-faithful wife seems really odd to me. And the moode of story was more like some Red Library romance my mother would read than great greek tragedy. And the first half of the play was uneventful.On the other side there are certainly good things in this play. Obviously the idea of alternative stor of Helen is big plus, the trick they[Helen and Menalaos] used to escape was quite clever and I really loved the idea of prophetess in the house that knews almost everything and you're at her mercy, at her decision what she'll tell or hide.

  • Justine Cucchi
    2019-04-25 01:37

    One of my professors, Dr. Diane Rayor, recently finished her own translation of this, and I had wanted to read another version before I went to see the live performance. It was honestly really pleasant. I was expecting someone to die, but it was a nice change not to see that in Euripides. I would recommend this for anyone who's interested in further reading after they've finished the Odyssey and Iliad. None of what occurs in this play is "canon," but it's a really interesting reinterpretation of the myth.

  • Francisco H. González
    2019-04-27 01:53

    Eurípides presenta esta obra en el 412 a.C, seis años antes de morir, y la sitúa en Egipto, lo cual como afirma Antonio Tovar “cuando Eurípides, al redactar en su vejez Helena, corta el cordón umbilical que aún ligaba a Esquilo, Sófocles y Aristófanes a la tierra sagrada del Ática, abre las posibilidades del teatro en todas nuestras literaturas”.La breve obra, de 1692 versos, -las que he leído de Sófocles y Eurípides se mueven entre los 1200 y 1700 versos-, comparada por ejemplo con la Ilíada, que son más de 15.000, resulta muy entretenida, vivaz, amorosa y escasamente trágica. El inicio es sorprendente, pues si pensábamos que Helena estaba en Troya, al lado de Paris, y que aquello propició la guerra, con la que Menelao quería recuperar a su esposa (a quien parece ser que fue su belleza su condena, si bien en la Ilíada, no se describen sus atributos físicos), ya en el prólogo se nos cuenta que Helena, no está en Troya (¡!!qué nunca llegó a pisarla!!. ¡Iker… a mí!) sino en Egipto. Allí está Helena, con el anciano Proteo como Rey, y cuando éste muerte es entonces su hijo Teoclímeno quien quiere desposar a Helena, que siempre se ha mantenido intacta, fiel a Melenao, por mucho que los rumores y habladurías la hayan puesto de vuelta y media, tachándola de adultera y epítetos de la misma ralea. De una manera bastante fantástica Menelao que anda perdido por esos mares de Dios, llega náufrago a una costa, precisamente al mismo sitio donde mora cautiva Helena. El encuentro se consuma, Menelao recela pero al final, anagnórisis mediante, cae del burro, y se convence de que esa Helena es su Helena, y si en una tragedia al uso, alguno de los dos, o ambos se suicidarían o quitarían la vida mutuamente, aquí nada de eso ocurre, y el pensamiento de ambos se ocupa únicamente en huir de la férula de Teoclímeno sin menoscabo. Quiera que la hermana oracular de Teóclímeno, Teónoe llevada por su sentimiento de justicia y su buen corazón se alíe de parte de la pareja y secunde su plan. De esta manera, ambos podrán huir en barco, tras un ingenioso plan, del que Teoclímeno no parece recelar en demasía. Un Teoclímeno que nos brinda estas postreras palabras que cifran muy bien la misoginia imperante.Podéis jactaros de que ella, que tiene vuestra misma sangre, es la mejor y la más casta de las mujeres. Felicitaos por su nobleza de corazón, algo que no se encuentra fácilmente entre las de su sexo.

  • So Hakim
    2019-05-20 08:48

    An alternative retelling of "the face that launched thousand ships". So she wasn't really on board to Troy, but instead stayed somewhere in Egypt during the war. Who was the one depicted in Iliad then? Answer: a hologram phantom designed by Hera to punish Paris and Troy. Yeah...To be fair, it's not that Euripides just went loose writing fanfic. The myth already had two versions during his day. (This one was also recorded by Herodotus)In this version Euripides put Helen as victim of her own infamy. She didn't do anything, granted, but her reputation already tarnished. No less than her mother had committed suicide because of that -- and pretty much everybody stopped to love her.Unless of course Menelaus, who ended up meeting her in Egypt, and then had his share of trouble trying to bring her back (again!) to Greece. Not that easy because his effort would incur some intrigue...* * *Personally I'm of two mind about this play. Euripides depicted Helen's inner struggle well: how she was haunted by her own infamy and wanted none of it. On the other hand her situation never seemed convincing enough for me. I still like the alternative angle, though.

  • Elle
    2019-05-01 02:04

    This late take on Helen suggests that only a copy of her went to Troy, and that for this fake Helen, so many fought and died for so long. Helen, Euripides claims in this comedy, was actually safe in Egypt the whole time. I'm so curious why earlier ages valorized and deified Helen, and later ages hated and dismissed her. In some ways, Helen stands for all women perceived as beautiful. To be desired was dangerous--as the full story on her goes, she is the daughter of the rape of Leda, raped by Theseus as a young girl, pursued by all the eligible men of Greece, married off to Menelaus, lusted after by her brother-in-law Agamemnon?, and absconding or abducted to Troy via Paris perhaps at the promise of Aphrodite. Is her beauty also power or merely property of others? In many versions of her tale, her agency remains unclear. Here as well, where she is reduced to the shell of faithfulness, robbed of moral complexity and meaning, like the war she served as the excuse for.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-23 04:54

    Helen is kind of an alternate take on the classic story of Helen of Troy, who was the cause of a huge war just because of how beautiful and coveted she was. The play mainly asks this question: what if Helen never really ran off with Paris? What if a simple phantom of her was the one who had betrayed her husband? In this version of the story, Helen has been trapped in Egypt while completely unaware of the other situation going on.This play is very different since it's not really a retelling of a familiar story; instead, it messes around with the usual story to create an interesting scenario. While I did not think that it was the most impressive play to come out of Euripides, it was a still a worthwhile read because it was a twist on a story that I thought that had not been twisted yet. I'm not sure how important Helen is in the long run, but I can say this: it's a very fun play to read, so I recommend it.