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Lecture%2028[1] - Helen in Greek Mythology and Slavic...

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Helen in Greek Mythology and Slavic Folklore 04/17/09
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Causes of the Trojan War Judgment of Paris The kidnapping of Helen by Paris Zeus’ Grand Plan Heroes needed a big war! Economic causes
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Helen in Homer Remains in Troy with Paris for the duration of the war Trojans highly conscious of her presence Hints that she may not have wanted to be at Troy: Helen tries to stand up to Aphrodite in Book 3 N. B. Helen and Menelaus had a daughter, Hermione Reunited with Menelaus when Troy falls; live happily ever after
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Helen after Homer Vase painting Athenian Tragedy – e.g., Euripides’ Helen Archaic Greek poets – e.g., Stesichorus Helen as topic of debate in rhetorical schools Is Helen herself good or bad? Is Helen to blame for the Trojan war, or was she just the pawn of Aphrodite?
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Helen in Vase Paintings Meeting of Helen and Paris at Sparta Beautification of Helen by Aphrodite prior to Helen’s meeting Paris Kidnapping of Helen Helen in Troy with Paris Reunion of Helen and Menelaus The art follows the traditional version of Helen myth, rather than the version followed by Euripides
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Helen at Troy with Paris
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Reunion of Helen and Menelaus
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Stesichorus (6 th c. BC) Helen – about Helen’s role in the Trojan War; follows the myth as told in Homer Palinode – retracts the story about Helen in the earlier poem First to propose the idea that Helen remained in Egypt during the Trojan War exoneration of Helen
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Gorgias, Encomium on Helen Ca. 414 BC Rhetorical show-piece Encomium – praise-speech Designed as speech in defense of Helen against her detractors Considers a variety of diff. versions of Helen myth; attempts to defend Helen in all possible scenarios The argument, on the whole, is unrealistic
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Encomium on Helen: Intro I What is becoming to a city is manpower, to a body beauty, to a soul wisdom, to an action virtue, to a speech truth, and the opposites of these are unbecoming. Man and woman, and speech and deed, and city and object should be honored with praise if praiseworthy and incur blame if unworthy, for it is an equal error and mistake to blame the praisable and to praise the blamable . It is the duty of one and the same man both to speak the needful rightly and the refute the unrightfully spoken. ”
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Encomium on Helen: Intro 2
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