Helen of Troy

Daughter of Zeus; Face that sailed thousands of ships

Helen was the face which sailed many ships but also caused the Trojan war; a war that lasted over ten years.

Helen in Liturature

“Helen of Sparta was perhaps the most inspired character in all literature, ancient or modern. A whole war, one which lasted for ten years, was fought over her" (Bell 1).

Helens Betrayal

"When Troy fell, Odysseus and Menelaus found Helen with Deiphobus. Menelaus killed Deiphobus (perhaps aided by Helen herself). Although Menelaus had intended to kill his unfaithful wife, her charms captivated him once again and he put her on his ship, announcing that he would kill her later. After seven years of travel on the sea, Helen and Menelaus reached Sparta and Menelaus had all but forgotten Helen's betrayal” (Best 1).

Trojan war

“It had been agreed between many suitors for Helen’s hand that if her eventual husband needed them they would all come to his assistance; hence when Paris and Helen eloped a large league gathered in support of Menelaus to launch the Trojan war” (Senior 1).

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Helens Portrayal

"Classical-era Greek writers were less kind to Helen. Euripides in his play The Trojan Women, for example, condemns her loose morals as provoking the war. Such literary treatments suggest how esteem of women had declined since the age of Homer" (Jestice 1).


Bell, Robert E. "About Helen of Troy." About Helen of Troy. Ed. Pierre Brunel, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2014.
Best, Michael. "Helen." Helen. Shakespeare's Life and Times, 15 May 2000. Web. 07 Nov. 2014.
Senior, Michael. Illustrated Who's Who in Mythology. New York: MacMillan, 1985. Print.
Jestice, Phyllis G. "Helen of Troy." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.