A Short Analysis of Euripides’ Helen

Interesting Literature

An introduction to a classic play

Helen is not the most famous of Euripides’ plays, but it is one of the most curious – and it deserves close analysis and study. The play was first performed in 412 BC at that year’s City Dionysia. In summary, the plot of Helen turns on an old conspiracy theory first put forward by the ancient historian Herodotus: that ‘Helen of Troy’ was a mere phantom conjured by Hera, and that the real wife of Menelaus spent the duration of the Trojan War in Egypt, having been taken there by Hermes and kept safe out of harm’s way. (This is the basis of H. D.’s modernist epic poem Helen in Egypt (New Directions Books).) The Greeks and the Trojans both go to war over what is, effectively, an illusion. The goddess Hera is responsible for the phantom Helen and, therefore, the cause…

View original post 785 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s