In this account, Helen is portrayed as a victim of circumstances who had no choice but to go with Paris and succumb to his every whim and demand in order to save her life. In the poem we see Helen "dressed herself in fine silvery linens and came out of her bedroom crying softly" when she heard of Menelaus' attack on Sparta clearly illustrating she had no alternative but to wait and see what the aftermath of the war will bring for her future.
Later, talking to Paris's father, she says, "death should have been a sweeter evil to me" explaining that she should have taken her own life than yield to Paris's seizure. She incriminates herself by calling herself a "shameless bitch" for yielding to his demands. Furthermore, she is seen as very embarrassed to have had her family find her in a situation which she apparently had no choice.
There are several colors to Helen's character that are portrayed in Homer's Iliad. She calls herself a "hateful wife" when she thinks of Menelaus winning her away from Paris. On Paris's return and eventual defeat in the Trojan War, Helen reproofs him by telling him he should have been killed by Menelaus, a "real hero"
In the Iliad, Helen is represented as a prey plucked from her serene life with her husband and taken away by Paris to be subjected to subservience despite her many objections. ...Show more