Helen Of Troy Analysis

Keywords: research of helen of troy, helen of troy history

In this essay, we evaluate and compare the icon of beauty, Helen of Troy in one historical source as well as you modern day source. More specifically, we make reference to William Butler Yeats poem, No second Troy and Wolfgang Petersens movie Troy. We compare the mark of Helen in both of these sources in terms of intertextuality, polyphony and ideology. In the following part of the essay, we first provide a brief qualifications of the traditional misconception of Helen; then we compare the poem No Second Troy and the film Troy in three aspects; finally, we give a conclusion of our analysis and comparison.


Helen, also called Helen of Troy and Helen of Sparta, is a mythological shape in historical Greece. Her myth finds its origins in the Mycenaean era and the name ''Helen'' was initially shown in Homer''s poem. Regarding to many prehistoric misconceptions (e. g. , Iliad and Odyssey), She was born in Sparta and was the girl of Leda, queen of Sparta, and Zeus. Ovid's Heroides reveals that Helen put in her junior in Sparta and experienced the traditional physical education, such as rehearsing forearms and hunting. When Helen emerged to her marry age group, lots of kings and princes around the globe were enchanted by her beauty and submitted precious presents to court her. To be able to select a great spouse for Helen without offending other suitors, Odysseus advised to let all the suitors swear never to retaliate the chose one. In the end, Menelaus became Helen''s husband. After many years of their matrimony, the young Trojan prince, Paris, came to Sparta for diplomatic reasons. Recently, Zeus asked Paris to promise the most amazing goodness and Aphrodite guaranteed him the most beautiful woman. Paris then select Helen of Sparta. Some historical sources declare that Helen was abducted by Paris to Troy, while others declare that she was prepared to follow Paris and to leave Menelaus. The abduction of Helen became the immediate cause of the war between the Trojan and the Greek. The English dramatist Christopher Marlowe depicted Helen as using a face that launched one thousand boats. In Iliad, Helen actually regretted to run away and gradually learned that her lover Paris was not as fearless and capable as his brother Hector in any way. The descriptions of Helen in the Trojan War were ambiguous and usually discord each other. Following the land of Troy, Helen went back to Sparta and was back to live with Menelaus, as explained in Odyssey. Yet in the play Orestes, Helen kept the mortal world and was taken to Olympus.

William Butler Yeats (1865 'C 1939) was an Irish poet, who was simply honored the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Yeats met Maud Gonne, an Irish nationalist in 1889 and ever since then, she became a major subject in Yeats'' poems. No Second Troy was roughly written around 1908 and it indeed refers to Maud Gonne.

Troy, the epic battle film directed by Wolfgang Petersen in 2004, was adapted from Homer''s great poem The Iliad. The film essentially follows the storyline line in Iliad and re-presents the grand displays in the Trojan War. It mainly features the character types of Achilles, Hector, Paris, Agamemnon, Menelaus and Helen.

Analysis and Comparison


Intertextuality identifies the relationship of one content material to other similar text messages, which shows the connections among different resources. Both film Troy and the poem No Second Troy are mainly predicated on the explanation of the Trojan Conflict in ancient greek language myths and Homer''s Iliad, yet they all make adaptations expressing different thoughts. Yeats used the storyline of Helen as a qualifications of his poem. The content of the poem is constant to the mythology history in terms of its literal information that beauty causes a crucial battle (''Have trained to ignorant men most violent ways'''', ''With beauty just like a tightened bow''''). However, in the initial report, Helen was involved in the Trojan War and she regretted her decision when witnessing so much loss of life and sadness induced by the war. Since Yeats intended to compare the image Helen to Maud Gonne, Helen''s identity in his poem was changed to fit in with Maud Gonne''s personality. In Yeats'' poem, Helen calls for effort in the battle and uses her beauty to her advantages (''Was there another Troy for her to burn up?''). The visitors can plainly feel her determination and determination (''Being high and solitary and most stern''). Troy''s storyline also offers several apparent deviations from the reserve. First of all, the Gods are not introduced into the film. While in Homer''s writing, the Gods actually performed a key role in the Trojan Battle. For example, Poseidon backed the Greeks and Aphrodite was on the Trojan side to safeguard Paris. The omission of Gods makes the heroes look more practical thus become closer to our life and simpler to understand; but on the other side it cannot present a definite origin and background of each persona. Subsequently, in Iliad, later Helen discovered Paris'' cowardice when he dared not to fight to death with Menelaus and disgusted his patterns; while in Troy, the love between Helen and Paris was natural and sweet all the time. Indeed, Helen was even glad that Paris gave up fighting to save his life. Such version is common in the framework of intertextuality. These text messages are built upon the other person however they each serve different purpose and convey intricate feelings. Inside our case, Yeats changed Helen''s character to show his sorrow brought on by Maud Gonne''s rejection and nationalism; Wolfgang transformed Helen''s feeling for Paris to makes his identity as well as their love more pleasant to the audience.


In music, polyphony identifies music consisting of different unbiased melodic voices. Borrowing this concept to literature, we explain a text message as polyphony if it organizes diverse points of view and voices. In No Second Troy, Yeats expressed both praise and criticism for Maud Gonne in the name of Helen. Before the poem was written, he had proposed to Maud for four times in total, beginning with 1891, then 1899, 1900, and finally in 1901. However, she refused to marry Yeats frequently. While Yeats was at profound sorrow because of his unfruitful love, he understood such behavior was rooted in Maud''s nationalism and feminism (''Why should I blame her that she filled up my days and nights / With misery, or that she'd of past due''). Maud Gonne was a famous girl revolutionist in Ireland. She wished to resist English colonization and liberate Ireland; to be able to achieve this goal, Maud got lively part in campaigning for nationalism in Ireland. Maud is an unusual woman who does not want to take pleasure from in a peaceful life with hubby and children; she dedicated herself to cutting edge activities in Ireland. It is her beauty as well as her motivated character that attracted Yeats (That's not natural in an age such as this, / Being high and solitary and most stern?), but her ardency in revolution also resulted in their enduring turbulent relationship, the source of Yeats'' sorrow. Within the film Troy, the Trojan people, especially Priam and his royal families had mixed thoughts for Helen as well. When Helen was first taken to the palace, Priam appeared very kind and welcomed her warmly. Nevertheless, when later he was exclusively with Hector, he blamed him for allowing Paris to adopt her home. We are able to see that on one hand, as a daddy, he was pleased to possess such a beautiful daughter-in-law; on the other palm, as the king of Troy, he did not want to see his country included into a warfare. When they received married, the Trojan people collected around to truly have a look at their beautiful princess; but later when the battle started, Helen was blamed for all the subsequent fatality and sufferings. The truth is, people will not have a 100 % pure and definite feeling for a person or some things, thus in books, some works do not maintain an individual tone of voice and express views in several different angles. Helen is undoubtedly an icon of beauty, yet at exactly the same time there are sins root such beauty; people also remember the tragedies induced by her.


Ideology is one of the most crucial concepts in ethnical studies. It symbolizes something of values, and influence just how people think. Ideology sorts the politics and social relation in a population. The two resources in this article show different ideologies in two distinct intervals and places in human history. To comprehend Maud Gonne/Helen''s identity in No Second Troy, first we have to review the dominating ideology in Irish modern culture, which is dependant on traditional, capitalistic Christianity. Therefore, women''s traditional role is thought as moms and wives. They play a role in political and cultural activities, such as communal reforming and the Irish trend. Under this circumstances, Maud was an unusual ladies in her time (''That is not natural in an age like this'') and always bore a head of resurrection; she was not handled by the custom in her modern culture, but persisted in fighting for the independence of Ireland and attempted to energize high spirits among Irishmen. She cofounded the nationalist organization, Daughters of Erin and after turning down Yeats'' proposal several times, she married a fellow activist, Maj. John MacBride. In the movie Troy, the storyline of Helen happens in ancient Greek and Sparta. Its public ideology is definitely similar compared to that of Maud''s contemporary society in conditions of women''s role. Within the gender-stratified society at that time, women were usually powerless and can only just subordinate to men. Helen, as a particularly beautiful female, was put in an even more disadvantageous situation, since her beauty was employed by men and became her burden. Being a possession of men, she acquired no control over herself. Within the movie, we can see that Helen''s destiny is much bound with the person she was with. In Sparta, Agamemnon''s rule led to a loose alliance since Achilles presented another ideology which is issue to the prominent one and he always wished to struggle for his own. Under this delicate regime, Helen had a weak figure and lacked conviction, thus she was easily persuaded by Paris to run away her hubby and country. In Troy, Priam''s rule represents a good prominent ideology. People live in a harmonious culture. During the conflict, Prince Hector motivated his people to focus on the continuing future of Troy rather than personal passions. In Priam''s family, Helen felt warmth, observed sacrifice and steadily she learned to look after others. Ever sold, women''s personality is often identified by the political affairs at that time. In No Second Troy, Helen initiated the battle and got clear aims; in Troy, Helen was involved in the war and failed to avoid the tragedy.


The two options No Second Troy and Troy are both predicated on Iliad and other Greek misconceptions about the Trojan Conflict. The major tale series is the same in both materials, with understated changes tailoring to the audience and reason for the material. Both works also show a blended feeling for the type Helen. People admire and love her beauty but also consider her as the source a trouble in the terrible war. Furthermore, the physique Helen in Yeats'' poem and the film symbolizes two opposite individuals. In No Second Troy, Helen / Maud Gonne has a solid personality. She is open-minded, resilient, and unwilling to obey the custom. In Troy, Helen is referred to as a subordinate to the men liked her. She is weak, following flow and cannot take duties. The two disparate personalities are mainly made by the interpersonal and political status at that time. Although in both No Second Troy and Troy, women play a minor role in creating the development of the society, Helen in Troy did not realize the protection under the law of women and was totally helpless among men''s politics and wars, while Helen in No Second Troy is not content to check out men''s order and become a good sweetheart. Instead, she needed her steps and struggle for freedom on her behalf people and country.

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