Weekly Journal 9

Monday March 21st 7–9pm

Helen- daughter of Zeus and Tyndareus with Leda, protagonist of story, presented as a bribe to Paris to get him to choose Aphrodite as the fairest, supposedly is taken to Troy but is later revealed that its not actually her, Hermes brought her to Egypt while Hera created a phantom to be taken to Troy

Teucer- wanderer, father is Telamon, Greek warrior in Trojan war, Ajax is his brother, tells Helen how Menelaus is lost at sea and reported to be dead, originally came to talk to The0noe

Theonoe- sister of Theclymenous, daughter of Nereid goddess, gives Helen hope that Menelaus is indeed alive and just wandering about the sea, knows that Menelaus has come to Troy but doesn’t tell her brother which almost gets her killed out of his anger

Menelaus- king of Sparta, washes up on Egypt after being separated from his army, comes in rags and is unrecognizable because he is shipwrecked, under the impression that Helen is still hidden in cave outside of Troy after he took her back from Paris and was taking her back with him to Sparta, comes to the palace of Proteus (who is now dead) to seek help where he finds the real Helen

Theoclymenus- son of Proteus, takes over as King of Egypt once his father dies, wants to marry Helen since her husband Menelaus is allegedly dead,

Portress- greets Menelaus at the gates of the palace of Proteus, immediately dismisses him and sees him as just a beggar annoying the king, begins to talk to him more and is the first to tell Menelaus that Helen lies within the walls of palace

The Dioscuir- Castor and Polydeuces, Helen’s brother and also sons of Leda and Zeus, intervene when Theoclymenus tries to kill his sister for not telling him that Menelaus was alive and convinces him that this is the will of the gods and this marriage is not rightful, tell Theoclymenus that Helen was only supposed to be with him until Troy was plundered and she was supposed to go back with Menelaus and also that he shouldn’t be mad at his sister because she was just doing the right thing

Hermione- daughter of Helen and Menelaus

Phrygians=Trojans

Hellas=Greece

Cypris= Aphrodite

Chorus is captured Greek women

Tuesday March 22nd 8–10pm

Euripides Helen should be treated as a praise but more so as a clarification for Helen. Euripides uses the play to clear Helen’s name and disregard the misassumptions about her. Prior to Euripides Helen, Helen was portrayed as a temptress who often disregarded that she was the cause of so many men dying in the Trojan War. Euripides Helen allows for the audience to see the real side of the story and the wrongful judgments on Helen’s character are cleared up. He shows that she wasn’t the person to blame as much as people thought she was. While Euripides clears her name in that way he also discredits this supposed purpose by trying to imply she was the cause of the death of her mother and the cause of her daughter still being unwed. Its a contradiction because as he is clearing Helen of blame, he adds more blame to her name and somewhat makes it confusing for the audience on what connotation they should have on Helen. His presentation of her is very unclear and be interpreted numerous ways. In contrast, Gorgias is very straightforward and to the point with his perception of Helen. He makes it clear that Helen is indeed not at fault for this situation and he sympathizes with her. There is little room to vary with his attitude towards Helen and it is easy for the reader to get a sense of his opinion on the situation. Gorgias places the blame on many other partakers in the situation outside of Helen and does a much better job than Euripides on clearing Helen’s name.

Wednesday March 23rd

Helen tells the story leading up to the Trojan War

- 3 goddesses came to Paris for a beauty contest, Athena, Hera, Aphrodite

- Aphrodite promised Helen and wins

- Hera was angry and gave Paris a fake Helen and Helen was hiding in the clouds with Hermes

- Hermes took Helen to Egypt and was kept in the house of Proteus while Menelaus went to go fight for her

- Proteus is now dead and his Theoclymenus wants to marry her but Helen wants to honor her marriage to Menelaus when he returns

Teucer enters looking for the master of the house

- Wonders why Helen looks so much like Helen

- Tells her that he is a Greek warrior exiled from his home Salamis by his father Telamon, because his brother Ajax killed himself when he did not win the armor of dead Achilles

Helen asks about Troy

- Teucer tells her that it has been destroyed for 7 years

- He was there for 10 years

- Menelaus came and dragged Helen by her hair

Menelaus is now shipwrecked in Egypt with “Helen” and some other friends

- While he looks for help the others watch “Helen” and keep her safe

- Saw the palace and decided to ask for help

Doorkeeper tells Menelaus to leave because Greeks are not welcome but Menelaus refuses to leave

- Tells him that her master hates Greeks because Helen lives there and has lived there since before the Achaeans sailed for Troy

Menelaus is confused and decides that many people have the same name and it is just a coincidence

- Decides to stay and talk to Theoclymenus anyways because he is in dire need and no man should be that uncivilized

Helen enters and says that Theonoe said that Menelaus is not dead, just lost at sea

- Sees Menelaus and think he’s trying to hunt her

- Menelaus tells her that he is not there to kidnap her and he doesn’t believe that its really Helen

A messenger enters and tells Menelaus that the phantom Helen disappeared into the sky

Helen tells Menelaus the story of how Hera replaced her so Paris wouldn’t actually have her

The two devise a plan to trick Theoclymenus to escape Egypt and go back to Sparta

Theonoe appears and says she knows that Menelaus is there and must make a decision

  • follow the instructions of Aphrodite and her brother to tell Theoclymenus when Menelaus is there so that he can be killed or…
  • follow the wishes of Hera and allow Helen and Menelaus to escape safely

Helen argues that Theonoe should save them because Proteus kept her safe and Menelaus is back and she wants to go to Sparta to clear her name

Menelaus argues that Theonoe should save them because if not she is evil and he will kill himself and Helen in Proteus’ tomb to shame them

Theonoe agrees not to tell her brother that Menelaus has arrived and tells them to pray to Aphrodite and Hera so they can make it back to Sparta

Helen goes back to the palace and goes to Theoclymenus wearing all black with her hair cut off to show her grieving

  • She tells Theoclymenus that Menelaus is dead and that his messenger survived is there to tell her the news

Menelaus(unrecognizable to Theoclymenus, disguised as the messenger) and Helen tell him that Menelaus must be buried at sea with a bull or oxen, expensive robes, armor, fair produce of the earth and they must be far from land because Greek custom says the waves shall not wash pollution back ashore

He believes them and has a crew go out to sea with them where Menelaus’ crew also comes

They slay Theoclymenus’ crew and escape to Sparta

Theoclymenus is enraged and goes to kill his sister because she knew

Castor and Polydenous calms him down and talk him out of killing her

also known as the Discouri

explains that Theocylmemus wasn’t meant to marry Helen

also tells Helen that she will have fair winds on her way home to Sparta

Theoclymenus calms down and lets his anger go