Did Helen willingly go to Troy with Paris?

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or was she taken there against her will?

6 Answers

  • It seems so, that she went willingly and in love with Paris.

    Near the beginning of the Odyssey, Telemachus goes to Sparta where Menelaus is still King of Sparta and Helen has been restored to the Queen of Sparta. This is 10 years AFTER the end of the Trojan war. Menelaus seems to have been generous to her. Helen mentions to Telemachus that she still feels shame for going to Troy in the first place. Menelaus says something like “Don’t worry about it, Aphrodite can do that to people sometimes.” It is hard to interpret this as anything else than Helen was head over heals in love with Paris when she left with him for Troy.

    1) Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, is regarded to have “done that to her”, made her shamelessly in love.

    2) She feels ashamed, implying some sense of responsibility, as if she at least should have known better.

    This can be found in one of the early “chapters” (“books”) in the Odyssey. I can’t quite remember where but it is early in the book.

    You do see references to Paris “stealing” Helen, but women were regarded then much like property as opposed to people with rights. In the Iliad, the pretty girls that were captured near Troy were given to the better fighters as “prizes”, for example. This is obvious in Book 1.

    Menelaus would have regarded Helen going off with anyone for any reason as that guy having stolen Helen. Her feelings in the matter weren’t all that important.

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    According to Homer, she was not kidnapped, but went willingly. The Greeks were there to avenge the insult to Menelaus, not to rescue Helen. The Odyssey talks specifically about Helen’s regret over having chosen to flee with Paris. But the part about Menelaus dying outside the walls of Troy was Hollywood.

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  • Yes and No

    no – because aphrodite made her fall in love as a result of that contest of which goddess was the hottest

    yes – because her actions in Troy were not just that of a lovesick maiden

    Menelaus – was reaaaaallly nice – she should have been killed – however she was from a family of royalty/priests

  • Helen went with Troy, although Troy told her not to at first.

  • Yes she did, against Paris’s wishes.

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