Helen


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Helen,

in Greek mythology, the most beautiful of women; daughter of LedaLeda
, in Greek mythology, daughter of Thestios, king of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta. According to most legends, she was seduced by Zeus, who visited her in the form of a swan.
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 and ZeusZeus
, in Greek religion and mythology, son and successor of Kronos as supreme god. His mother, Rhea, immediately after his birth concealed him from Kronos, who, because he was fated to be overthrown by one of his children, ate all his offspring.
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, and sister of Castor and PolluxCastor and Pollux
, in classical mythology, twin heroes called the Dioscuri; Castor was the son of Leda and Tyndareus, Pollux the son of Leda and Zeus. They were brothers to Helen and Clytemnestra. Castor excelled as a horseman and Pollux as a boxer.
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 and ClytemnestraClytemnestra
, in Greek mythology, the daughter of Leda and Tyndareus. Homer described her as the noble-minded wife of Agamemnon, persuaded to infidelity by the tyrant Aegisthus. However, the Greek tragedians, most specifically Aeschylus, depicted her as remorseless and vengeful.
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. While still a young girl Helen was abducted to Attica by Theseus and Polydeuces, but Castor and Pollux rescued her. Later, when she was courted by the greatest heroes and chieftains of Greece, her foster father, Tyndareus, fearful of their jealousies, demanded that each suitor swear to defend the rights of the man Helen chose. She then married MenelausMenelaus
, in Greek mythology, king of Sparta, son of Atreus. He was the husband of Helen, father of Hermione, and younger brother of Agamemnon. When Paris, prince of Troy, abducted Helen, Menelaus asked the other Greek kings to join him in an expedition against Troy, beginning
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, who, when ParisParis
or Alexander,
in Greek mythology, son of Priam and Hecuba and brother of Hector. Because it was prophesied that he would cause the destruction of Troy, Paris was abandoned on Mt. Ida, but there he was raised by shepherds and loved by the nymph Oenone.
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 carried her off to Troy, reminded her former suitors of their oath. They then recruited an army and defeated the Trojans in the Trojan WarTrojan War,
in Greek mythology, war between the Greeks and the people of Troy. The strife began after the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. When Menelaus demanded her return, the Trojans refused.
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.

Some legends say that Paris forcibly abducted Helen; others that she fell in love with him and went willingly. In one peculiar account, originating in Stesichorus and used by Euripides, Helen was rescued by Proteus in Egypt, who substituted in her stead a phantom that sailed to Troy with Paris. Proteus then cared for Helen until Menelaus finally claimed her. In the Iliad and Odyssey, Helen becomes Paris' wife but is in sympathy with the Greeks. She is easily reconciled with Menelaus after the war, and they return to a peaceful life at Sparta.

There are several other accounts of the story of Helen. Some say that after she and Menelaus returned to Greece, Orestes vengefully tried to kill her but that Zeus deified her. She bore Menelaus one daughter, HermioneHermione
, in Greek mythology, the only daughter of Helen and Menelaus. When Helen eloped with Paris, Hermione was abandoned to the care of Clytemnestra. She later married Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles.
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, and, by some accounts, a son, Pleisthenes. Helen had cults in Sparta and elsewhere and is considered by some scholars to be a "faded" goddess—perhaps an ancient fertility goddess—who became a mortal woman.

Helen

carried off by Paris, thus precipitating Trojan war. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad, Hall, 147]
References in classic literature ?
Tea over and the tray removed, she again summoned us to the fire; we sat one on each side of her, and now a conversation followed between her and Helen, which it was indeed a privilege to be admitted to hear.
Miss Temple had always something of serenity in her air, of state in her mien, of refined propriety in her language, which precluded deviation into the ardent, the excited, the eager: something which chastened the pleasure of those who looked on her and listened to her, by a controlling sense of awe; and such was my feeling now: but as to Helen Burns, I was struck with wonder.
Then they seemed so familiar with French names and French authors: but my amazement reached its climax when Miss Temple asked Helen if she sometimes snatched a moment to recall the Latin her father had taught her, and taking a book from a shelf, bade her read and construe a page of Virgil; and Helen obeyed, my organ of veneration expanding at every sounding line.
I heard from Aunt Bessie not long ago," Helen stated.
Still holding Helen's hand he drew his arm round Rachel's shoulder, thus making them come uncomfortably close, but Helen forbore to look.
In the darkness in the grand-stand Helen White and George Willard remained silent.
George and Helen arose and walked away into the darkness.
But you must not go till you have seen the conservatory, my aunt's winter garden,' said Helen, as I advanced to take leave of her, with as much philosophy and self-command as I could summon to my aid.
It seems I am still to look on Staningley as my home: I wish you to make it yours likewise, for Helen is attached to the place and to me - as I am to her.
That," answered Helen, "is huge Ajax, bulwark of the Achaeans, and on the other side of him, among the Cretans, stands Idomeneus looking like a god, and with the captains of the Cretans round him.
Alexandrus and Menelaus are to fight for Helen in single combat, that she and all her wealth may go with him who is the victor.
242: For Helen had been previously carried off by Theseus, and it was in consequence of this earlier rape that Aphidna, a town in Attica, was sacked and Castor was wounded in the right thigh by Aphidnus who was king at that time.