Helen of Troy
Bettany Hughes explores the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War. Is the story consigned to the myth status or did a real Helen exist? Hughes demonstrates that archeology can show that myths do carry a kernel of truth to them.
Helen of Troy was originally Helen of Sparta. She was one of the first women who was documented in history and has been part of the imagination for over 2000 years. How should we interpret the story, was it history or was it fiction? Is she a warning? Do men need an excuse to go to war? This is a fascinating look at the history and story of Helen of Troy.
The story is timeless, boy meets girl, girl goes off with boy, boys fight to get girl back. Hughes traces the story of Helen at the beginning. Helen was the only woman who is named from the age of Heroes, which allows the human imagination to run wild. Hughes demonstrates how striking a Bronze Age princess would look like, how a princess would be able to attract a Bronze Age Prince. A Bronze Age Princess held a high place in society, a woman who walked between the spirit world and the physical world.
Helen was celebrated by Spartans for how she affected people. Helen was given to marriage after a series of trials to the Prince of Sparta. Paris enters the scene after he was asked to judge who was the most beautiful goddess. He chose Aphrodite, and she gave him the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen. He went to Sparta to claim his prize. The Spartans welcomed him with open arms and celebrated him as a honored guest. It was all part of etiquette. Helen acted like the perfect hostess. So who lingered on who's doorstep first? Continue to watch the series to find out.
For use in the classroom: just highlight, copy and paste into a word document or a google document for use in the classroom. You can easily format these questions to your specifications. All questions should fit onto one page after formatting. Each student should find at least three things to learn about from the presentation.
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