The Conflict Between Paris And Helen Essay

1137 Words Dec 12th, 2016 5 Pages
The conflict between Paris and Helen is not only extremely intimate because of their personal relationship, but also because there is a lot of power imbalances that they are both trying to take advantage of. Paris and Helen both are stigmatized as the couple that caused so much pain and grief, a role which they both adopt to some extent. In the Iliad, Helen is much more critical of herself and her choices. The reader sees her conflict; she is a Greek woman married to one of the greatest Greek warriors, who is now married to a weak, cowardly man. This is a great insult to her former status as the wife of a Greek warrior. However, Paris does not want his bride to view him as weak, so he attempts to pacify her: “Paris then in turn spoke to her thus and answered her: ‘Lady, censure my heart no more in bitter reprovals. This time Menelaus with Athene’s help has beaten me; another time I shall beat him. We have gods on our side also. Come, then, rather let us go to bed and turn to lovemaking’” (129). Paris has a lot of bravado here, but it is meant to mask the pain and shame he feels. Helen just vocalized Paris’ own feelings about himself but Paris is not low enough that he would not share his own realization with Helen; this level of intimacy is just not a part of their relationship. He puts on an image of bravado to convince Helen that he is not a failure; this image is the point where the audience comes to the realization that Paris has lost faith that he deserved Helen as a…

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