Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Trojan Women - Opinion

Hello! I just watched some scenes of The Trojan Women, a tragedy by the Greek playwright Euripides. I'm putting the first part of the three part video and the links to the other parts. I hope you enjoy it!

Now, THIS is a great dialogue. Some would say that the story isn't good enough, that there are much better plays than Euripides's. At first, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't any action. My head had begun to hurt from all the Trojan women's cries, but when the talking began, I was surprised. While the first part of the video is just women fighting, crying, and pleading for water, wanting Helen of Troy to be killed, the dialogue between Helen, the King Menelaus, and Hecuba is amazing.

Since the beginning of the film, we can see the manipulative arts that Helen possesses, being able to get a soldier to give her water while he hadn't given any to the Trojan Women. She is also able to manipulate the women, insulting them by taking a bath fully naked while they didn't even get water for drinking. This insult got the desired effect, because the women went crazy and Menelaus's soldiers had to hurry up and get her out of her confinement, because she would be killed if they didn't. When Menelaus arrives, at first he didn't want to let Helen speak, but Hecuba insisted on it. Then, epicness began.

Helen knew that Menelaus would kill her if she didn't convince him to do otherwise, so she appeals to the best way of convincing a man to do something: seducing. And I don't mean the sexual desire type of seduction, it was more like "Oh! I'm such a beautiful, cute girl that was completely blinded by a goddess, and I need your protection, why do you try to kill this poor little pretty girl instead?" type of seduction. She was appealing to the man's feelings to be able to get what she wanted. I had thought that this kind of behavior was only common nowadays, but it seems women have been tricking men since Ancient Greece's times. Many girls nowadays say things like "I'm not pretty" so men tell them, "Oh, don't say that, you're the most beautiful woman I've ever met." And they know they actually are pretty, but they want to trick men into saying it by martyring themselves. This is similar to the effect that Helen is looking for when she says "If only I weren't so beautiful." She is reminding Menelaus of her beauty, she knows that what she did is TOTALLY wrong and will get her killed, but she's trying to give Menelaus the urge to comfort her, protect her, save her. In the same instant Menelaus left the scene, the poor, suffering, unprotected girl was gone and Helen was again strong and proud, completely despising the Trojan Women.

Menelaus was not a strong man. He knew that he should have her killed then and there, but he couldn't get himself to do it. He was weak, and he was a coward. He fell under the spell of Helen, and told Hecuba that he would take her back to Sparta, where her death awarded. Then, he ordered to kill Hecuba's grandchild, the only left heir to the legacy of Troy's throne. Of course, Menelaus was afraid that the kid would grow up and try to get revenge, so he killed him and ran away from Troy.

The video ends here, but in the stories, it wasn't death what awaited Helen when she arrived back to Sparta, but a throne. She lived some time with Menelaus, ruling beside him. Then, different stories differ on the ending. Some say Helen died and was taken to Olympus, others say Menelaus died before she did... Either way, this is a great example of how women have been able to manipulate men through time to get what they want.

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