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Word Count: 623
Foreign women of mythology are set apart in some way from their fellows The mythological figures of Helen of Troy and Medea are two key examples of this separation seen throughout mythology in antiquity In the instance of Medea the woman who kills her children in vengeance when her husband deserts her it is clear that Euripides wishes to permanently separate her from other mothers not only in Greek mythology but also from other mothers from any type of story from any time period Helen of Troys case however is seemingly different Believed by many to be the cause of the Trojan War she is portrayed as somewhat a divine creature Helens mortal parents were Leda and Tyndareus but her real father was known to be Zeus who had also fathered one of her brothers Polydeuces Helen a great beauty was worshipped by many men but was eventually married to Menelaus Whilst this was happening a prince named Paris was promised by the goddess Aphrodite the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife and it would appear that this promise set in motion the beginnings of the Trojan War Paris came to Sparta the home of Helen and Menelaus visiting as a royal guest and after Menelaus had departed to Crete Paris seduced Helen or raped her and took her back to Troy with him When Menelaus learned of his wifes abduction he called together a great Greek army and sailed to Troy to reclaim Helen thus the Trojan War had begun The war lasted ten years and was the cause of death for many mythical Greek heroes Ultimately the Greeks won the war and Menelaus and Helen were reunited and they sailed back to Greece In studying the myth of Helen of Troy it is important to discover exactly what she was portrayed as a heroine or a goddess The exceptional circumstances of Helens conception and birth illustrate
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