In The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse, whom does Helen of Troy blame for leaving Menelaus for Paris?


The Odyssey

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sfwriter's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

Tempcr is entirely correct.  I only append the text from Rouse's translation, if his wording is somehow important.  The content is the same:

He killed many a Trojan with his own spear before he got back again, and he brought away many secrets.  There was loud lamentation among the women of Troy, but my own heart was glad.  For I was already longing to come home again, and I mourned the infatuation which Aphrodite brought upon me; when she carried me away from my native land, and parted me from my daughter and my home and husband, although there was no fault in him either of mind or body. (47)

Source: Homer, The Odyssey: The Story of Odysseus.  W. H. D. Rouse, trans.  New York: Mentor Books, 1950.

tempcr's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

I do not have the Rouse translation, so I am going to have to use Samuel Butler’s translation. The quotation below is from Book IV. Helen tells Telemachus, the son of Ulysses, and his colleagues that she blames Venus (also called Aphrodite).


“He (Ulysses) killed many Trojans and got much information before he reached the Argive camp, for all which things the Trojan women made lamentation, but for my own part I was glad, for my heart was beginning to yearn after my home, and I was unhappy about the wrong that Venus had done me in taking me over there, away from my country, my girl, and my lawful wedded husband, who is indeed by no means deficient either in person or understanding.”


Venus/Aphrodite had promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world as a bribe for declaring her the winner of a beauty contest in which she won a golden apple. Helen is suggesting, not very persuasively, that she was under the control of Venus when she left Menelaus and therefore could not be blamed.

mittenspie's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #3)


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