Do you think Helen should have played a bigger role in The Odyssey? Why or why not?  

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jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The majority of Helen's influence on events in The Odyssey is evident in The Illiad, so it would be redundant to have that information reiterated; however, it might have rounded out her a character a bit to see her more often in the follow up novel.

Furthermore, I personally would be interested in the reactions to Helen of women like Penelope and Clytemnestra. As a loyal, devoted wife, Penelope would probably not think much of Helen's actions; however, they were related so she may have been able to see past them. Clytemnestra is another story all together, because instead of leaving her husband, she murdered him!


gekkolies eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Homer deliberately focussed on Athene as the main goddess of the story who gives aid to Odysseus.  If he  would have added more scenes with Helen, it would have detracted from Athene.  I also feel that enough was said about her because the epic is very lengthy to begin with.  Of course, if another sequel to the story had been written- that would have been a different matter. However, I will say that Homer- being a good writer, would have most likely added more scenes with Helen, if the story warranted it. 

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The Odyssey

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