Was Helen abducted or did she fall in love with Paris and run off with him voluntarily?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story of Helen of Troy begins with the Judgement of Paris. Eris, the goddess of strife, angered at not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis tossed into the wedding party and apple inscribed "for the most beautiful". Paris, widely acknowledged the most handsome man alive, was asked to judge whether it should go to Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite. Hera offered Paris unlimited power, Athena offered him wisdom, and Aphrodite offered him Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Where the gods are concerned, the preferences of mortals and such minor inconveniences as prior marriages, don't really matter.

The Iliad doesn't state whether she went willingly or not, although most subsequent authors condemn her for wantonness, suggesting that she is traditionally viewed as having gone willingly. Since Aphrodite is the goddess of love, once Aphrodite had decreed that Paris would be awarded her, she really had no choice in the matter.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both versions appear in antiquity. Neither is "correct" or "incorrect". They are just two different versions of a story.

pinkytune123 | Student

Yes, I know it but, most writers tell that Iliad focuses on the fact that Helen was really guilty and ran off. But other point of view, also states that Aphrodite to fulfill the bribe/offer she had given to Paris, blesses Paris-the prince of Troy with irresistible beauty, wisdom, and wit; Helena charmed by Paris's quality falls in love with him and rans of. I want to know that which one is correct?