Helen of Troy Fact vs. Fiction Research Paper

Essay by hnnhe_eHigh School, 10th grade December 2008

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5 May 2008

Helen of Troy:

Fact vs. Fiction

Together, in the spur of the moment, they ran. The walls they enclosed themselves in, along with all of Troy, protected them as the ships launched and war erupted. Helen of Troy's story of love and deceit inspired authors, such as Homer and Tisias, to write about the war caused by one woman and her act of betrayal towards her husband. As history goes and passes, questions arise as to whom exactly was Helen of Troy, and was she even real. Is the story true about the women who had "the face that launched a thousand ships" or is the mythological legend narrated as a make-believe tale expressed by the authors of past millennia?

The epic tale of Helen of Troy has been told for three thousand years, since 1200 B.C.E. Before the 19th century, Helen of Troy was thought of as a myth written by the Roman author, Virgil, in the Aeneid, and the Greek poet, Homer, in the Iliad and Odyssey. However, in the late 1800's, an archaeologist discovered the lost city of Troy in Turkey. The discovery not only supported the writings of Homer and Virgil, but was based off clues from Homer. Maps of Turkey show evidential proof of Troy and its location. There are three main aspects of the existence of Troy, Sparta, and maybe even Helen herself: literacy, historical, and archaeological.

Exactly, who was Helen of Troy? There are three main versions of Helen of Troy: mythological Helen of Troy, goddess Helen, the daughter of Zeus, and Helen the historical figure. In myths, Helen of Troy can be found as the heroine in epics. In Homer's Iliad, she was the main cause of the Trojan War. As a goddess, it's only natural that Helen...