Helen in Trojan Women: Mythos vs. Logos


In epic and later literature, Helen is a consummate performer of tales and songs. This is an aspect that informs Helen’s defence speech in Euripides’ Trojan Women, in which she manipulates to her advantage a poetic tradition that was largely hostile to her. It is thanks to her skilful appropriation of poet’s tales that Helen, the supreme performer, albeit starting from a disadvantageous position, manages to carry the day in the debate against her opponent Hecuba and her sophistically informed rationalistic argumentation.