Helen Of Troy Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Helen Of Troy. Here they are! All 103 of them:

This woman is Pocahontas. She is Athena and Hera. Lying in this messy, unmade bed, eyes closed, this is Juliet Capulet. Blanche DuBois. Scarlett O'Hara. With ministrations of lipstick and eyeliner I give birth to Ophelia. To Marie Antoinette. Over the next trip of the larger hand around the face of the bedside clock, I give form to Lucrezia Borgia. Taking shape at my fingertips, my touches of foundation and blush, here is Jocasta. Lying here, Lady Windermere. Opening her eyes, Cleopatra. Given flesh, a smile, swinging her sculpted legs off one side of the bed, this is Helen of Troy. Yawning and stretching, here is every beautiful woman across history.
Chuck Palahniuk (Tell-All)
When he comes into a room, you give a little gasp, deep inside, far inside,' someone once said when trying to describe what it meant to love.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
Look to your kingdoms— I am coming for them all.
Elisabeth Hewer (Wishing for Birds)
Why should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great, Had they but courage equal to desire? What could have made her peaceful with a mind That nobleness made simple as a fire, With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind That is not natural in an age like this Being high and solitary and most stern? Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
The boy's eyes went to him, and a shock passed through Magnus. They were not Will's eyes, the eyes Magnus remembered being as blue as a night sky in Hell, eyes Magnus has seen both despairing and tender. This boy has shining golden eyes, like crystal glass filled brimful with crisp white wine and held up to catch the light of a blazing sun. If his skin was luminous, his eyes were radiant. Magnus could not imagine these eyes as tender. The boy was very, very lovely, but his was a beauty like that of Helen of Troy might have had once, disaster written in every line. The light of his beauty made Magnus think of cities burning.
Cassandra Clare (The Midnight Heir (The Bane Chronicles, #4))
At Night Love said, "Wake still and think of me," Sleep, "Close your eyes till break of day," But Dreams came by and smilingly Gave both to Love and Sleep their way.
Sara Teasdale (Helen of Troy and Other Poems)
No. I came here to see you. I didn’t believe the rumors,but after hearing it on so many continents I had to come andsee for myself.” “See what?” His eyes widened in adulation, his voice taking on areverent tone. “If it was true that Helen of Troy, nay, Aphrodite herself had been reincarnated in gym teacher form.” The room was utterly silent. Except Vicious Redhead’s jaw dropping to the ground with a little plink. Or maybe I imagined that. And then the class did the worst thingpossible: They started giggling. Miss Lynn was going tomurder me.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Time can divorce us from the reality of people, it can separate us from people and turn them into ghosts. Or rather it is we who turn them into ghosts or demons. Some kinds of fruitless preoccupations with the past can create such simulacra, and they can exercise power, like those heroes at Troy fighting for a phantom Helen.
Iris Murdoch
I don't want anyone fighting over me," Kate said. "It's not worth it." "Like hell it's not." Samuel turned to her. "Don't ever say you're not worth it, Katie. You're worth epic battles. Entire wars." Her heart pinched. "Samuel..." "Yes, Helen of Troy?" She thought she saw him wink as he backed away, reaching for a sword to match Evan's. After all this time...he would choose this moment to be charming.
Tessa Dare (A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3))
She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has molded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.
Walter Pater
You must all swear to me that you will protect my sister and her child. If Helen and her line of daughters die, there will be nothing on Earth for me to love,” she said, her eyes falling apologetically on her son, Aeneas, for a moment before they hardened against him. He dropped his head with a wounded look, and Aphrodite turned to Hector. “As long as my sister and her line of daughters lasts, there will be love in the world. I swear it on the River Styx. But if you let my sister die, Hector of Troy, son of Apollo, I will leave this world and take love itself away with me.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
Enough wars have been started over this face. My face. My curse—and my mother’s curse, and her mother’s curse, and so on all the way back to the first woman to ever wear this face. Helen of Troy.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed City (Starcrossed, #0.5))
Some things can be recovered. Some things can be restored. But some lost things, we seek forever.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
I want to make the feminine scar. Helen of Troy was, after all, unfecundable. She was one of the rigid ones, like [Virginia] Woolf and [Rebecca] West.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
People often hate what they cannot understand.
Amanda Elyot (The Memoirs of Helen of Troy)
I had only to remember that centuries before, men fell in battle for the daughter of Troy, that passions carried greater weight than decorum. It took so little to prove that human life and property are devastatingly temporary. All she had to do was lie down for a prince. They burned the city to the ground.
Brenna Yovanoff
What Helen of Troy did in her spare time and what she was 'really like' are not questions that torture us.
Janet Malcolm (Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers)
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium-- Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.-- ''[kisses her]'' Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!-- Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again. Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips, And all is dross that is not Helena. I will be Paris, and for love of thee, Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg be sack'd; And I will combat with weak Menelaus, And wear thy colours on my plumed crest; Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel, And then return to Helen for a kiss. O, thou art fairer than the evening air Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars; Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter When he appear'd to hapless Semele; More lovely than the monarch of the sky In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms; And none but thou shalt be my paramour!
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
Hattie pursed her lips. “Personally, I always found a thousand ships a little excessive. And Menelaus and Paris fought over Helen like dogs over a bone; no one asked her what she wanted. Even her obsession with Paris was compelled by a poisoned arrow—what’s romantic about that?” “Passion,” Annabelle said, “Eros’s arrows are infused with passion.” “Oh, passion, poison,” Hattie said, “either makes people addle-brained.
Evie Dunmore (Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1))
Always, in these times, I am wretched save when sleep comes to me. Therefore, I have come to look upon sleep as the best of all gifts.” - Helen, about the war
Rosemary Sutcliff (Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of The Iliad)
Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?
The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats: The Complete Works PergamonMedia
Did you just call me…pretty?” “You’re a male version of Helen of Troy. Now run along. Find another something pretty that appeals to you.
Tiffany Allee (Don't Blackmail the Vampire (Sons of Kane, #2))
What did they say about Helen of Troy? That her face launched a thousand ships? That’s you, you’re that beautiful. A thousand ships.
Edmund White (Our Young Man)
Some say an army of horsemen, some of footsoldiers, some of ships, is the fairest thing on the black earth, but I say it is what one loves. It's very easy to make this clear to everyone, for Helen, by far surpassing mortals in beauty, left the best of all husbands and sailed to Troy, mindful of neither her child nor her dear parents, but with one glimpse she was seduced by Aphrodite. For easily bent... and nimbly...[missing text]... has reminded me now of Anactoria who is not here; I would much prefer to see the lovely way she walks and the radiant glance of her face than the war-chariots of the Lydians or their footsoldiers in arms.
Sappho
There are many different experiences that cause girls to relinquish their true selves. In early adolescence girls learn how important appearance is in defining social acceptability. Attractiveness is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for girls' success. This is an old, old problem. Helen of Troy didn't launch a thousand ships because she was a hard worker. Juliet wasn't loved for her math ability.
Mary Pipher
To quote a great sage... answer unclear, try again later.
A. Lee Martinez (Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest)
If the mitred bishops seen you that time, they'd be the like of the holy prophets, I'm thinking, do be straining the bars of Paradise to lay eyes on the Lady Helen of Troy, and she abroad, pacing back and forward, with a nosegay in her golden shawl.
J.M. Synge (The Playboy of the Western World)
She was beautiful. In fact she was possibly the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was tall, with dark black hair, light skin, and big brown eyes. Her face was beautiful, not fake beautiful like a model or an actress, because she was obviously a real person, but rather Helen of Troy, launch-a-thousand-ships kind of good-looking.
Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunter International, #1))
Love In Autumn I sought among the drifting leaves, The golden leaves that once were green, To see if Love were hiding there And peeping out between. For thro' the silver showers of May And thro' the summer's heavy heat, In vain I sought his golden head And light, fast-flying feet. Perhaps when all the world is bare And cruel winter holds the land, The Love that finds no place to hide Will run and catch my hand. I shall not care to have him then, I shall be bitter and a-cold -- It grows too late for frolicking When all the world is old. Then little hiding Love, come forth, Come forth before the autumn goes, And let us seek thro' ruined paths The garden's last red rose.
Sara Teasdale (Helen of Troy and Other Poems)
But she’s only a woman!” The watch captain shook his head again. “So was Helen of Troy, sir. Look what she started.
Ruth Downie (Terra Incognita (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #2))
CHORUS: Helen! wild mad Helen you murdered so many beneath Troy. Now you’ve crowned yourself one final perfect time, a crown of blood that will not wash away. Strife walks with you everywhere you go. KLYTAIMESTRA: Oh, stop whining. And why get angry at Helen? As if she singlehandedly destroyed those multitudes of men. As if she all alone made this wound in us
Anne Carson (The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides)
Omens. If I were beginning again, starting out in life, I would ignore all omens, neither heeding them nor trying to disable them. If we chose to pass them by, then perhaps they would lose their power, as old gods and goddesses, no longer worshiped, fade away and lose their grip on us.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
She’s unmarried but, as she confided early on to Judy, ‘not short of offers’. Nelson often thinks that Jo is not nearly as attractive as she thinks she is but, as with all these things, her insane self-belief rubs off on others, and after a week King’s Lynn police were treating her as if she were Helen of Troy. Her technique is divide and rule.
Elly Griffiths (The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway #9))
Komm, Prinzessin, wir sehen nach, ob der Laden deines Vaters noch steht.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
I'm sorry, Mr. Whiteleaf. I'm not going to let a monster eat me for minimum wage.
A. Lee Martinez (Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest)
In Ancient Greek literature male poets tend not simply to portray women as lecherous but to attribute to them a species of lust different from that of males: a subhuman and automatic reflex, an animalistic urge. Sappho is important because she gives a fulle human voice to female desire for the first time in Western history. Since she defiantly chooses the quintessential love-object Helen of Troy as her freethinking agent, she seems fully conscious of the revolutionary claim she is making.
Sappho (Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments)
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
And the dagger?" "Is that really -?" "Katoptris," Piper said proudly. "Belonged to Helen of Troy." I yelped. "You have Helen of Troy's dagger? Where did you find it?" Piper shrugged. "In a shed at camp." I felt like pulling out my hair. I remembered the day Helen received that dagger as a wedding present. Such a gorgeous blade, held by the most beautiful woman ever to walk the earth. (No offence to the billions of other women out there who are also quite enchanting; I love you all.) And Piper had found this historically significant, well-crafted, powerful weapon in a shed? Alas, time makes bric-a-brac of everything, no matter how important.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
I’m glad you still have your survival instinct.” “We’ve all got something.” I lift my fingertips to the exposed skin on my face. It’s colder than the night sea. Cupping my hands, I blow into them, let my breath warm my nose and cheeks. “I apparently still have a face, which is good.” Holden vaults up onto the wooden platform and I step up after him. “That is good,” he says, pulling me in close. He lifts his gloved hands to my cheeks. “After all, this is one of my favorite faces.” I scrunch my lips into a pretend pout. “One of?” He grins. “Well, you know. I’m a sucker for the classics. Helen of Troy, the Mona Lisa, that—” “Hey. The Mona Lisa isn’t even hot.” I give him a little shove away from me, toward the edge of the platform. “Disagree,” Holden says. “She’s beautiful in her own way. That mischievous smile, those dark, soulful eyes, the way she—” “Fine, whatever.” I cross my arms. “But I insist on being ranked above her.” “Okay, okay,” Holden says. “Yours can be my second-favorite face . . . right after that guy from The Scream.” He pulls me in close again. “You’re such an ass,” I say, as our lips touch. Holden laughs. “My girl Mona Lisa would never be so rude.
Paula Stokes (Hidden Pieces)
First of all, there is no need to patronize me by implying that I'm Helen of Troy when it's clear that I'm no beauty.
Lisa Kleypas
The war at Troy seemed to grow in song, poetry, and story all the while. As it faded from living memory, it grew larger and larger. Men claimed descent from one or the other of the heroes, or, failing that, anyone who had fought in the war, which now assumed the stature of a clash between the gods and the titans.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
She’s beautiful in a dramatic, romantic way. Her face could inspire gothic novels from long ago. If Helen of Troy’s face could launch a thousand ships, Violet McQueen’s face could launch a thousand stories, all filled with lust, heartache, and death.
Karina Halle (Black Hearts (Sins Duet, #1))
What's the matter, Bob?" "On." He looked at Aunt Judith, seeming embarrassed. "Well, actually, it just occurred to me that Elena is a form of the name Helen. And for some reason I was thinking of Helen of Troy." "Beautiful and doomed," said Bonnie happily.
L.J. Smith (The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1))
Some call ships, infantry or horsemen The greatest beauty earth can offer; I say it is whatever a person Most lusts after. Showing you all will be no trouble: Helen surpassed all humankind In looks but left the world's most noble Husband behind, Coasting off to Troy where she Thought nothing of her loving parents And only child but, led astray... ... and I think of Anaktoria Far away,... And I would rather watch her body Sway, her glistening face flash dalliance Than Lydian war cars at the ready And armed battalions.
Sappho (Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments)
It's the rule of bird shit.
Janine McCaw (Helens-of-Troy)
I spoke nonsense and I begin again: The story is not true. You never sailed on a benched ship. You never entered the city of Troy.
Stesichoros
The young Winston Churchill used to stand in the doorway of a ballroom, rating female looks on the Helen of Troy basis: ‘Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?’ he would ask a friend standing with him, receiving in answer a murmured: ‘Two hundred ships?’ as a young woman passed. ‘By no means,’ Winston would respond. ‘A covered sampan or a small gunboat at most.
Anne de Courcy (The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy)
What did I want? I wanted a Roc's egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist, and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get up feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a likely wench for my droit du seigneur - I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles. I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, "The game's afoot!" I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and Lost Dauphin. I wanted Prester John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and to eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be the way they had promised me it was going to be, instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is. I had had one chance - for ten minutes yesterday afternoon. Helen of Troy, whatever your true name may be - and I had known it and I had let it slip away. Maybe one chance is all you ever get.
Robert A. Heinlein (Glory Road)
The oldest written poem was by the Greek, Homer. His poem, The Iliad, tells the story of the siege of Troy, a story of the heroes who fought to the death to get Helen back to her hubby, King Menelaus.
Terry Deary (Groovy Greeks (Horrible Histories))
Then she walked away, like Helen of Troy turning her back on Attica. A gust of warm wind blew newspapers along the boulevard into the sky. The light was orange and bleeding out of the clouds in the west, the horizon darkening, the waves crashing on the beach just the other side of Seawall Boulevard, the palm trees rattling dryly in the wind. I could smell the salt and the seaweed and the tiny shellfish that had dried on the beach, like the smell of birth. I
James Lee Burke (The Jealous Kind (Holland Family Saga, #2))
But here Billy Chope arrived to demand what the 'ell Sam Cardew was doing with his gal. Now Sam was ever readier for a fight than Billy was; but the sum of Billy's half pints was large: wherefore the fight began. On the skirt of a hilarious ring Lizerunt, after some small outcry, triumphed aloud. Four days before, she had no bloke; and here she stood with two, and those two fighting for her! Here in the public gaze, on the Flats! For almost five minutes she was Helen of Troy.
Arthur Morrison
...Even [Helen of Troy’s] obsession with Paris was compelled by a poisoned arrow—what’s romantic about that?” “Passion,” Annabelle said, “Eros’s arrows are infused with passion.” “Oh, passion, poison,” Hattie said, “either makes people addle-brained.” She had a point. The ancient Greeks had considered passion a form of madness that infected the blood, and these days, it still inspired elopements and illegal duels and lurid novels. It could even lead a perfectly sensible vicar’s daughter astray.
Evie Dunmore (Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1))
Danger was a part of questing. Perhaps some quests were dull and safe affairs. Go to the store. Pick up some eggs. Return henceforth with said eggs and thou shalt be rewarded with the sacred omelet of justice. Nobody wrote legends about that type of quest.
A. Lee Martinez (Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest)
She had held a harpoon in her hand and screamed expletives at a whaling crew, salt in her hair and blood in her eyes, while he was arguing about his thesis with a bunch of bloodless advisors who saw no need to get passionate about anything that didn't feed into their own research. She had been a demon of the sea, and she still was; he could sense that much. Let her wear all the sensible sweaters she wanted to, let her hide her fury under polite frowns and her compassion under sharp words; he saw through it. She was still, and would always be, his Helen of Troy.
Mira Grant
The age of heroes had truly passed, and Tisamenus could not be one even if he burned for it. A great bronze wall had been erected around those old heroes, it descended from the sky, and no one could lift it or trespass there. Each age bestowed its own glory, but the age of my grandson could not be the age of Menelaus.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
I discovered that I wasn’t good looking when I went out into the world to look for a job. No, don’t mistake me. I was never delusional. I knew I was no Helen of Troy[32]. But whenever I looked in the mirror, I liked what I saw. I liked my face. Plus I had a great figure. Anyway, turns out that when you are a woman looking for a job in a glamourous industry, you need to be fair and lovely. See, that’s successful branding for you – when you so unconsciously use the phrase ‘fair and lovely.’ Of course, back then in the early 1980s, the skin whitening cream, Fair & Lovely, was not marketed as the route to bagging the job of your dreams. That
Lata Subramanian (A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant)
Will: Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you never met your wife? Sean: What? Do I wonder if I'd be better off if I never met my wife? No, that's okay. It's an important question. 'Cause you'll have your bad times, which wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to. And you can fail, as long as you're trying hard. But there's nothing worse than regret. Will: You don't regret meetin' your wife? Sean: Why? Because of the pain I feel now? I have regrets Will, but I don't regret a single day I spent with her. Will: When did you know she was the one? Sean: October 21, 1975. Game six of the World Series. Biggest game in Red Sox history. Me and my friends slept out on the sidewalk all night to get tickets. We were sitting in a bar waiting for the game to start and in walks this girl. What a game that was. Tie game in the bottom of the tenth inning, in steps Carlton Fisk, hit a long fly ball down the left field line. Thirty-five thousand fans on their feet, screamin' at the ball to stay fair. Fisk is runnin' up the baseline, wavin' at the ball like a madman. It hits the foul pole, home run. Thirty-five thousand people went crazy. And I wasn't one of them. Will: Where were you? Sean: I was havin' a drink with my future wife. Will: You missed Pudge Fisk's home run to have a drink with a woman you had never met? Sean: That's right. Will: So wait a minute. The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since nineteen eighteen, you slept out for tickets, games gonna start in twenty minutes, in walks a girl you never seen before, and you give your ticket away? Sean: You should have seen this girl. She lit up the room. Will: I don't care if Helen of Troy walked into that bar! That's game six of the World Series! And what kind of friends are these? They let you get away with that? Sean: I just slid my ticket across the table and said "sorry fellas, I gotta go see about a girl." Will: "I gotta go see about a girl"? What did they say? Sean: They could see that I meant it. Will: You're kiddin' me. Sean: No Will, I'm not kiddin' you. If I had gone to see that game I'd be in here talkin' about a girl I saw at a bar twenty years ago. And how I always regretted not goin' over there and talkin' to her. I don't regret the eighteen years we were married. I don't regret givin' up counseling for six years when she got sick. I don't regret being by her side for the last two years when things got real bad. And I sure as Hell don't regret missing that damn game. Will: Would have been nice to catch that game though. Sean: Well hell, I didn't know Pudge was gonna hit the home run.
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)
She’s a heroine, don’t you know?” said Aphrodite. The goddess started fluttering her eyelashes. “We can’t all be helpless waifs, waiting in high white towers for men to rescue us. We can’t all be Helens of Troy with men fighting for us! We women need powerful symbols of steel and fire to put us right up there with those arrogant guys!” “I
Martin H. Greenberg (The Further Adventures of Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess))
Roofed by the woven canopy of blind annealing grass-roots and the roots of trees, dark in the blind dark of time's silt and rich refuse - the constant and unslumbering anonymous worm-glut and the inextricable known bones - Troy's Helen and the nymphs and the snoring mitred bishops, the saviors and the victims and the kings - it wakes, up-seeping, attritive in uncountable creeping channels: first, root; then frond by frond, from whose escaping tips like gas it rises and disseminates and stains the sleep-fast earth with drowsy insect-murmur; then, still upward-seeking, creeps the knitted bark of trunk and limb where, suddenly louder leaf by leaf and dispersive in diffusive sudden speed, melodious with the winged and jeweled throats, it upward bursts and fills night's globed negation with jonquil thunder.
William Faulkner (The Hamlet)
His tone was odd, a mixture of restraint and subtle conviction. He did not make light of the question, nor did he attempt to couch his words in chivalrous courtesy. “He wants you, Marian.” She sighed. “So he says, when it is the lands he wants—” “No.” He cut her off. “DeLacey wants you.” She grimaced. “Because of what I have—” “Because of what you are.” She scowled at him. “What am I, then? Sir Hugh FitzWalter’s daughter, ward to King Richard—” “Marian.” His face was stripped free of the mask. What she saw now was blazing, naked emotion. “What you are is a woman he wants very badly in bed. And I think he would do anything to make sure he gets you there.” Her shocked denial was instantaneous. “Oh no—” “Oh yes.” She stared at him, undone by his conviction. This was nothing she had anticipated, this brutal, male truth. “I—don’t understand ...” And she didn’t, not really, not fully. She was only beginning to, and it frightened her very badly. His smile was wintry. “I am not the one to explain in elaborate detail why a man, any man, might feel as deLacey does.” Why not?” Robin sighed. “Helen of Troy.” It baffled her utterly. “What?” “Helen of Troy. Have you no knowledge of the classics?” “Of course I do; I was told all the stories. Helen was married to Menelaus of Sparta, until Paris of Troy cast his eyes upon her and fell in love with her at once. He stole her and took her to Troy. Agamemnon and Menelaus followed to get her back, and Troy was destroyed.” Robin nodded. “For the love of a beautiful woman.” “Yes, but—” She stopped. “Oh no--” “Yes.” “But—I’m not—” “Ask any man,” he said.
Jennifer Roberson (Lady of the Forest)
Homer's epic does not tell of such seemingly essential events as the abduction of Helen, for example, nor of the mustering and sailing of the Greek fleet, the first hostilities of the war, the Trojan Horse, and the sacking and burning of Troy. Instead, the 15,693 lines of Homer's Iliad describe the occurrences of a roughly two-week period in the tenth and final year of what had become a stalemated siege of Troy.
Caroline Alexander (The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War)
What thought engendered the spirit of Circe, or gave to a Helen the lust of tragedy? What lit the walls of Troy? Or prepared the woes of an Andromache? By what demon counsel was the fate of Hamlet prepared? And why did the weird sisters plan ruin to the murderous Scot? Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. In a mulch of darkness are bedded the roots of endless sorrows - and of endless joys. Canst thou fix thine eye on the morning? Be glad. And if in the ultimate it blind thee, be glad also! Thou hast lived.
Theodore Dreiser
FAUSTUS: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. Here will I dwell, for heaven is in those lips, And all is dross that is not Helena. I will be Paris, and for love of thee Instead of Troy shall Wittenberg be sacked, And I will combat with weak Menelaus, And wear thy colors on my plumed crest. Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel, And then return to Helen for a kiss. Oh, thou art fairer than the evening's air, Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars. Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter, When he appeared to hapless Semele: More lovely than the monarch of the sky, In wanton Arethusa's azure arms, And none but thou shalt be my paramour.
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
Favorite painting...?" "Painting? Odalisque," I said. "Really.His non-nude nude. Interesting." It was,to me. Edward's most famous painting of Diana is Troie, where he painted her as Helen of Troy: naked except for the diamond bracelet and the occasional tendril of auburn hair. It had caused quite a stir at its exhibition. Apparently, Millicent Carnegie Biddle fainted on seeing it. It wasn't quite what she was used to viewing when she sat across from Mrs. Edward Willing every few weeks, sipping tea from Wedgewood china cups. Odalisque was more daring in its way, and infinitely more interesting to me. Most of the Post-Impressionist painters did an odalisque, or harem girl, reclining on a sofa or carpet, promising with their eyes that whatever it was that they did to men, they did it well. An odalisque was almost compulsory material.But unlike any of them,Edward had painted his subject-Diana-covered from neck to ankle in shimmery gauze.Covered,but still the ultimate object of desire. "Why that one?" Dr. Rothaus asked. "I don't know-" "Oh,please.Don't go all stupid teenager on me now.You know exactly why you like the painting.Humor me and articulate it." I felt myself beginning the ubiquitos shoulder dip. "Okay. Everyone is covering up something. I guess I think there's an interesting question there." "'What are they hiding?'" I shook my head. "'Does it make a difference?'" "Ah." One sharp corner of her mouth lifted. I would hesitate to call it a smile. "That is interesting.But your favorite Willing piece isn't a painting." "How-" "You hesitated when I asked. Let me guess...Ravaged Man?" "How-" "You're a young woman. And-" Dr. Rothaus levered herself off the desk-"you went through the 1899 file. I know the archive.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Coming as a kind of pleasure-package with her parents and sisters, as a girl Theodora performed acrobatic tricks and erotic dances in and around the hippodrome – part of the fringe of shows, spectacles and penny theatricals that accompanied the games. It was said by contemporary chroniclers that one of Theodora’s most popular turns was a re-enactment of the story of Leda (the mother of Helen of Troy) and the Swan (Zeus in disguise). The Greek myth went that Zeus was so enraptured with Queen Leda when he espied her bathing by the banks of the River Eurotas that he turned himself into a swan so that he could ravish the Spartan Queen. Theodora, as Leda, would leave a trail of grain up on to (some said into) her body, which the ‘swan’ (in Constantinople in fact a goose) then eagerly consumed. The Empress’s detractors delighted in memorialising the fact that Theodora’s services were eagerly sought out for anal intercourse, as both an active and a passive partner. As a child and as an adolescent woman Theodora would have been considered dirt, but she was, physically, right at the heart of human affairs in a burgeoning city in interesting times. Theodora was also, obviously, wildly attractive. Born in either Cyprus or Syria, as a teenager – already the mother of a young girl and with a history of abortions – she left Constantinople as the companion of a Syrian official, the governor of Libya Pentapolis. The two travelled to North Africa, where, after four years of maltreatment, she found herself abandoned by the Byzantine official, her meal-ticket revoked. A discarded mistress, on the road, was as wretched as things could get in the sixth century. (...) Theodora tried to find her way back to the mother city, making ends meet as a prostitute, and the only people to give the twenty-year-old reject shelter were a group of Christians in the city of Alexandria. That random act of kindness was epoch-forming.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
The stories abounded, both recounting these cross-continental journeys and perhaps inspiring them – how Hellenic Jason gathered his Argonauts together (including Augeas, whose vast stables Herakles would be forced to clean) for adventure and profit, how he stopped off along the Bosphorus and discovered the land of the rising sun before other Greek heroes headed to Asia in search of Helen, Troy and glory. In the Homeric epics we hear of Jason travelling east where he tangles with Medea of Colchis, her aunt Circe and the feisty Amazon tribe. Lured by the promise of gold (early and prodigious metalworking did indeed take place in the region – perhaps sparking the Greek idea that the East was ‘rich in gold’) and then detained by the potions and poisons of Princess Medea, Jason succeeded in penetrating the Caucasus – a land which, in the Greek mind, wept with both peril and promise. It was here that Prometheus was chained to a rock with iron rivets for daring to steal fire from the gods. Archaeology east of Istanbul demonstrates how myth grazes history.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
Hear that? Living skulls! What are we doing here? What war at Troy? Does anyone care? Gods of love and hate! Aren't they the same god? All of us, all our lives, searching for the one perfect enemy- you, me, Helen, Paris, Menelaos, all those crazy Greeks! all those hapless Trojans! my dear beloved Jack! Jack and I fought all the time. I remember almost nothing but the fights - every fight a war to end all wars, you know how it goes, a righteous war, a final war, the worst fight you've ever had, you can't do this again, this time you'll get things straight one way or the other or it's over, he'll see what you mean, see you're right, fights aren't about anything except being right, are they? once and for all. You feel old. Wrong. Clumsy. You sit in two chairs on the porch. Or the kitchen. Or the front hall. Hell arrives. It's as if the war was already there, waiting, the two of you poured into it like wet concrete. The chairs you sit in are the wrong chairs, they're the chairs you never sit in because they're so uncomfortable, you keep thinking you should move but you don't, your neck hurts, you hate your neck, evening closes in. Birds move about the yard. Hell yawns. War pours out of both of you, steaming and stinking. You rush backward from it and become children, every still sentence slamming you back into the child you still are, every sentence not what you meant to say at all but the meaning keeps flaring and contracting, as sparks drop on gasoline, Fuckshit this! Fuckshit that! no reason to live. You're getting vertigo. He's being despicable. Your mother was like this. Stop whimpering. No use asking, What is this about? Don't leave the room. I have to leave the room. Breathless, blaming, I'm not blaming! How is this not blaming! Hours pass or do they. You say the same things or are they different things? Hell smells stale. Fights aren't about anything, fights are about themselves. You're stiff. You hate these chairs. Nothing is resolved. It is too dark to see. You both go to bed and doze slightly, touching slightly. In the night a nightmare. Some giant bird, or insect, some flapping thing, trying to settle on the back of your neck, you can't see what it is or get it off. Pure fear. Scream unearthly. He jerks you awake. Oh sweetie, he says. He is using his inside voice, his most inside voice. The distance between that voice and the fight voice measures your whole world. How can a voice change so. You are saved. He has saved you. He sees you saved. An easement occurs, as night dew on leaves. And yet (you think suddenly) you yourself do not possess sort of inside voice - no wonder he's lonely. You this cannot offer this refuge, cannot save him, not ever, and, although physiological in origin, or genetic, or who knows, you understand the lack is felt by him as a turning away. No one can heal this. You both decide without words to just - skip it. You grip one another. In the night, in the silence, the grip slowly loosens and silence washes you out somewhere onto a shore of sleep. Morning arrives. Troy is still there. You hear from below the clatter of everyone putting on their armour. You go to the window.
Anne Carson (Norma Jeane Baker of Troy)
Troy had never been till I came here
H.D. (Helen in Egypt)
Was it Apollo's snare so that poets forever should be caught in the maze of the walls of a Troy that never fell?
H.D. (Helen in Egypt)
Helen of Troy, Venus rising from the sea, the females of the kardashian tribe.
Kallista Dane (Their Captive Mate (Tharan Warrior Menage, #1))
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PART I AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE OF THE HERO, ODYSSEUS CHAPTER I. About Troy and the Journey of Paris to Greece II. The Flight of Helen III. The Greeks Sail for Troy IV. The Fall of Troy
Homer (Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca Adapted from the Third Book of the Primary Schools of Athens, Greece)
The second course would feature six butter statues, one of which was an elephant, and another Hercules fighting the legendary monster Cerebus. A monstrous pastry stag was the centerpiece of that course, with red wine gelatin bleeding from where an arrow had pierced its side. The final course included six monstrous statues made of pastry: Helen of Troy; a nude Venus; a camel with a king upon its back; a unicorn with its horn in the mouth of a serpent; Hercules holding open the mouth of a lion; and Poseidon and his mighty trident. There were 361 bowls and plates of candied fruits: coconuts, apricots, grapes, pears, and melons, as well as plates of almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, and a variety of cheeses.
Crystal King (The Chef's Secret)
Look—my feet don’t hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I’m rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I’m not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you’ll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
Do all in Troy despise me?' 'That is a strong word, my sweet.' The young Queen of Sparta pulled away from her lover's arms. 'It is true then. I have exchanged one prison for another.' Paris gently brushed her cheek with his hand. 'If that is true, we are the most fortunate of prisoners. For we have each other and our love.
Janell Rhiannon (Rise of Princes (Homeric Chronicles, #2))
I respect and reverence you, dear father-in-law, I wish I had chosen death rather than following your son, leaving behind my bridal chamber, my beloved daughter, my dear childhood friends and my kin. But I did not, and I pine away in sorrow.
Homer (The Iliad)
I am Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow, the Sea and the Sky, and a Messenger to the Gods.’ ‘W-what?’ Any minute now, I’ll wake up! .‘I am here to deliver a message from the Great Moon Goddess Selene, who speaks to you through the song of the Siren, that which seduces the soul with its beauty.
Tracey Morait (Episode)
Common sense can dictate a perfectly reasonable response to a situation while the love and passion duo will more often than not out muscle the most macho of men. Love and passion can destabilize an entire economy lest we forget the lesson learned from Helen of Troy. A.I.M. Lawal
Adeshina I.M. Lawal (Millennial Philosophy: Thoughts Expanded)
Troy liked to describe himself as “the realist.” Refugee resettlement work attracted idealists who wanted to make the world a better place, but the job of a case manager was to be unabashedly pragmatic, as Troy saw it. You had to make a refugee’s dreams conform to the day- to- day reality of living in the United States, at the bottommost rung of the socioeconomic ladder. Prospective employers might be reluctant to hire people who spoke foreign languages, and the skills that refugees arrived with sometimes had no utility in the developed world. The streets of America were paved, but just with tarmac. You had to break it to the refugees gently, but they had to get the point, fast: They must surrender the vain illusion that from this point forward everything would be easy. Not at all. Everything was going to be brutally hard. It would be tough to find a decent place to live that they could afford; it would be difficult to find any kind of job, let alone one they might enjoy; learning English would be mind- bogglingly frustrating. Plus, nobody in this country would understand their story. They would feel so unrecognized, they might as well have become ghosts.
Helen Thorpe (The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom)
Helen of Troy's face started the Trojan war. Stupid as it is, Never forget the true power of your womanhood.
Sahndra Fon Dufe
Are you a monster?” she asked. Helen smiled. “No, sweetie. I’m just an Enchanted American.
A. Lee Martinez (Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest)
Paris had heard of Helen of Sparta’s beauty, and though she was married to the warlike Menelaus, he immediately consented to awarding Aphrodite the apple. “Discord” was brought to the Mediterranean. 10 years later, the world was still feeling the effects of Aphrodite’s actions and Menelaus’s response. The Greeks and Trojans had been well matched, and the Greeks just could not bring down the magnificent walls of Troy. Then Agamemnon’s insult to Achilles tipped the balance in favour of the Trojans, and the gods found themselves embroiled in the mire too. Hera and Athena, still furious at Paris’s decision, chose to side with the Greeks, whereas Aphrodite sided with Paris’s countrymen.
Charles River Editors (Aphrodite: The Origins and History of the Greek Goddess of Love)
I want you to be able to see clearly." He paused, and she saw his jaw tighten. "Everything." What did that mean? Perhaps more importantly, why did that make her body prickle in awareness? "Well, then," she said, pushing her spectacles farther up her nose, "we should go inside so you can overwhelm me." And she couldn't resist giving him a smile that she hoped was as alluring as one of the ancient seductresses she'd read about in her books- strong, fearless females like Helen of Troy or Venus (who had the added benefit of being a goddess). Not Lady Eleanor Howlett, nondescript eldest daughter of the Duke of Marymount. She heard his sharp intake of breath when he looked at her, and a new sensation, one of feminine satisfaction, coursed through her.
Megan Frampton (Lady Be Bad (Duke's Daughters, #1))
Try something for me, Genevieve.” “We need to find some toys,” she said as if she hadn’t heard him. “The boys will be here directly, and if we don’t entertain them, they’ll entertain themselves.” Dreadful thought. “This won’t take but a moment. I want you to curse.” Not only were her arms crossed, but she’d drawn herself up, aligned herself with some invisible, invincible posture board such as Helen of Troy might have relied upon to get all those ships launched in a single day. “I beg your pardon?” “Curse. Call him your blasted, damned cat.” Her brows knitted, making her look like one of Kesmore’s daughters. “I love Timothy.” “Of course you do.” Lucky cat. “But you do not love having to rely on his good offices for your candlelit sketches.” He prowled closer. “You do not love being shuffled about from family member to family member.” Another step, so he was almost nose to nose with her. “I daresay you do not love baking.” “I rather don’t.” He unwrapped her arms and kept her hands in his. “Genevieve.” “I do not enjoy baking in the least.” He waited, certain if he were patient, she’d rise to the challenge. The corners of her mouth quivered. “I perishing hate all the mess and heat.” “Of course you do.” “It’s a dashed nuisance, and one gets sticky.” A smile started, turning up her lips, lighting her eyes. “How sticky? “Blasted, damned sticky.” “Say it again.” She beamed at him. “Perishing, blasted, damned, damned sticky.” He wrapped his arms around her. “Well done. You must curse for me more often, Genevieve. It makes your eyes dance.” And her cursing made him happy too. As she hugged him back, it occurred to Elijah that Christmas was touted as the season for giving, though in recent years, the occasion hadn’t arisen for him to do much of that. He’d give to her. He’d give her a safe place to curse, a place to draw as she pleased, and some kisses. If he counted his approval of the mistletoe tradition, that was two holiday sentiments in one morning. Elijah
Grace Burrowes (Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (The Duke's Daughters, #5; Windham, #8))
But in 1928 she had inexplicably, confusingly fallen in love. The man who triggered this upheaval was John Erskine, best-selling American author of such books as The Private Life of Helen of Troy and a renowned pianist.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
He’s a real man!’ shrieked Neena. ‘Not a namby-pamby bastard like you!’ ‘Any more abuse and I’ll leave you here with Mr Lobo. You can both occupy the VIP suite. Many famous people have slept in it—Emperor Haile Selassie, the Panchen Lama, Pearl S. Buck, Raj Kapoor, Helen, and Polly Umrigar the cricketer.’ ‘What—all together?’ giggled Neena. ‘It must have been quite an orgy!’ ‘Not all together, Your Highness. Separately, and at different times.’ ‘Helen of Troy, too.’ ‘Not Helen of Troy. Helen, the Bollywood dancer.
Ruskin Bond (A GATHERING OF FRIENDS: MY FAVOURITE STORIES)
She looked as though she could be of any ethnicity, or of all at once--if "beautiful" and its synonyms and cognates weren't so diluted with every other word or phrase that they had ever been paired with, I would now employ them all in earnest. But to use descriptors of Helen of Troy would be to so utterly understate the matter that the severity of misdescription would plunge the language into total semantic collapse.
Jack Foster (Fresh Fruit: A Preface)
Scrooge has some interesting literary ancestors. Pact-makers with the Devil didn’t start out as misers, quite the reverse. Christopher Marlowe’s late-sixteenth-century Doctor Faustus sells his body and soul to Mephistopheles with a loan document signed in blood, collection due in twenty-four years, but he doesn’t do it cheaply. He has a magnificent wish list, which contains just about everything you can read about today in luxury magazines for gentlemen. Faust wants to travel; he wants to be very, very rich; he wants knowledge; he wants power; he wants to get back at his enemies; and he wants sex with a facsimile of Helen of Troy. Helen of Troy isn’t called that in the luxury men’s magazines, she has other names, but it’s the same sort of thing: a woman so beautiful she doesn’t exist, or, worse, may be a demon in disguise. Very hot though, as they say.
Margaret Atwood (Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth)
Helen, your sinful deeds brought a bitter end to Priam and his lovely children. They say because of you holy Ilium was destroyed by climbing fire. But the son of Aiakos did not find such a wife when he summoned the blessed gods to his wedding and took the delicate sea nymph Thetis from the watery palace of Nereus, bringing her to the mountain cave of the centaur Cheiron. There, the love of Peleus for his sea-nymph led him to lie naked with the untouched virgin, and within the year she bore a son, Achilles; bravest demigod and splendid driver of tawny stallions. But for Helen, Ilium and her people were destroyed.
Alcaeus
Some say cavalry and others claim infantry or a fleet of long oars is the supreme sight on the black earth. I say it is the one you love. And easily proved. Did not Helen, who far surpassed all in beauty, desert the best of men her husband and king and sail off to Troy and forget her daughter and dear parents? Merely love's gaze made her bend and led her from her path. These tales remind me now of Anaktoria who is gone. And I would rather see her supple step and motion of light on her face than chariots of the Lydians or ranks of foot soldiers in bronze. Now this is impossible yet among the living I pray for a share unexpectedly.
Sappho
She was called Helen - a name, I fear, that may have gone to her head, for she frequently acted as though she had confused herself with Helen of Troy.
Suzanne Rindell (The Other Typist)
This is us, making love. She always made love as if it were for the last time, that was how she did everything, how she led her life; but for us, though neither of us knows it, this in fact is the last time. The last time for these breasts. The breasts of Helen of Troy were so astonishing that when she bared them to her husband at the fall of Troy, Menelaus was unable to do her harm. The sword fell from his nerveless hand. This is the woman I love and these are her breasts. I run this tape over and over in my head. Did you show the earthquake your breasts, Vina, did you bare them to the god of storms, why didn’t you, if you did you might, you surely would, have survived.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
Inchcape, bending towards her, said: ‘You are Helen of Troy. We ask only that you should be beautiful. Yours is the face that launched a thousand ships.
Olivia Manning (Fortunes of War: The Balkan Trilogy (New York Review Books Classics))
But the gods do not love. And so we
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
seek for that one person who can love us as we all long to be loved.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
I know now that to die without tasting this is truly not to have lived. In this, and this only, have we lived: to feel all, to dare all, to try all.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
Troy deserves her doom, then!” said Cassandra. “I leave it to you. I shall perish with you! But I see my end, whereas you are blind.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
Can we envision our own face? I think not. I think we imagine ourselves invisible, with no face at all, able to blend perfectly with everything around us.
Margaret George (Helen of Troy)
They sat down to table, and after an excellent dinner they went into the library. Candide, seeing a Homer magnificently bound, commended the virtuoso on his good taste. "There," said he, "is a book that was once the delight of the great Pangloss, the best philosopher in Germany." "It is not mine," answered Pococurante coolly. "They used at one time to make me believe that I took a pleasure in reading him. But that continual repetition of battles, so extremely like one another; those gods that are always active without doing anything decisive; that Helen who is the cause of the war, and who yet scarcely appears in the piece; that Troy, so long besieged without being taken; all these together caused me great weariness. I have sometimes asked learned men whether they were not as weary as I of that work. Those who were sincere have owned to me that the poem made them fall asleep; yet it was necessary to have it in their library as a monument of antiquity, or like those rusty medals which are no longer of use in commerce.
Voltaire (Candide)
was working on the Erotic Postures of Astyanassa, who was the maid of Helen of Troy, at the moment. I don’t know whether Astyanassa got her information from that lady or not, she but had them all down on parchment, and I copied them faithfully in the flesh.
Troy Conway (The Sex Machine (Coxeman, #18))
I hoped for love When I look at you face to face not even Hermioni seems to be your equal. I compare you to blond Helen among mortal women. Know that you can free me from every care, and stay awake all night long on dewy riverbanks
Sappho
Some say cavalry and others claim infantry or a fleet of long oars is the supreme sight on the black earth. I say it is the one you love. And easily proved. Did not Helen, who far surpassed all in beauty, desert the best of men her husband and king and sail off to Troy and forget her daughter and dear parents? Merely love's gaze made her bend and led her from her path. These tales remind me now of Anaktoria who is gone. And I would rather see her supple step and motion of light on her face than chariots of the Lydians or ranks of foot soldiers in bronze. Now this is impossible yet among the living I pray for a share and unexpectedly
Sappho
They used at one time to make me believe that I took a pleasure in reading him. But that continual repetition of battles, so extremely like one another; those gods that are always active without doing anything decisive; that Helen who is the cause of the war, and who yet scarcely appears in the piece; that Troy, so long besieged without being taken; all these together caused me great weariness. I have sometimes asked learned men whether they were not as weary as I of that work. Those who were sincere have owned to me that the poem made them fall asleep; yet it was necessary to have it in their library as a monument of antiquity, or like those rusty medals which are no longer of use in commerce.
Voltaire (Candide)
I know,” said Helen. “Like all sacred and truly precious objects it is very plain. Only profane things are beautiful.
Stephen Fry (Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined (Stephen Fry's Greek Myths Book 3))