The question of whether Helen is a willing resident or a captive resident of Troy is explained in The Iliad, Book III. I believe that Helen is a captive resident of Troy. With the help of Aphrodit, Alexandros seduces Helen, and she temporarily falls in love with him. He then carries her away from her home in Lacedaimon. When the fighting starts, it has little affect on Helen, but then Iris informs her that Alexandros and Menelaos are going to fight for her. This makes Helen come out of the trance of love and she feels miserable and extremely homesick.
She misses her husband Menelaos, whom she truly loves, as well as her family and friends back home in Lacedaimon. It is because of Aphrodit, Helen has stayed with Alexandros so long and laid with him in bed. When Iris, messenger of the gods, tells Helen that Alexandros and Melelaos are going to fight for her, she reacts with sorrow and regret. “These words pierced Helen to the heart. She longed for her husband of the old days, for home and family. At once she threw a white veil over her, and left the house quickly with tears running down her cheeks.
Once she gets to the battlements, Priam calls her over to sit by him. He feels sorry for her and tries to take her mind off of her situation by asking her to point out members of the Achaian army. She responds by first telling him that she wished she had never come to Troy. “Helen answered: ‘You do me honour, my dear goodfather! How I wish I had died before I followed your son here, and left my bridal chamber and my family, my beloved daughter and all my young friends! But that was not to be; and so I pine away in sorrow. ‘”
In the battle between Alexandros and Menelaos, Alexandros is almost killed but Aphrodit saves him and carries him off to Helen’s room. Aphrodit then disguises herself and goes to look for Helen on the battlements. She tells Helen to go to her room because that is where Alexandros is and he wants her with him. Helen recognizes the goddess Aphrodit under the disguise and she becomes very angry. “These words stirred Helen’s temper. Now she knew the goddess by her beautiful throat and lovely breast and shining eyes! She was amazed, and cried out: This is strange indeed!
Why do you wish to befool me? Will you carry me away somewhere still farther off, to some city of Phrygia or Meionia, where you have another friend among the sons of men! I suppose Menelaos has killed him, and wants to take me home, the woman whom he hates. I suppose that’s why you are here with more of your tricks and schemes. Go and sit by him yourself. ” Aphrodit is outraged that Helen would speak to her in such a manner and threatens Helen with the destruction and everlasting hatred between the Trojans and the Achaians.
Helen is scared into submission and does as Aphrodit tells her. But when Helen faces Alexandros in her room, she has nothing but insults to say to him. “Aphrodite all smiles, put a chair for her in front of Alexandros; and there Helen sat down. But she turned her eyes away, and said with contempt: ‘You have come back from the battle. I wish you had died there, and a strong man had killed you–he that was my husband before you! It was your boast once that you were the better man in fair fight.
Then go and challenge Menelaos to fight again! –But no, I advise you not to try. ” Alexandros answers in his sweet, loving voice that he defends himself by saying that he would have won but the goddess Athena was helping Menelaos. Then in order to ease Helen’s anger, he tells her how much he loves her. While declaring his love for her he admits to us, the readers, of carrying Helen off in his ship. “You need not scold me, my dear. This time Menelaos has won because Athena helped him.
Next time it till be my turn; for I have my gods too. Let us love and be happy! I was never so much in love before, not even when I carried you off in my ship from Lacedaimon, and we shared our first love in that island. I am more in love with you now than ever, and I want you more. ” This indicates that Helen must truly a captive of Troy. She misses her home in Lacedaimon, her husband Menelaos, her daughter and family and friends. Though, with the influence of Aphrodit and the seducing from Alexandros, at times she acts other wise.