Helen: Myth, Legend, and the Culture of Misogyny

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Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, 1995 - Psychology - 191 pages
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Helen's face not only launched a thousand ships, it also launched countless books about Helen herself. These books have idealized, worshiped, slandered, celebrated, constructed, and deconstructed her. The present work draws on the most reliable of these books and offers a portrait of Helen as the archetypal woman of Western culture. This is the story of a consistent, however dissembling, hatred for women. It is not only the story of the hatred of men for women, but also the story of the self-hatred of women instilled by the culture of misogyny. Based on the best scholarship, this is also a psychological analysis of why a species so prone to loneliness and self-doubt would sever itself in two, deny itself the intimacy, recognition, and comfort of equals, and make the embodiment of beauty and life into an icon of shame. This is a book that will fascinate all feminists and infuriate some men.

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Helen and History
The Many Helens
The Duality of Helen

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Common terms and phrases

abduction Achilles Aeschylus Agamemnon Anatolia ancient Ancient Greece Aphrodite Aphrodite's Aristophanes Aristotle Artemis asherah Asvins Athenian Athens beauty birds birth Bronze Age C. S. Lewis Chalcolithic Chicago Colin Renfrew Crete cult culture Cyprus daughter death Demeter desire Dionysos Dioskouroi divine Dumuzi E. O. James earth Egypt Egyptian Emily Vermeule Enki Enkidu Epic Epic of Gilgamesh Erich Neumann Eros Euripides female figurines Gaia Gerda Lerner Gilgamesh Gimbutas Goddess gods Gorgias Greece Greek Greek poetry Hecuba Helen Herodotus Hesiod hieros gamos Hittite Homer Homeric Hymn human Hurrian Ibid Iliad images imagination Inanna Indeed Indo-European Indo-European Studies Iphigenia Iphigenia at Aulis Jane Ellen Harrison Jean-Pierre Vernant Kirta Klytemnestra Kumarbi Kurgan L. R. Farnell living Loeb M. L. West Mahabharata male Marduk Marija Gimbutas Mekone Menelaos Mesopotamia Minoan misogyny Mohenjo-Daro mortal mother Mycenaean Mycenaean Greece myth Near East Neolithic Neolithic Europe Nephele Nilsson Ninhursag Odysseus Okeanos Old Europe original Ouranos Paleolithic Pandora patriarchy Patroclus Peloponnesian War Pisthetairos pithos Plato poetic poetry proto-Indo-European Religion Rigveda Robert Fagles sacred Samuel Noah Kramer Sicily story Sumer Sumerian symbols Teshub Thanatos Theogony Theogony Oxford Thorkild Jacobsen Thucydides tradition trans translation mine tree Trojan War Troy truth Tyndareos University Press Upper Paleolithic woman womb women words world egg Yahweh York Zeus

About the author (1995)

Robert Emmet Meagher is Professor of Humanities at Hampshire College.

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