Wednesday, March 28, 2012


One of my goals this year is to read through some of the Greek and Roman works I have in my Great Books set that I haven't read it. I seem to have gotten stuck in the plays. My plan was just to read a couple and then move on to non-fiction, but I marked all of the plays I haven't read yet with sticky tabs and now they are taunting me, so it looks like I'm my new goal is to finish reading the plays of Euripides and Aristophanes! Fortunately, this still works for Jean's Greek Classics Challenge. I do hope to still read a few other Greek works as well.

Oddly enough, Helen really could count toward Magical March as well, although I'm not sure plays count. Like a lot of Greek plays, there are gods involved and they do work a bit of magic. The premise of this story is that the Helen of the Trojan War didn't really run off with Paris. Hera kidnapped the real Helen and locked her away, and created a fake Helen that went with Paris. So the whole massive, brutal Trojan War was fought over a fake woman. That was both frustrating and chuckle inducing. I wonder what they people at the time thought of this take on the story? It's kind of funny, and shows how pointless the war was, but I wonder how well that went over.

Anyway, in the story, the real Helen has been trapped for 17 years!!! Hera doesn't sound like the most pleasant god, does she? Helen is in the same situation Penelope is in - she's having to fend off suitors as her husband Menelaus is presumed dead and even if he's not, he's off chasing the fake Helen so the real Helen should be free to marry. The primary suitor is Theoclymenus, who decides he's going to force Helen to marry him, and he has the power to pull this off. At the same time, Menelaus shows up and finds the real Helen, but can't be seen by Theo. Does he believe real Helen's tale? Will he be able to rescue her? What will Theo do? Is Theo's sister Theonoe - who knows everything that goes on and whose help is necessary if Menelaus and Helen want to escape - a friend or foe? Check out Helen by Euripides to find out! :)

This play is easier to understand and follow than some of the Greek plays, maybe because I'm fairly familiar with the Trojan War so most of the characters were familiar and I wasn't having to work to keep them straight. It's a fun twist on an old story, even if it's almost as old itself!

In other news, I'm working my way through 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (which isn't terrible, but isn't enthralling me either) and I jumped right in to Dragonfly in Amber, which is definitely enthralling! I feel bad for my mixed review of Outlander - I don't think I gave it enough credit for telling a great story. I'm also trying very hard to finish out CB's TBR Challenge - I had to go to the library today because I had a reserve come in. I went ahead and checked out a few more books to save a trip, but I CANNOT touch them until Sunday. Actually, I've told myself I can't finish them until the stack of books I'm already in the middle of are cleared off my table, so I have quite a bit of reading to do! I am going to try to catch up on some blog reading and commenting tonight though. I've been so busy with work lately that I haven't wanted to spend much time with the computer in the evenings and I'm way behind on making the rounds and miss the interaction.

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