Edgar Allan Poe writes about Helen from a place of love and admire. He livens her to a Naiad, or water nymph and personifies her as the human soul who married
Cupid, the god of love. Poe respects her and praises her beauty, dictating that her beauty draws people to Greece and Rome, and that her love makes the land holy. The
imagry of her face and features create a picture in the reader's mind of a woman that is noble, wholesome, and kind. Poe's tone is respectful but admiring and praising of
Helen. He livens Helen to Greece, making them seem dependent on one another.
On the contrary, H.D. writes about Helen in a scornful and anary way. She writes that "All Greece hates/reviles/sees..." in a way that makes the reader feel that
Greece blames Helen for the Trojan War, her beauty the sole cause. It's almost as though the author is jealous of Helen, be it her beauty or her effect on the people of
Greece. The diction the author uses creates the image of a beautiful woman that is full of disdain, which turns the beautiful woman into a not-so-pretty woman. Her tone is very
criticizing and hurtful of Helen. She livens Helen to "God's daughter, born of love,..." and implies that Greece could only love Helen if she were dead, and cremated. The
reader's response to the open criticism of Helen is to imagine her as an ugly woman, one that despite her beauty and because of her beauty, she is marked. History says that
Hwlwn was the "object" over which the Trojan War was fought. H.D. implies tgat if she were not as beautiful as she was the "...past enchantments and past ills..." or the
Trojan war would never have happened.
Both Poe and H.D. speak of Helen's beauty, though Poe praises it and H.D. condems it, a deeper meaning could be lost in the diction of the peoms. Historically,
Paris abducted Helen and was drawn to her by her beauty. Poe would play the role of Paris, prince of Troy. Both he and paris share the admiration of...