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Helen of Troy:
The Consequences of Perfect Beauty

Is there such a thing as perfect beauty?
The ancient Greeks believed there was and that Helen of Troy was the embodiment of that concept. In Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation, Professor Ruby Blondell explores and analyzes the significance and consequences of perfect beauty as personified by Helen through the writings of Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides, and other well- and lesser-known Greek writers. She argues that one of the challenges of beauty is that it has often been used by others to further their own agendas. Helen has been viewed by historians and by popular culture as both good and bad; as a victim of patriarchy, and, alternatively, as a powerful force acting with agency under constraint; and as a figure both desirous and dangerous.

Contemporary society likes to say that beauty is subjective, that it is in the eye of the beholder. The artists’ books selected here illuminate the relevance and ambiguous nature of beauty and consider the notions of sexuality, feminism, body image, and the cost of endeavoring to attain ideal beauty.














Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation
Ruby Blondell












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