Near the end of Euripides' "Helen", Helen reportedly exhorts the Greek troops to rescue her Egyptian foes: "Where is the glory of Troy (to Troikon kleos)? Show it to these barbarians" (1603-1604). Helen's rallying cry serves as a point of departure for investigating the nature and status of kleos in a play which invites reframing her question: Where, indeed, is the glory of Troy if the report of Helen's abduction by Paris is untrue? The drama deconstructs the notion of a unitary, transcendent meaning of "kleos" by demonstrating the slippage between its two root-meanings in Homer as "immortal fame," legitimated by the gods, and as mere "report" or "rumor." A diminution of the status of the proper name runs in parallel with this slippage between the two senses of "kleos": the heroic name loses its privileged status as a stable, transparent sign of character and becomes instead a signifier vulnerable to dissemination (cf. Jacques Derrida, La dissémination [Paris, 1972]). As a vehicle of deception, Helen's phantom-twin becomes a figure for the polysemy of the signifier, both visual and linguistic. The phantom's substitution for Helen also highlights her symbolic role as a marker of men's (and gods') status in a competitive system of exchange. If the play presents Helen as a continual object of men's attempts to capture her in song as well as in war, it presents heroic kleos as an equally insecure possession, insofar as it is always contingent on the "report" of others. Indeed, Helen becomes a metaphor for the duplicity inherent in the mimetic process by which fame is transmitted. That "kleos" turns out to have been a dangerously deceptive signifier is a lesson of more than literary interest for the Athenians watching Euripides' "Helen" (412)-the forces of the Sicilian expedition had been annihilated only a year earlier.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Richmond Lattimore inEuripides 2, from D. Grene and R. Lattimore, eds., The Complete Greek Tragedies (Chicago, 1956).
2
Theoclymenus (1220)
Helen herself (362).
3
Pietro Pucci, "The Language of the Muses," in W. M. Aycock and T. M. Klein, eds., Classical Mythology in Twentieth-Century Thought andLiterature (Lubbock, 1980) 163-86.
4
Diomedes' reach (5.445-53)
Will Prost, The Eidolon of Helen: Diachronic Edition of a Myth (Ph.D. dissertation, The Catholic University of America, 1977) 24-25
5
Pucci (above, n. 3) 169-79.
6
Pucci (above, n. 3) 179
7
Pucci (above, n. 3) 163.
8
Simon Goldhill, The Poet's Voice: Essays on Poetics and Greek Literature (New York, 1991) 27.
9
Marcel Detienne, Les maîtres de vérité dans la Grèce archaïque (Paris, 1967) 54.
10
Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore, 1976) 49, 73.
11
Derrida (above, n. 10) 52-53, 65.
12
F. Solmsen, "ONOMA and [Unrepresented Characters] in Euripides' Helen," CR 48 (1934) 120.
13
Goldhill (above, n. 8) 27
Jacques Derrida, La dissémination (Paris, 1972).
14
Helene P. Foley, "Anodos Dramas: Euripides' Alcestis and Helen," in Ralph Hexter and Daniel Selden, eds., Innovations of Antiquity (New York and London, 1992) 144.
15
Foley (above, n. 14) 143
Ann L. T. Bergren, "Language and the Female in Early Greek Thought," Arethusa 16 (1983) 82
16
A. N. Pippin (Burnett), "Euripides' Helen: A Comedy of Ideas," CP 55 (1960) 157
Richmond Lattimore's preface to his translation of the play (above, n. 1) 262
Prost (above, n. 4) 196
17
"Helen and the Discourse of Denial in Stesichorus's Palinode," Arethusa 26 (1993) 62.
18
Foley (above, n. 14) 144.
19
Berndt Seidensticker, Palintonos Harmonia: Studien zu komischen Elementen in der griech- ischen Tragödie, Hypomnemata 72: Untersuchungen zur Antike und zu ihrem Nachleben (Göttingen, 1982) 198
W. G. Forrest, The Emergence of GreekDemocracy: The Character of GreekPolitics, 800-400 B.C. (London, 1966) 9-10
Pippin (Burnett) (above, n. 16) 155.
his Greek Tragic Poetry, trans. Matthew Dillon (New Haven and London, 1972) 315
20
Bergren (above, n. 15) 82.
21
Michael Lynn-George, Epos: Word, Narrative, and the Iliad (Atlantic Highlands, 1988) 271
22
Eric Downing, "Apatê, Agôn, and Literary Self-Reflexivity in Euripides' Helen," inM. Griffith and D. J. Mastronarde, eds., Cabinet of the Muses: Essays on Classical and Comparative Literature in Honor of Thomas G. Rosenmeyer (Atlanta, 1990) 2.
23
Karen Bassi, "Tradition, Invention and Recognition in Euripides' Helen," conference paper, American Philological Association Annual Meeting (1989) 2.
24
A. M. Dale, ed., Euripides' Helen (Oxford, 1967)
25
Downing (above, n. 22) 4-5.
26
Charles Segal, Interpreting Greek Tragedy: Myth, Poetry, Text (Ithaca, 1986) 233.
27
Iliad 3.399-412
Euripides' Helen 1097-1100
28
Downing (above, n. 22) 9
29
Prost (above, n. 4) 42
Bergren (above, n. 15) 80
Froma I. Zeitlin, "Travesties of Gender and Genre in Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazousae," in Helene P. Foley, ed., Reflections of Women in Antiquity (New York, 1981)
30
Ann L. T. Bergren, "Helen's 'Good' Drug: Odyssey IV.1-305," in S. Kresic, ed., Con- temporary Literary Hermeneutics and Interpretation of Classical Texts / Herméneutique littéraire contemporaine et interprétation des textes classiques (Ottawa, 1981) 208.
31
Bassi (above, n. 23) 7-8.
32
Carol Gould, suggested to me in a personal communication (August 3, 1992).
33
W. K. C. Guthrie, The Sophists (New York, 1971) 47-48; 15.
34
Herodotus (2.123.1, 7.152.3)
Thucydides (1.22.2- 4)
Heraclitus (fr. 101a)
35
Zeitlin wittily remarks (above, n. 29) 189.
Odyssey 18.251-55, 19.124-28
Seidensticker (above, n. 19).
36
Bergren (above, n. 15) 78.
37
Anne Pippin Burnett, Catastrophe Survived: Euripides' Plays of Mixed Reversal (Oxford, 1971) 77, note 1.
38
Pi. N. 1.33
A. Supp. 382
E. Or. 175
A. Pers. 320
S. Ph. 777
El. 515.
39
Goldhill (above, n. 8) 27
40
Guthrie (above, n. 33) 16
41
Dale (above, n. 24) xi
Seidensticker (above, n. 19) 175
Foley (above, note 14) 141
42
Charles Segal, Dionysiac Poetics and Euripides' Bacchae (Princeton, 1982) 197-204
Seidensticker (above, n. 19) 123-29.
William Arrow- smith in Euripides 5, from D. Grene and R. Lattimore, eds., The Complete Greek Tragedies (Chicago, 1959).
43
Segal (above, n. 26) 233.
44
Bassi (above, n. 23) 11
45
Aristophanes' Thesm. 907.
46
Eugene Ionesco, La cantatrice chauve, in Théâtre complet, ed. Emmanuel Jacquart (Quetigny-Dijon, 1990) 16-20.
47
Bassi (above, n. 17) 65-66
48
Segal (above, n. 26) 233.
49
Segal (above, n. 26) 236
50
Prost (above, n. 4) 202.
52
Downing (above, n. 22) 2
53
John Mansley Robinson, An Introduction to Early Greek Philosophy: The Chief Fragments andAncient Testimony, with Connecting Commentary (New York, 1968) 267.
Zeitlin (above, n. 29) 209
Helen in Euripides' Trojan Women
Zeus himself (948-50, 964-65, 1042-43).
54
Bassi (above, n. 17) 68
55
Seidensticker (above, n. 19) 197
56
Segal (above, n. 26) 245
57
Dale (above, n. 24) 132 on lines 1013-16.
58
Pippin (Burnett) (above, n. 16) 161.
59
Bassi (above, n. 23) 10.
61
Downing (above, n. 22) 11
62
Pippin (Burnett) (above, n. 16) 153.
63
Foley (above, n. 14)
Gregory Nagy, The Best of theAchaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry (Baltimore and London, 1979)
65
Odyssey 23.177-80
66
Foley (above, n. 14) 145.
67
Bassi (above, n. 23) 6
68
Foley (above, n. 14) 143
69
Iliad 6.357-58
70
Dale in her commentary on the play calls "more than usually far-fetched" (above, n. 24) 168
Aeschylus's Agamemnon (681-98)
71
Bassi (above, n. 23) 8.
72
Downing (above, n. 22) 9.
73
Downing (above, n. 22) 3
74
Foley (above, n. 14) 144.
75
Zeitlin (above, n. 29) 203-11.
76
Seidensticker (above, n. 19) 198
Euripides' Suppliant Women (747-50).
Lesky (above, n. 19) 312
77
Goldhill (above, n. 8) 71
Homer, "kleos is to be gained in exchange for the stake of the hero's life and suffering."
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