Andromache vs. Helen

Andromache: You...

Helen: To what do I owe the condescending presence and allegations of a soiled, insolent slave? Didn't you harass me enough at the sacking of your evidently wretched city? Or have you returned for more pointless indictments? If I took offense or believed what you have said to me...I would be compelled to go mad with my own incompetence and low self-esteem. But quite the contrary: why should I not love myself? Your petty words cannot cease that, nor will they ease your 'grief.' You only wish a reason to attribute such anguish upon someone other than yourself or those you loved, because you cannot accept the truth. If you belonged to me...death would be too kind.

Andromache: Condescendence, disrespect...what more could you expect from one you have wronged so snidely, so recklessly? I do not pay heed to your excuses, created simply so that you mustn't realize the horror you have caused... but then again, how could a mind hope to comprehend that itself is the root of such terrors, lest they crumble in remorse?

Helen: Why should I feel the slightest regret, if I have not brought about a thing? I purely followed what the divine instructed me to do, if I had had a choice, I would have stayed in my rightful place, with my husband and my people, instead of in your lacking city.

Andromache: And yet you continue to coil the truth around those pretty fingers, like you so try with every person you chance to meet, so that you may snap them when you wish as well.

Helen: Those who wish to succumb to me do so in their will, I do not force...how can I help my own splendor? After all...I am of the Heavens...

Andromache: Yes, you are powerless to manage your own desirability, and through this curse of exquisite appeal those who want you so much that they will do anything, even risk their livelihood, pain you? You poor child...

Helen: Precisely, if your pity wasn't false. Paris chose Aphrodite because he could not resist the seduction of one so sought after as I, and so, the goddess, in her own quest for beauty, forced me to come here, body and soul.

Andromache: I see. And I apologize for my anger...that is how you treat all of humanity with your deception. Your appearance is a lie...as are you. Men want you for the untruths that you portray. I am sorry to be angered by the custom of your actions, as no men can boast at having felt lasting hatred towards you. Even your husband, Menelaus, you abandoned him in your manipulative greed, and yet at the sight of you he fell into your inexorable pit of fatal attraction once more, unable to see it there in his shadowed rage with you. He is once more among your victims; for mere moments he had escaped. You baffle them with your impure magics of intrigue into thinking only the highest of you, your majesty: you think nothing but of your own gain as you pile your collection higher, increasing your own grandeur.

Helen: Impure? How you test my patience with your false accusations towards my innocence. My husband is my existence, as are my people, those who depend on me as their Queen to lead them towards righteousness and the laurels of glory. And they are my devotion. Your deplorable brother in law compelled me here by means of a goddess; how could I physically control what my mind could not?

Andromache: You make simple the scoffing of your statements. Dubbing your deeds as 'innocent' is merely an example of your dishonest, untrustworthy ways. You cannot even make proclamations faithful to your acts. So how can you even endeavor at claiming commitment?

Helen: I-

Andromache: My family is dead because of you...my people...my world...you have destroyed it, you licentious harlot. You cannot deny that. And my existence lay in them... I tell the truth, though I use your corrupt statements in my reality.

Helen: It is because of your family, of your cruel, avaricious people that they have suffered, that you have suffered, that I have suffered. Do not choose to blame me simply because of your pathetic rage, Andromache.

Andromache: Are you holding me responsible for this war? My people? Yes, we chose to destroy ourselves. Of course.

Helen: It is certainly not my fault.

Andromache: How can this not be of your doing? My son and husband were killed by Greek hands, Greeks that were fighting to free you...all of Troy was annihilated due to one man's lust for you; and you put him under that twisted spell of yours, then abandoned him. How dare such a pitiable excuse for a wife and Queen be so disrespectful towards a woman so contradictory? I may be a slave, but I deserve infinitely more reverence than you: any woman, be she above or below you in political stature, is infinitely above you in soul. You may be beauteous beyond compare, but your heart, your essence; it reeks hideously of filth and death you have apathetically caused.

Helen: You think that I have not endured pain like you have; at least I am not conceited about it. Do I stand before you and weep of agonies that have fallen upon me but I bear wrongfully upon others because of my selfish jealousy?

Andromache: ...you believe me to be envious? What poor conclusions you make.

Helen: How could you not? I am lovely beyond equal, I am a goddess, both in spirit and in my enchanting ways...I never fail to achieve what I wish: you say I caused innumerable miseries, and yet, I am untouched by the ways of sorrow. Balance, Andromache, the basis of subsistence: if I indeed created such discord you speak of, should not I experience it myself?

Andromache: Ah, you cannot even linger as dedicated in your own web of lies...you are the forever lonely black widow, who subtly continues to poison herself in such minute doses over time....you will collapse into your own flimsy snare of a swindled lace soon enough.

Andromache: But to answer your question, no, for you are not of this world; you are not human. Your nauseating evils cannot be those of a living being's psyche, for your malevolence is beyond anything capable of human grasp. That is why you do not feel such tortures: you are nothing but an empty-hearted tool to bring it upon others. And implements of torment do not feel their labors themselves, I would think.

Helen: Perhaps I am a tool as you say, used by the perverse minds of men who cannot resist what they could do with me. As I have said before, it was not my choice to be selected as Aphrodite's instrument of influence to give her victory in the trivial quarrellings of the gods. She did not consider the fatal position I would be placed in, that I would bring about such happenings, and yet I would be branded as the traitor, the harlot, the reaper of lives. But that does mean I do not feel the woe that my usage creates, the blood that my utilization spills: but an object does not choose its employment, as I did not.

Andromache: Your attempts at persuasion are dreadful, as you do not believe your supposed convictions yourself, they are your method of easing the guilt that you should be feeling and alter between pretending to have, but you do not, so they are your means of convincing others of your virtue, since the inane states you send others into are your only techniques of succeeding with anything in life. But I am not a weak-minded man: I see through your elaborate mask; it is badly made anyway, the drama would not accept it: it is embodied of nothing save frivolousness. You came willingly to the gates of our city, all you had to do was ask and we would have surrendered you to the Greeks to spare our husbands, our brothers, our sons, and ourselves. We never wished for your mediocre performance in our previously acclaimed theatre.

Helen: None of the men wanted me gone! As soon as Paris was killed, I was instantly taken again, to be further exploited as his brother's second-hand device.

Andromache: Any individual in our city would have made him pay for dissent. You would not leave us, you would not return to your life of 'poverty' with Menelaus.

Helen: The riches of my fulfilled life with him and the people of Sparta far exceed the superficial ones of your Troy.

Andromache: You simply stack more plaster and wet paint onto your masquerade...it won't ever dry.

Helen: ...

Andromache: Aphrodite may have brought you here as you say; perhaps it was not your choice. But she did not make you stay. You remained, plaguing our lives, because you wanted to, because you enjoy destroying cities and men for your own benefit, you are the siren forgotten by the myths, luring men to their doom of your secluded island of trickery.

Helen: I sing my melody of spellbinding allure unintentionally, like I have told you innumerable times: I cannot change what I cannot control.

Andromache: Even your sisters have left you...your deceit is beyond even them.

Helen: How dare you talk to me like that, I am a queen, and you are nothing but a widow!

Andromache: I am a widow because you are a queen and an unfaithful wife. I am to be taken as a war prize by the son of the man who killed Hector, whereas you only face the possibility of death, and you can use your silver charm bracelet of beguilement to escape that, while those you seemingly flee from will only be captured by you in allowing your freedom.

Helen: I will never know sovereignty, for men who would use their privileges of possession mercilessly own me forever more. I did not ask Hecuba to give birth to Paris; I did not ask Paris to choose Aphrodite over Hera and Athena. I did not ask to come here, and yet I could not decide that for myself, for my mind is not allowed to function on its own.

Andromache: It seems perfectly capable of forming such intricate facades, more tragic than the best playwrights could ever hope to achieve. A pity they are not real; a magnificent play they could make.

Helen: Why are you incapable of seeing where the true blame lies, in the audacious hands of fate, divine, and your people?

Andromache: I cannot, for the unjustly rotting blood of Troy's fallen warriors blinds my once open eyes.

Author's note: I wrote this as a debate between two characters from the Trojan War, specifically from Euripides' "The Trojan Women" for Western Humanities class with the lovely Mystic Kiwi, and we had the wondrous task or presenting it. It was nothing short of dreadful. ::Winks:: To continue, I got rather carried away in my despondence and illness as it took me away from such pain that I sincerely covet you never must comprehend, and I began to subtly enjoy what I was writing, and, oh a whim, decided to post it. And yes, I have little life. What could you expect from someone with nothing left to exist for?