ὄσσε πάλιν κλίνασα, the “aversa tuetur” of Aen. iv. 362.This is a most instructive piece of Homeric psychology, shewing the struggle of the weak human mind against the overpowering will of the gods. From the outward point of view, as distinct from the presentation of such secret springs of action, Helen is depicted to us, Nägelsbach says, as the counterpart of Paris — vacillating between repentance and love, as he between sensuality and courage. 432-6 were obelized by Ar. as “πεζότεροι καὶ τοῖς νοήμασι ψυχροὶ καὶ ἀκατάλληλοι”. With this judgment it is impossible to agree. 432 is spoken in bitter irony. The sentence beginning with “ἀλλά σ᾽ ἐγώ γε” may be taken in the same tone as a bitter taunt; ‘but no, you had better take good care of yourself — you might be killed’; or we may take it as seriously meant, as marking the point at which the old love suddenly resumes its sway, in fear lest the taunt may really drive Paris to another duel. The former is more consonant with the reply of Paris, but it cannot be said that either is ‘prosy, frigid, and inconsistent.’
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