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Simulation, Violence, and Resistance in Euripides' Helen.

Helen was in any case merely a simulacrum, since the universal form of
beauty is as unreal as gold, the universal form of all commodities.
Every universal form is a simulacrum, since it is the simultaneous
equivalent of all the others--something it is impossible for any real
thing to be.
                                                     Jean Baudrillard


Euripides' "new Helen," as Aristophanes (Thesm. 850) identifies her, occupies a tenuous position between the aggressive imposition of power (divine, political, and erotic) and resistance. In Hera's replication of Helen, the goddess would nullify Helen's identitv in order to remove the stakes of a military conflict predicated upon Helen's singular beauty. Although Helen's eponymous heroine seeks to differentiate herself from her divinely fabricated clone, she nevertheless re-enacts a pattern of abduction, duplicity, and martial violence which has always haunted her story. Paradoxically, her efforts at resistance, both to human coercion and to the threat posed by her double, come to simulate the irony deception, and seduction that characterize the eidolon (and, by extension, the prior tradition around Helen that the eidolon embodies). (1)

Accordingly, as Jean Baudrillard suggests in the quotation that introduces this essay, Helen's universal mythic embodiment of beauty, seductive allure, and disarming cleverness should give us pause in assigning authenticity or priority to any of her instantiations, since each Helen is always "the simultaneous equivalent of all the others." The tension between Helen's struggle to assert her unique personhood and the weight of a mythic tradition that places her at the center of war, retribution, and abduction emerges powerfully in Euripides' Helen. At stake, then, are the mythic explanation and justification of a primeval war fought repeatedly in Greek poetic tradition over the figure now (re)presented on stage. By uniquely synchronizing Helen and her double within a single poetic artifact, (2) Euripides' play raises questions about whether Helen's efforts at differentiation and resistance can succeed, and about the status and rationale of the Trojan War, whose center Helen (or, rather, Helens) persistently occupies.

This explains why scholars have long been interested in issues of perception, cognition, and the establishment of authenticity in the play. Many have addressed these topics by raising questions regarding the "seriousness" of Euripides' Helen and its status as tragic drama. (3) The thorniness of locating and accounting for difference in Helen has also prompted substantial commentary on the epistemological questions raised by Helen and her replica, and such readings have shed light on the play's exploration of the limits and possibilities of human thought and communication. (4) Whereas epistemologically oriented approaches have addressed the difficulty of verifying difference in the play, deconstructive readings have raised ontological questions by destabilizing the distinction between the Helen on stage and her identical apparition. In particular, Pietro Pucci (1997), Matthew Gumpert (2001, 43-57), and Gary Meltzer (2006, 188-222) invert earlier readings of Helen's relationship to her double by employing the Derridean notion of the supplement, according to which Euripides' new Helen bears the trace of the eidolon that continually threatens to replace her. (3) By applying a model of substitution to Helen's dramatic action, poststructuralist critics have begun to locate fissures in the barrier between an original Helen and her copy.

Epistemological approaches to Euripides' Helen have largely assumed that notions of priority and authenticity remain stable (albeit imperceptible) in the play. Derridean readings of the play, on the contrary, invoke a "structure of replacement" (Pucci 1997, 45-47, 52) and a logic of "supplementary" (Gumpert 2001, 43-57)--approaches that posit a shifting priority between Helen and her phantom and that do not fully account for Helen's targeted critique of war and violent coercion. (6) The latter contributions have initiated crucial dialogue around issues of authenticity and identity in Helen, although their deployment of the logic of replacement limits the potential power and scope of a Derridean reading of the drama, since Jacques Derrida is everywhere concerned with breaking down and diffusing notions of priority and authenticity--a theoretical aim not entirely consistent with the dynamics of replacement and substitution. Further Derridean examinations of Helen could therefore make increasingly faithful and illuminating use of Derrida in regard to the drama's metaphysical and ontological explorations. My analysis here, however, will pursue a different but related line of inquiry in the area of poststructuralist critique by drawing upon Baudrillard's model of simulation, cloning, and seduction. Although Baudrillard and Derrida share much in their respective treatments of metaphysical certainty, priority, and signification, Baudrillard's theoretical inquiries also explicitly account for the relations and effects of power, war and its pretexts, the imposition of coercive violence, and the relationship of war to virtuality, simulation, and code-generated equivalence--all themes of crucial interest for an examination of Euripides' Helen. I therefore turn to Baudrillard's framework of simulacra, simulation, and seduction not in order to dismiss the continuing value of Derridean readings, but rather to bring to bear a critical perspective and vocabulary more fully suited to the breadth of Helen's interrogative explorations, but upon which scholars of the play have not yet drawn.

Baudrillard's work offers a uniquely powerful lens through which we may reassess Helen's replication and the drama's bewildering treatment of difference, mythic priority, and identity, along with the relationship of these themes in the play to the status and justification of Achaean martial violence and the imposition of power. We can thereby reach a novel and valuable understanding of Euripides' "new Helen" as the emergent embodiment of Baudrillard's principle of ironic seduction, one that ecstatically performs and thus critically exposes a pattern of mythic simulation concerned everywhere with war, power, and aggressive coercion. Helen is always tied closely to the rationale and prosecution of war. She constitutes the stakes of the Achaean invasion of Troy, and her authenticity, uniqueness, and reclamation therefore go to the heart of that war's catastrophic expenditures. If the Trojan War's stakes can be nullified and the losses rendered unrecoverable (as I believe they are in Euripides' Helen), the drama immediately raises questions about the perpetration of martial conflict and the coercive imposition of power. My main concern, then, will not be to gauge the relative success of Helen's vindication, as the topic has already received ample attention. Rather, along a previously unexplored critical avenue, I wish to pursue the ways in which Euripides' Helen interrogates notions of authenticity, power, and resistance at the level of both plot and mytho-poetic creation.

Beginning with a synthesis of Baudrillard's theoretical framework of simulation and seduction, I proceed sequentially in this essay through the plot of Euripides' Helen. As I propose, the play's early suppliant action corresponds suggestively to Baudrillard's account of the production and operation of third-order simulacra (or clones)--an affinity reinforced by the play's meta-tragic and meta-mythological content. The dynamics of simulation at work in the play's first part therefore dramatize the nullification of the Trojan War's justifying rationale by elevating our awareness of the replicability of its objective (Helen). I then turn to Helen's rescue action and trace the ways in which it invites critical assessment of the dynamics of simulation and dramatizes the challenge that seduction poses to the power of simulacra. Here, Helen's formidable deception, irony, and command of signification--that is, her embodiment of the principle of seduction and its resistance to simulation--radically expose the relationship of war, power, and aggressive coercion to simulation and virtuality. Finally, 1 will draw upon Baudrillard's conception of writing as a "fatal strategy" of ecstatic performance in order to illuminate Helen's final scene and its exposure of the mechanism of tragic mytho-poiesis. Helen's exodos serves (like Helen herself) as a powerful dramatization of what Baudrillard theorizes as the only possible form of resistance to the power imposed by the order of simulation--hyperbolic, and thus ironic, performance of the rules of the game of simulation and the virtual.

I. Baudrillard and History: For a Critique of Simulation in Helen

Before we begin our exploration of Helen through the lens of Baudrillard's critique of simulacra, we must first briefly address his placement of the order of simulation in the context of advanced capitalism, and respond to the question of how this critical perspective could illuminate a dramatic text composed nearly two and a half millennia ago. To do so, we must first lay out Baudrillard's primary assumptions about how advanced capitalism and the modern world differ from the distant past, and then respond to his account of historical change and the social dynamics that he associates with "primitivity."

In attempting to theorize outside of an all-encompassing order of simulation, production, and the "structural law of value," Baudrillard has recourse to an opposing order (a theoretical "other") of symbolic exchange and ritually enshrined reciprocity that he locates in "primitive" cultures. At a crucial point in his theoretical oeuvre, Baudrillard (1975 and 1981, 130-142) rejects Karl Marx's assumption of the ubiquity of utility and use-value, along with Marx's emphasis upon mode of production as the defining catalyst of historical epochs and change over time. (7) Instead, historical transition, for Baudrillard, is measured by the movement 123-129, 143-163). To this end, he theorizes an order of symbolic exchange in the distant past that is characterized by relations (socio-cultural and linguistic) of reciprocity, mediated dualism, mutuality, interdependence, and reversibility. In this paradigm, social relations and ritual practice have a unifying and empowering effect for their participants and maintain a stabilizing exchange between core polarities, especially that of life and death. In the symbolic order, Baudrillard (1993a, 132) suggests, "life, like everything else, is a crime if it survives unilaterally, if it is not seized and destroyed, given and returned, 'returned' to death. Initiation effaces this crime by resolving the separate event of life and death in one and the same social act of exchange." In this context, then, the boundaries between established polarities are blurred and transgressed by way of ritual institutions, with the result that life and death are persistently exchanged, given, and received in turn, but not in order "to conjure death away, nor to 'overcome' it, but to articulate it socially" (1993a, 131).

On the other hand, in his discussion of the dynamics of advanced capitalism, Baudrillard proposes an order of simulation, which is characterized by exchange-value, equivalence, aggregation, the foreclosure of death, and a determinative code of differential relations and signification. Within simulation, Baudrillard proposes that "death is confused with the law of value--and strangely with the structural law of value by which everything is arrested as a coded difference in a universal nexus of relations" (1993a, 185): no more meaningful, reciprocal exchange between life and death, but rather a desperate accumulation of time as an exchange-value by which the deferral (and even the abolition) of death is purchased--a dynamic that ironically places death back "at the heart of life itself" (1993a, 155). (8) In this way, the governing socio-linguistic code to which Baudrillard refers seeks to crystallize apparent differences and to abolish ostensibly negative fields such as death. This abolition, for Baudrillard, is the primary source of power and social domination in the order of simulation, "since life in this instance is given (even mandated) as a gift that cannot be exchanged or returned" (1993a, 130). (9)

Symbolic exchange thus provides a crucial point of departure for Baudrillard's critique of simulation and hyper-reality but it is nevertheless an essentialist misrepresentation of the varied political, ritual, and communicative relations operative in cultures that Baudrillard would deem "primitive." (10) Although the dynamics of symbolic exchange correspond suggestively to a number of crucial Greek institutions (e.g., xenia, charis, certain rites of initiation and social transition), Baudrillard's notion of symbolic exchange in so-called primitive cultures and his account of historical change cannot account for the diverse mimetic possibilities and modes of signification at work in the social and artistic milieu of fifth-century BCE Greece. A literal or complete adoption of Baudrillard's account of historical change would therefore demand the concurrent acceptance of socio-cultural assumptions about Greek antiquity that are manifestly unsuitable for literary artifacts such as Euripides' Helen. (11)

Further, if reversibility and the symbolic always haunt the "structural law of value," as Baudrillard (1993a, 134) claims, and if an "original crime" of the world's illusoriness has existed from our earliest history (1996, 2, 9, 36, 40), then Baudrillard's critique of simulation makes more sense as a broadly applicable framework than as part of a polarized narrative of historical change. As Baudrillard suggests in Fatal Strategies (1990a, 183), "If everything finally disobeys the symbolic order, it's because everything was subverted from the very beginning." Baudrillard (1981, 120) even goes so far as to propose that class domination is "at bottom only a 'historic' variant and a detour in the immense genealogy of the forms of social domination. Perhaps contemporary society is once again [my emphasis] becoming primarily a society of domination by signs." History and the human experience, then, have always been wrapped in illusion, of which the real (or what we take to be the real) is only an iteration, and herein we find Baudrillard's "ruse of history" (1996, 20) which simulates historical progression and deploys the past as an alibi (a distracting assurance of legitimacy) for the present. Reality, for Baudrillard, has always been seduced, and simulation has therefore always been present, necessitating that "the concept of history must itself be regarded as historical" (1975, 47). For this reason, it would be unsurprising for us to find the dynamics of simulation at work in Euripides' Helen, for Baudrillard himself explicitly complicates the pattern of transition from the symbolic to the structural which informs human history in much of his work. Likewise, it is not without good reason that Baudrillard (1994a, 64) refers to Helen as an illusory "simulacrum"--one as unreal as gold's "universal" exchange-value--despite her occupation of ancient Greek mythologies and cultural identities.

Finally, a brief comment about the place of political critique in this exploration of Helen: Baudrillard prioritizes social and communicative relations (both symbolic exchange and simulation) over production, utility, technological advancement, and commodity-based economic configurations. Proceeding from this assumption, he configures simulation as a distinct order of representation and signification (rather than of technology and production) in counterpoint to the dynamics of symbolic exchange. If we follow Baudrillard's logic of priority but extend our analysis of simulation beyond his problematic historical teleology, then Baudrillard's powerful critique of third-order simulacra and its response to power, violence, and coercion may illuminate a broader range of texts and epochs in which the pattern of simulation and virtuality operate. In fact, when deployed with careful attention to literary and cultural context, Baudrillard's theoretical apparatus can expand the possibilities of political critique to texts and artifacts not previously discussed in these terms. My use of this approach should not, then, imply that the following reading of Helen is somehow ahistorical or apolitical. Rather, my deployment of Baudrillard's model of cloning and seduction serves as a recognition of the sophisticated and often bewildering modes of mythic and political signification at work in Euripides' Helen--modes that correspond strongly to the order of simulation and to the challenge that seduction and ecstatic performance pose to it.

II. Drama and Simulation: Helen and Baudrillard's Third-Order Simulacra

Baudrillard's model of third-order simulacra and of the related process of cloning follows an agglutinative pattern of exact genetic replication, in which priority is assigned not to any single iteration, but rather to all iterations equally. By simulacrum, Baudrillard means an expressed figure, object, or sign whose construction and relationship to reality changes according to the paradigm of meaning-construction in which it is fabricated or deployed. Baudrillard theorizes a recent, seismic shift in the way we understand and experience the real, and he sets out (1993a, 50; see also 1981, 186 and 1994b, 121) three orders of simulacra punctuated by such shifts:

* First order: the counterfeit is the dominant schema in the 'classical' period, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution;

* Second order: production is the dominant schema in the industrial era; and,

* Third order: simulation is the dominant schema in the current code-governed phase.

Whereas the automaton (a first-order simulacrum) leaves the distinction between reality and illusion intact and perceptible, the robot (an industrial, second-order simulacrum) creates an epistemological crisis by rendering the authentic and the fake indistinguishable, thereby "opposing] the principle of theatrical illusion" (1993a, 54) but leaving the distinction itself intact.

The third order of simulacra, however, effaces this distinction by conflating the real and the illusory. In the order of simulation, the real is immersed in and generated by the imaginary, and vice versa, thereby inaugurating a paradigm of fabrication and signification embodied by the clone, for which "[o]nly affiliation with the model has any meaning" (1993a, 56). The generative principle of cloning makes way for the primacy of "a matrix known as a code... [a]nd it is this matrix, this genetic code, which is destined to 'give birth,' from now till eternity, in an operational mode from which all chance sexual elements have been expunged" (1993b, 115). Like Walter Benjamin's "work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction," the individual now loses her "aura" of authenticity, since "[b]y making many reproductions [the mode of mechanical reproduction] substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence" (Benjamin 2007, 221). (12) For Baudrillard, this process of exact reproduction is also emblematic of the construction of what we understand as "the real." Thus, in the third order of simulacra reality, as we experience it, becomes a "hyper-reality" that is "more real than real" because it is the product of a system of simulation that precedes and regulates it. The "precession" (or coming-before) of simulacra (1994b, 1-42) nullifies formerly stable constructions of priority and authenticity. Consequently, a disorienting and "aleatory" (i.e., ludic, playful) mode replaces the reality principle, and the relationship between signifier and signified/referent gives way to the a-referential play of signifiers and objects among themselves. (13)

At the same time, the system of simulation presents code-generated differences (between, e.g., male and female, real and illusory, or subject and object) as somehow natural or inevitable. (14) The projection of such differences, according to Baudrillard, contributes to a "deterrence machine" deployed to draw our attention away from the operation of third-order simulacra (1994b, 12-15). The possibility of resistance, however, is inherent to simulation, which is haunted by the threat of its own reversibility (that is, it may be exposed to view as an artificial construct and collapse under its own weight). Baudrillard equates such resistance with the process of ironic exposure which he calls "seduction" (1990b), and the strategy of seduction constitutes his "fatal strategy" (1990a) of oppositional performance--an ecstatic "principle of evil" (1990a, 181-191) by which one may challenge simulation's dominance by hyperbolically (and therefore ironically) performing it.

How can this framework shed light upon Helen's desperate struggle to establish her authenticity over and against Hera's eidolon, and to effect a deceptive escape strategy from Egypt along with her estranged husband? During the play's suppliant action, (13) Helen seeks to resolve her "clone story" (16) by establishing a stable distinction between herself and the eidolon. In this way, Helen would confine her double to the second order of simulacra and thereby attempt to assert the logic of difference and effectively stabilize the stakes and rationale of violent intervention on her behalf. As I suggest below, however, the world of dramatic simulation that Helen inhabits simultaneously raises questions about priority, difference, and authenticity. Helen's meta-dramatic and meta-mythological posture assigns priority to both Helen and her idol, whereas the first part of the drama foregrounds Helen's nominal, biological, and experiential exchangeability with her duplicate. While Hera's replica remains in Egypt, Helen's personal struggle to verify her uniqueness becomes a strategy of deterrence opposed by the play's invitation to examine Helen's distinction from her double critically. The clone story enacted in Helen's suppliant plot thus renders both Helen and the eidolon simulacra by presenting them as iterative products of a governing mythic code. The aporetic effects of this scenario emerge with particular force at moments of tragic recognition in the drama. The effect of highlighting Helen's reproducibility and equivalence to her double is to complicate the status of Greek military intervention and to raise questions about the conditions in which it has been (and continues to be) pursued in the world of the drama.

The contest for authenticity within Helen's milieu of simulation, played out during the suppliant action, now moves forward into the events following the eidolon's departure, in which Helen becomes a seductive participant in simulation's game of appearances and signification. Helen's rescue action, as argued below, opens the mechanics of simulation to view and dramatizes the destabilizing effects of the seduction and radical performance that challenge it. Here, Baudrillard can help to cast light on Helen's transformation into her own seductive apparition. In planning her escape with Menelaus, Helen deploys a strategy of deceptive seduction that ironically effaces Theoclymenus's authority, in counterpoint to the misguided hostage situation that Menelaus seeks to impose on Proteus's tomb. Further, Helen's seductive reconfiguration of Menelaus's rags into a "disguise" raises important questions about the relationship of Achaean heroism to its visible signifiers. Menelaus's miniature 'Trojan War' against the Egyptian sailors is similarly exposed as a simulacrum of martial valor and as a deterrence mechanism--a 'dead war' with expendable 'extras' which simulates and attempts to resolve the earlier Trojan conflict, made problematic by Helen's reproducibility. Finally, Helen's hyper-conventional exodos anticipates Baudrillard's "fatal strategy" of writing and composition, in which our awareness of the "rules of the game" of tragic simulation is raised through its hyperbolic presentation.

I do not seek here, therefore, to deny the operation of difference at the isolated level of plot, but rather to apply a new and fruitful approach in order to illuminate more fully the ways in which Helen exposes the pattern of mythic (re)production and invites critical examination of the close relationship between war, power, simulation, and the virtual. Further, I will discuss Helen as a figure of potential resistance, whose strategy of ironic seduction consists in performing and thereby opening to critique the coercive imposition of power and the continuing perpetration of violence on her behalf. We may now begin to understand simulation as a governing principle in the drama by examining the ways in which Helen raises our awareness of itself as mythic and tragic performance and thus invites questions about the location of mythic priority and the stability of the Trojan War's objective in the play.

III. Meta-Drama, Meta-Mythology, Anteriority: The "New" Helen and the "Real" Helen

In addition to engaging its audience at the level of plot and dramatic action, Euripides' Helen invites meta-dramatic and meta-mythological consideration, encouraging spectators to approach it as both "narrative audience" and "authorial audience." (17) In terms of Helen's theatricality, recent scholarship has highlighted the play's use of meta-dramatic strategies. (18) A number of these readings find in Helen's choral lyrics an investigation of the history of tragic music and its relationship to other genres. (19) The theme of Helen's beauty and the manner of her escape from Egypt have led others to reflect upon the play's representation of her as an objet d'art, or to demonstrate that Helen's action and dialogue overtly foreground the tools and aesthetic methods of tragic representation. (20) These analyses have elucidated a number of strategies through which Euripides' Helen invites a heightened awareness of itself as tragic theater.

Along with this meta-dramatic perspective, a growing sensitivity has emerged to Helen's meta-mythological content, which encourages its audience to reflect upon the play as myth. (21) Matthew Wright (2005, 135) characterizes meta-mythology as "a type of discourse which seems to be designed to emphasize the fictionality of myth, as well as to signal that the myth is being discussed qua myth." (22) Wright suggests that Euripides' Helen explicitly draws attention to itself as a mythic artifact, and that Helen's meta-mythological posture emerges strongly, for instance, in the play's prologue (1-163). "There is a certain story [[phrase omitted]]," (23) Helen claims, that Zeus begat her in the form of a swan, "if that story is true" (17-22)--a myth about which Helen will later express her doubts (257-259), but which the chorus nevertheless assume to be true (213-216). (24) Helen thus responds to her own origins as a logos or "story" subject to doubt and creative fabrication. In several instances, Helen's interaction with Teucer situates dramatic past and present as mythos by frequently employing the diction of second-hand testimony and oral transmission. (25) Accordingly, Teucer abruptly ends his communication of hearsay regarding the Trojan War's aftermath with the phrase [phrase omitted] (but enough of stories, 143). Further, when the chorus lament the state of Helen's reputation, they account for its dissemination as one might describe the promulgation of myth in a largely oral culture, in which "rumor travels through cities" ([phrase omitted], 223-224). This, they tell Helen, is part of a broader communicative pattern wherein "many things could be spoken as true, although they are false" ([phrase omitted], 309). (26) The explicit treatment of the drama's background as a collection of logoi, passed along from person to person and received after varying degrees of removal, invites an awareness of the play's events as mythic narrative transmitted through vocal performance.

Finally, meta-dramatics and meta-mythology come together in Menelaus's brief but suggestive response to Helen's proposal that Menelaus "play dead" in order to ensure their escape. (27) "There is," he objects, "some obsoleteness in your logos" ([phrase omitted], 1056). (28) The hackneyed quality that he perceives in Helen's strategy explicitly locates the play's events within both tragic precedent and mythic tradition. The familiarity of the tactics that Helen proposes necessarily arises from prior dramatic deceptions, (29) since this is Menelaus's first and only joint subterfuge with Helen. Moreover, Rachel Friedman (2007) has suggested mythic [phrase omitted] as an interpretive principle for the whole of Euripides' Helen. "Euripides," she observes (2007, 210), "like Helen, constructs his play on the foundations of two logoi [Odysseus's nostos and Persephone's abduction] that have some [phrase omitted] in them." When considered in these terms, Menelaus's statement raises our awareness of Helen as a dramatic and mythic creation, even as the play engages its audience at the level of plot and seeks a concomitant suspension of disbelief.

The necessary consequence of this simultaneous engagement with plot and mytho-poiesis is to break down the distinction between anteriority and posteriority (that is, of linear chronology) vis-a-vis Helen and her double. Whereas the play's internal logic demands that the Helen on stage preceed the eidolon, a meta-dramatic and meta-mythological perspective situates this new, Euripidean Helen after the eidolon, which embodies prior tragic and mythic traditions. (30) How, then, can we incorporate these divergent perspectives, both invited by the play, into a single approach to Euripides' Helen? Within simulation, Baudrillard observes the "precession" or coming-before of the code that produces simulacra (1994b, 1-42)--a generative process that results in the "liquidation of referentials" (1994b, 2, 5-6) and "the short-circuiting between poles of every differential system of meaning" (1994b, 82-83). Put simply, Baudrillard's model of code-based generation (or cloning) invites us to look beyond a strictly linear chain of priority, wherein the eidolon is referential to and dependent upon an original or "real" Helen. If we, as readers or spectators, are sensitive to the play's alignment of plot with its open treatment of mythic tradition and tragic precedent, it becomes more difficult to maintain a thoroughgoing distinction between anterior and posterior, or before and after. Now both Helens come first, both come next, and each is somehow fashioned from the other. (31) The questions that emerge about chronological linearity and anteriority accompany and fortify the nominal, biological, and experiential exchangeability of Helen and the eidolon--her "clone story."

IV. Helen's "Clone Story": Authenticity and Simulation in the Suppliant Action

In his essay "Clone Story," Baudrillard (1994b, 95-103) defines the clone as "the materialization of the double by genetic means, that is to say the abolition of all alterity and of an imaginary. Which is combined with the economy of sexuality. Delirious apotheosis of a productive technology" (1994b, 97). According to Baudrillard, an "eternity of the Same" (1994b, 95) characterizes simulation and the third order of simulacra. Whereas a simulacrum of the second order constitutes an epistemological threat, the genetic clones of Baudrillard's third order destabilize such distinctions ontologically. Individual difference, in this case, gives way to a "dream of eternal twin[n]ing substituted for sexual procreation that is linked to death" for the unique subject (1994b, 96). Because the clone is an incarnation of a pre-existing genetic code (a "double by genetic means"), any distinction between authentic and false or real and imaginary ceases to operate. "Productive technology" now displaces sexual reproduction and its resulting biological diversity, yielding a "genetic inscription no longer subject to the vicissitudes of procreation" (1993b, 114). The expansive, code-generated sameness that attends upon clones necessarily induces a state of aporia in their spectators (Baudrillard's "delirious apotheosis"), since we are now unable to rely upon the distinctions according to which we conventionally interpret our world. We have seen how the play's meta-mythological and meta-dramatic posture complicates any thoroughgoing system of priority between Euripides' new Helen and the eidolon, and Baudrillard's concept of the clone can now illuminate their emergent proximity.

The technology of genetic replication and its effects necessarily occupy a central place in Euripides' Helen. Although the play cannot address the making of Helen's Doppelgangerin in exactly these terms, the precision of Hera's replication suggests that she has produced a biologically perfect clone--a sameness that exists in tension with Helen's assertion of the logic of difference. Helen frequently invokes the eidolon's successful appropriation of her identity and reputation, and seeks to draw a distinction between her name (onoma) and her body (soma). In her opening monologue, Helen announces that the cause of the Trojan conflict was not she herself, "but my name, a spear-prize for the Hellenes" (43). She later surmises that Cypris "set forth my name, but not my body, among the barbarians" (1100), drawing a contrast between the negative kleos attached to her name and her intention, as a suppliant at Proteus's tomb, to keep her body from incurring a corresponding shame (66-67). Helen desperately attempts to convince Menelaus that "a name could be in many places, but not one's body" (588). However, Paris (and Menelaus en route to Egypt) has had intimate contact with the eidolon, (32) who shares Helen's physical composition as well as her appearance. Helen understandably proposes that what Paris held in Troy was merely an apparition fabricated from sky and ether, but the fact of her bodily presence in both Troy and Egypt complicates the distinction between name and body along with Helen's physical difference from her double.

Even the diction with which Helen describes her physical presence and history expresses an aporia induced by her body's simultaneous occupation of more than one place. Paris, she explains, "supposes that he holds me--an empty supposition--not holding me" ([phrase omitted], 35-36). The repetitious structure of Helen's utterance establishes symmetry between Helen ([phrase omitted]) and the "empty supposition" ([phrase omitted]) that results from the eidolon's presence, even as she attempts to distance herself from her double. The Servant echoes Helen's language, when he describes the Achaeans as "supposing that Paris holds Helen, [though] not holding [her]" ([phrase omitted], 611). "Holding" Helen is always complicated by the dynamics of her reproducibility: her occupation of several places at once makes her imminently holdable, and yet the act of holding Helen can never be straightforward. The instability arising from Helen's physical exchangability with the eidolon eventually leads Helen to implicate both herself and her name in the destruction of Troy, which fell "on account of me, who am the cause of much death, [and] on account of my name, which is the cause of much suffering" ([phrase omitted], 198-199). (33) This asyndetic conflation of Helen with her name expresses the difficulty of establishing a simple difference between Helen's name and body, both of which the eidolon also possesses. Just as Helen's name functions in a free play and circulation of signifiers, her body too operates in a free flow and exhange of identical objects characteristic of cloning and the third order of simulacra.

The exchangeability of Helen and the eidolon, moreover, is not limited to nominal and physical similarity. More broadly, Helen and the eidolon hold a basic story-pattern in common, which appears as a mythic code that governs the play's presentation of their respective histories. Both figures, we have found, emerge conspicuously in the play as products of mythological production: the eidolon from Hera's creative appropriation of Helen's body and name (themselves components of earlier mythic tradition), and this 'new Helen' from Euripides' manipulation of existing instantiations of Helen's story. Even their births share the quality of inhuman biological replication: Helen from the egg produced by an avian Zeus, and her double from divinely manipulated ether. From their earliest moments, both figures seem to alternate between the human and the divine, and above and below.

The play's periodic association of both Helen and her idol with celestial matter invites further comparison of their respective mediations between earth and the heavens, and draws attention to Helen's former and future occupation of the material from which Hera produced her replica. The eidolon originates in ether (584) and cloud (707, 1219), is a "breathing thing composed of sky" (34; also 613), and returns to the ether (605, 1219) whence Hera constructed her. Helen, on the other hand, travelled the same exalted route as the eidolon when she was "snatched on a journey through the sky" (1671) to Egypt. In particular, the circumstances of this new Helen's abduction by Hermes correspond suggestively to the divine removal of the eidolon. In her opening monologue, Helen recounts the abduction by Hermes that brought her to Egypt. Hermes left Helen in Proteus's care, "after taking me in folds of ether [and] hiding me in a cloud" ([phrase omitted], 44-45). When the Servant recounts the eidolon's ethereal departure to Menelaus, he reports that "your wife has gone, lifted toward the folds of ether. And she is hidden in sky..." ([phrase omitted], 605-606). The repetition in this passage of Helen's abduction is unmistakable. (34) The Servant's diction effectively renders the eidolon's departure a double of Helen's divine abduction, by having the eidolon travel the same ethereal route ([phrase omitted]) as that of Helen's initial journey to Egypt. Hermes' act of "hiding" Helen in celestial material registers his perpetration of divine seizure, but the use of the language of taking ([phrase omitted]) and concealment ([phrase omitted]) in both passages corroborates the link between Helen and her apparition in terms of lived experience and divine intention. The initiation of Helen's Egyptian story, that is to say, places her at the eidolon's point of origin and anticipates her double's ethereal departure. Helen's predicted apotheosis (1666-1669) will relocate her, again presumably by way of "folds of ether," in the rarified environs that punctuate her own and the eidolon's histories. (33)

Both Helen and the eidolon, furthermore, are the objects of strongly eroticized abductions that originate with Hera and initiate the events crucial to Helen's plot. As an erotic object of immeasurable value, Helen becomes for her various captors the consummate acquisition, and numerous instances of violent seizure therefore punctuate her history. (36) The eidolon's relationship to Paris is overtly sexual and linked directly to erotic seizure, but Helen's passage to Egypt also resonates heavily with the conditions and gestures of sexual aggression in myth. (37) In her lyric exchange with the chorus of Greek captives, Helen describes a setting for her abduction which recalls Hades' seizure of Persephone in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. At Hera's instigation, Hermes "abducts Helen through the ether" ([phrase omitted]) as she gathers blossoms (243-249), just as Hades in the Homeric Hymn seizes ([phrase omitted], 19-20) an unwilling Persephone while she plucks an assortment of flowers. (38) Earlier in this lyric passage, Helen draws an overt connection between herself and the queen of Hades' realm, praying that "Persephone in her halls of night may receive from me with my tears a paean, bloody and joyless, for the dead who are gone" (172-178). Euripides' new Helen thus introduces a first-hand account of her abduction by direct appeal to the quintessential victim of sexual violence, and compares her own captivity explicitly to Persephone's iconic experience. Even as Helen laments her terrifying divine abduction by Hermes, she highlights her coerced movement to Egypt as a re-enactment (a simulacrum) of the pattern of aggressive seizure that already characterizes her own and the eidolon's story.

Having been violently but willingly taken from their respective exotic destinations (Egypt and Troy) by Menelaus, Helen and the eidolon share an end in the form of apotheosis. The Servant's account of the eidolon's sudden departure lends a mysterious and ethereal semnotes to the event: Helen, he explains, has disappeared and "left behind the holy cave where we were keeping her" ([phrase omitted], 607). As William Allan (2008, ad Hel. 607) observes, the Servant's description of the cave as [phrase omitted] (holy) bespeaks the supernatural quality of the wonder that he has recently witnessed. (39) The eidolon, a product of divine construction, has miraculously returned to her heavenly origins. (40) Helen too is the progeny of a divine parent, and she will inhabit the heavens as a minor deity, according to Castor ex machina in the play's exodos:
[phrase omitted]. (1666-1669)

But when you round the turn and end your life, you will be called a
goddess [and you will hold a share of libations along with the
Dioscuri] and you will hold gifts from humans along with us. For Zeus
wishes it to be so.

becomes a determinative, eso-technical "prosthesis" whose virulent metastasis forecloses the possibility of an authentic "original" (1994b, 99) and imposes the "immutable repetition of the prosthesis... [and] the end of the body, of its history, and of its vicissitudes" (1994b, 100). This is Baudrillard's "Hell [or Underworld?] of the Same" (1993b, 113-123), in which the death of the singular self is both eventuated and precluded, constantly evoked and deferred. An Egyptian setting that replicates Hades' realm thus serves as an ideal context in which to situate Helen's drama of simulation. It is an exotic tomb and an oubliette into which Helens (both Euripides' new Helen and the eidolon) descend and disappear. At the same time, however, it is a place for the perpetual suspension of death, since Helen is dramatically reproduced here and must again relive the personal history already established by the governing pattern of her myth.

Helen's clone story in this simulated Underworld distances her, I have suggested, from stable notions of authenticity and mythic priority, and her reproducibility has the effect of nullifying the stakes of the Achaean military effort to reclaim her. Her emergent equivalence to her apparition locates both at the level of appearance (Helen's body) and the sign (Helen's name), in counterpoint to Helen's attempt to assert the logic of difference during the play's suppliant action. After the disappearance of the eidolon, the struggle for authenticity that has catalyzed Helen's clone story gives way to her active participation in simulation's game of signs and appearances in the remainder of the drama, in which she ironically performs the dynamics of power and thereby becomes a figure of resistance to the order of simulation. In my exploration of Helen's rescue action, then, I hope to show that the effect of Helen's aleatory treatment of signification and the visual is to raise questions about the coercive imposition of power, the stability of martial heroism, and the stakes of the Trojan War. It is fitting that the mechanism that haunts simulation and inevitably introduces such doubts is also a tactic associated everywhere in mythic tradition with Helen: seduction.

VII. Helen's Rescue Action: Identity, Deception, Seduction

After the disappearance of the eidolon and the inauguration of the play's rescue action, Helen assimilates her double and becomes her own seductive apparition. (36) She does so by actively adopting the deceptive strategy and evasive allure of her eidolon, which embodies earlier mythic instantiations of Helen as duplicitous causa belli and willing object of abduction. In her ironic manipulation of Theoclymenus, Helen returns to her identity as the ventriloquist of Odyssey 4.265-289, whom Menelaus describes as "simulating the voice of the wives [[phrase omitted]] of all the Argives" (4.279) in order to deceive Troy's Achaean invaders. (57) As in Menelaus's anecdote, Euripides' Helen becomes the simulacrum of a numphe eagerly sought by the Egyptian monarch, and here too she draws upon her opponent's desire in a game of deception and surrogacy that seeks to expose the vulnerabilities of his position and make him complicit in relinquishing his strategic advantage. This tactic places seduction back at the heart of Helen's character and brings the effects imposed by Helen and her idol into profound alignment, while simultaneously destabilizing (and thus resisting) relations of power by ironically performing them.

Seduction, according to Baudrillard, operates at the level of phenomena and the sign, resulting ultimately in the ironic exposure of normative categories as staged, artificial, and merely apparent. Regarding seduction, Baudrillard (1990b, 53) suggests that "it is the manifest discourse--discourse at its most superficial--that turns back on the deeper [i.e., 'natural'] order... in order to invalidate it, substituting the charm and illusion of appearances." The process of seduction "draws away" and relocates reified discursive categories such as gender, power, and subjectivity in the realm of signs, ultimately abolishing "the distance between the real and its double [i.e., the imaginary], and the distortion between the Same and the Other" (1990b, 67). Seduction is therefore a challenge and a mode of resistance to existing relations of power and difference, and is staged in the very language and gestural conventions that designate those relations. It is "a form of duel or war, an agonal form. It never takes the form of violence or a relation of force, but of a war game" (1990b, 113), since there is at stake not a natural or inevitable difference, but a play of appearances posing as real or authentic (e.g., masculine/feminine or subject/object as allegedly "real" or inevitable polarities). Seduction, then, resists the order of simulation by ironically folding the logic of simulation back upon itself and thereby exposing it to view and opening it to critique.

Seduction playfully employs a strategy of deception and diversion in order to destabilize its object. "It lies in wait," explains Baudrillard (1990b, 69-70), "for all that tends to confuse itself with its reality. And it is potentially a source of fabulous strength... [S]eduction, by producing only illusions, obtains all powers, including the power to return production and reality to their fundamental illusion." Even as Helen attempts to escape the shadow cast over her reputation by the eidolon, her deceptive mastery of her interaction with Egypt's despot evinces a seductive capacity that has always characterized her in earlier mythic tradition. (38) As Helen secures a means of escape for herself and Menelaus, she "lies in wait" for Theoclymenus's programmatic imposition of masculine authority. She exemplifies the strategy of seductive deception by appealing to the "charm and illusion of appearances" in her ironic manipulation of Theoclymenus's desire. Finally, in a manner consistent with Baudrillard's pattern of seduction, Helen uses Theoclymenus's civic authority against him in such a way that the Egyptian monarch becomes complicit in undermining his own political power and personal agency. (59)

VII. I Helen's Ironic Strategy of Seduction

Helen's manipulation of her dogged pursuer corresponds significantly to Baudrillard's remarks in the essay "Death in Samarkand" (1990b, 72-78). There Baudrillard explores a folktale in which an anonymous soldier, misinterpreting a gesture from the figure of Death, precipitates his own demise by fleeing to the place where Death has already been scheduled to meet him. The ill-fated soldier, Baudrillard (1990b, 74) suggests, "gave meaning to a meaningless gesture which did not even concern him. He took personally something that was not addressed to him, as one might mistake for oneself a smile meant for someone else... The man seduced is caught in spite of himself in a web of stray signs." The irony that Helen so consistently interposes between herself and Theoclymenus at lines 1369-1440 suggestively anticipates the soldier's misapprehension of Death's gesture, and her address to her eager suitor at lines 1405-1409 provides a particularly clear example of Baudrillard's seductive exchange:
[phrase omitted]

And if only the gods may grant what I wish for you and this stranger
[Menelaus], since he labors at these things along with us. But you will
have me in your house as the sort of wife that you deserve, since you
show kindness to Menelaus and me. For these matters are coming to some
fortunate result.

Like Baudrillard's soldier in Samarkand, Theoclymenus mistakes for himself a smile meant for someone else (Menelaus), whereas Helen's ironic response to Theoclymenus's imposed desire occurs as a series of seductive "stray signs" received at once by the pharaoh and by Menelaus. As her eidolon has done at Troy and in the Egyptian cave, Helen now addresses her captor as an evanescent object of desire, immediately present before his eyes, yet ever receding and unavailable. Theoclymenus here falls victim to a "mirror of deception" (Baudrillard 1990b, 115) held before his eyes by Helen, in which the object of his pursuit both reflects and deflects his masculine desire and acquisitiveness as part of her ironic strategy. (60)

Having become her own seductive apparition, Helen turns Theoclymenus's political and domestic authority on its head by playing the role of the feminine suppliant and inducing Theoclymenus to employ the language and gestures of power in such a way that his dominance suddenly disappears. "Certainly," he responds to Helen's request for resources, "my sailors must listen to this man [Menelaus]" (1415), then tripling his concession with "again and a third time I give my command, if it pleases you" (1417). (61) Here we see Baudrillard's "charm and illusion of appearances" in operation, since under Helen's spell the scene's dialogue becomes an aleatory manipulation of the signs and conventions of power and supplication. Helen seductively uses Theoclymenus's civic authority against him in a game of reversal in which the Egyptian monarch undoes his strategic advantage and dominance by exercising them willingly.

The "ironic strategy of the seducer" (Baudrillard 1990b, 98-118) emerges forcefully in Helen's injunction to Theoclymenus "not to be a slave to your slaves" ([phrase omitted], 1428) in response to his offer to attend Menelaus's funereal rites. Addressing Theoclymenus as "lord," Helen ironically cautions him about the very subordination that she has just led him to pursue. As Helen has already suggested, "In barbarian affairs, all are slaves except one" (276), but her seduction now destabilizes the differential of enslavement and mastery upon which Theoclymenus's authority depends, since he has already compromised his authority by actively participating in his own douleia. The open play of signs initiated by Helen's game of deception has effectively used the dynamics and conventions of Theoclymenus's power to undermine it.

VII.2 Menelaus's Strategy of Hostage Taking and Theonoe's Seductive Response

In contrast to Helen's seductive strategy, which has its basis in and against the order of simulation, Menelaus attempts to impose a banal act of hostage taking, the internal dynamics of which must ultimately lead to its abandonment. (62) Menelaus's supplication of Theonoe evolves from an apostrophic appeal to Proteus (959-968) and invocation of Hades (969-974) into a crescendo of hypothetical violence, concluding with a grisly appropriation of the deceased Proteus as his hostage:
[phrase omitted] (980-985)

But if [Theoclymenus] refuses to set foot against foot in combat and
seeks to capture us both with hunger who are supplants at the tomb, I
have decided to kill this woman [Helen] and then to thrust my two-edged
sword through my liver on space of this tomb, in order that currents of
blood may trickle down upon the burial site.

On its surface, then, Menelaus's threat simply exploits a vulnerability of Theonoe's obvious piety in order to secure her silence and complicity.

The form of this imposed leverage, however, already compromises the stability of Proteus's tomb as a vector of exchange between Menelaus and Theonoe. Whereas Helen's subtle deception implodes Theoclymenus's authority in the next scene, Menelaus here pursues a strategy of coercion akin to the model of terroristic hostage taking set out in Baudrillard's Fatal Strategies (1990a, 48-49): (63)
Taking a hostage is at once the desperate attempt to radicalize the
balance of power and to recreate an exchange at the summit, to render
an object or an individual inestimably valuable by seizure and
disappearance (therefore by absolute scarcity), and at the same time
the paradoxical failure of this attempt, for, since the violation
amounts to an annulment of the subject, this exchange-value collapses
in the very hands of the terrorists.

Menelaus's threat to pollute the grave of Theonoe's venerable father with bloodshed would compromise the ritual integrity of the site and thereby situates Proteus as an object of exchange, since Menelaus seeks to purchase Theonoe's silence with the purity of her father's tomb. Proteus, as a hostage who is literally dead, perfectly (even hyperbolically) exemplifies Baudrillard's theoretical hostage, who exists in a condition of "virtual extermination" (1990a, 35) and "pure and simple exhibition... [f]rozen in a state of decease" (1990a, 43). The act of hostage taking and negotiation, which the terrorist seeks to conduct in the currency of the hostage's unique subjectivity and personhood, is therefore doomed to failure, since it immediately configures the hostage as a pure object (hence his "virtual extermination").

In the process of exhibiting and objectifying his deceased currency, Menelaus initiates a "chain of blackmail" in the course of which "everyone is the hostage of the other" (Baudrillard 1990a, 44). Menelaus, who would forfeit his life to make good his threat, effectively becomes a virtually dead hostage himself, in addition to replicating the danger to his life already posed by Theoclymenus. Further, in seeking to upset relations of power in Egypt, Menelaus has simulated existing conditions: Helen remains an endangered hostage at Proteus's grave, Proteus is still dead but now also objectified (and hence made less valuable to Menelaus), and Theonoe's forced complicity would expose her to her brother's intrafamilial violence (thereby nullifying the persuasive power of Menelaus's ultimatum). (64) The hostage-object (Proteus) thereby "takes its revenge" (Baudrillard 1990a, 47-48) by ironically reconfiguring its captor (Menelaus) as a hostage and forcing him to reproduce the existing regime's violently imposed authority. Menelaus's attempt to strong-arm Theonoe and forcefully secure his demands now becomes a simulacrum of aggressive coercion, since the dynamics of hostage taking immediately nullify the substance of Menelaus's leverage and simulate the prevailing structure of authority.

For this reason, one could justifiably describe Menelaus's heavy-handed tactics as "ephemeral, senseless, [and] instantaneous" (Baudrillard 1990a, 50), and the pursuit of his coercive logic could only result in a dramatic dead end. (65) It is therefore felicitous that Theonoe does not respond directly to the hostage situation that he has attempted to impose." (6) Instead, she diverts the dialogue away from his threat and picks up the earlier appeal to her piety and familial loyalty (894-923) made by Helen, who "can speak Theonoe's language as can no other character in the play" (67) Theonoe's targeted silence, on the one hand, safely dismisses Menelaus's strategy as a way forward in their negotiations, and her response advances their uneasy detente in a way that aligns the interests of Menelaus and Theoclymenus, that is, she responds seductively, by complicating the political and strategic difference staged by Menelaus's oppositional posture. (68) Invoking her own and her father's good reputations (999-1001), Theonoe resolves to "cast the same vote as Hera" (1005-1006) in the matter of securing Helen's escape with Menelaus. Referring elliptically to the "reproaches that you made around my father's tomb," Theonoe simply claims that "we think the same thing" (1009-1010), and that "if that man [Proteus] still looked upon the light, he would have given this woman back to you, and you to her" (1011-1012). Theonoe's paternal devotion is to be expected, but the logic that she employs in explaining her position approximates her brother's interests to Menelaus's:
[phrase omitted]. (1017-1021)

I do not wish to go on at length: I will remain silent about the things
you ask of me, and I will never be an adviser to my brother's
foolishness. For I am doing him a kindness, although I do not seem to
be, if I ensure that he is without fault and far from impiety.

Theonoe's intervention and deceptive complicity in the escape plot emanates, she argues, from her concern for Theoclymenus's spiritual wellbeing and familial responsibilities, which she now presents as consistent with Menelaus's goals. Under the weight of Theonoe's pious response to Menelaus's ultimatum, the basis of opposition between uxorious Greek and barbarian monarchs in the play becomes unsteady. (69)

VII. 3 Martial Heroism and the Visible Signs of Identity

Helen's disorienting seduction, anticipated by Theonoe in her sudden alignment of Menelaus's interests with Theoclymenus's, raises questions not only about the stability of Theoclymenus's political power, but also about Menelaus's heroic status and the relationship of Achaean heroism to its visible signs. In this way, Helen's seductive strategy of deception, which releases the visible signifiers of status from their referents, constitutes a form of resistance to the system of heroic signification upon which war and relations of power depend in the world of the drama. As the chorus exit into the skene at line 385 and Helen's second prologue begins, (70) Menelaus arrives in Egypt as a shipwrecked vagabond, wary of allowing the inhabitants of an unfamiliar land to look upon his tattered garments and observe the shame of his misfortune (415-417). He has neither food nor adequate clothing, but only what remains from the ruin of his ship (420-424). His harrowing encounter with the aged Portress ends with him being driven from the gates of Theoclymenus's palace "like a beggar" ([phrase omitted], 790). "I suppose you were an eminent person somewhere else," she speculates, "but not here" (454). Helen herself acknowledges Menelaus's sinister appearance, when Menelaus denies that he is a thief or a criminal: "And yet you have an unsightly [[phrase omitted]] garment about your body" (554). Later, Helen incredulously addresses the degree of Menelaus's desperation--"Surely you weren't begging for food?" (791)--to which Menelaus must admit that "This is what happened, although the name ['begging'] wasn't used for it" (792). Theocly-menus, too, registers the state of Menelaus's appearance after his shipwreck, exclaiming, "By Apollo, his clothing is so ugly [[phrase omitted]]!" (1204). Menelaus's dusmorphia and obvious poverty can come to an end only through the largesse of Theoclymenus's household (1283-1284), from which Helen will secure the armor, splendid garments, and resources necessary to reinstate Menelaus's earlier luster (1374-1384). (71)

The manner of Helen's deception, however, complicates the ostensibly straightforward relationship between identity and its visible signification and haunts Menelaus's redemption. When he arrived in Egypt, Menelaus did not just appear to be a beggar and vagrant, he was one (Wright 2005, 332-334), as attested by the Portress's summary dismissal of him and by his explicit self-characterization as a ptochos. "These rags thrown about my body," he tells Helen in response to her evolving plan, "are witnesses for you of my wreckage at sea" (1079-1080). (72) According to Menelaus, they express an historical fact and signify his current state of being. At this crucial moment, however, Helen's strategic manipulation of Menelaus's condition seductively distances signifiers from their referents: [phrase omitted] (73) ([Your tattered clothing] has become opportune, whereas before it was ill-timed and a source of ruin. But that hardship could straightaway become fortunate, 1081-1082). The outward indicators of Menelaus's desperation and poverty suddenly become a "disguise" (Allan 2008, ad Hel. 1079-1082) which no longer refers to his actual state of being (shipwrecked beggar), but now operates within Helen's game of visual signification, a displacement that can be productively illuminated through Baudrillard's model of simulation and the free play of signs and images.

Early in Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard (1994b, 5) argues that the idol-smashing Byzantine iconoclasts "were those who accorded them [images, eidola of divinity] their true value," since these representations "dissimulate [i.e., 'hide'] the fact that there is nothing behind them." Such an image does not merely distort or misrepresent its object. Rather, "It masks the absence of a profound reality" and implies that the image "has no relation to any reality whatsoever" (1994b, 6). (74) The image has become, then, a pure, self-referential simulacrum that poses as a representation of reality. Under the influence of Helen's seductive power, the visible signifiers of Menelaus's state (his clothes/rags, his nutrition/hunger, his armament/exposure) break free from their referent and become part of Helen's game of reversal. By suddenly making the signs of Menelaus's identity a disguise, Helen opens the possibility that all such outward indicators of an inner quality (Baudrillard's "profound reality") bear "no relation to any reality whatsoever." The implications of this new possibility necessarily reach beyond Menelaus's rags to his armor, locating all signifiers of status (whether poverty or heroism) at the level of simulation and within an aleatory and a-referential network of signs. (75) Now, one can be a hero who begs, and, conversely, a beggar can become a hero by donning a hero's armor. Although these accoutrements will enable Menelaus to effect a second military action on Helen's behalf, the dynamics of simulation (and Helen's conspicuous performance of them) continue to operate, rendering this effort a 'dead' one and exposing both the Trojan War and Menelaus's violent escape action as simulacra of war.

VIII. La Guerre de Troie n'a pas eu lieu: Dead War and the Glory of Troy (76)

The destruction and loss of life occasioned by the Trojan campaign necessitates that it be explainable and justifiable for its participants. Teucer and Menelaus--Helen's travel weary combat veterans--find unthinkable the notion that the war did not result in the reacquisition of a unique and irreplaceable Helen. When Helen proposes that Teucer's direct perception of her in Troy was mere dokesis, he wishes only to divert their discussion to another topic ([phrase omitted], 120), to anything but the possibility that the Achaeans fought a decade-long war on terms other than those they presumed at Troy Doubting the testimony of his senses during the play's recognition scene, Menelaus brings to mind Teucer's incredulity in his first reaction to Helen's story: "The immensity of my labors there," he defensively proclaims, "persuade me, and not you" ([phrase omitted], 593). (77) A war perpetrated for the fleeting creature in the cave becomes a farce, a kind of 'dead war' whose justification has disappeared with the eidolon and whose outcome can now be measured only in the collateral devastation of Troy and of the mass of Achaean anarithmctoi. (78) Thus, Helen's sustained lamentation over the war (229-240, 362-374) and the Trojan devastation invoked so poignantly in the play's first stasimon (1107-1164) mourn both its losses and the emptiness of its rationale, since it occurred, Helen explicitly reveals, [phrase omitted] (on account of deeds not done, 363). (79)

The revelation that [phrase omitted] precipitated the Trojan War necessitates its restaging during Helen's rescue action. Menelaus must now (re)acquire Helen in order to valorize the devastation inflicted and suffered in Troy. When Helen urges Menelaus to escape from Theoclymenus alone (805), he therefore exclaims that "I destroyed Troy for your sake" (806), effectively "transferr[ing] this value to the new Helen" (Schmiel 1972, 289)--a dynamic of exchange upon which Baudrillard's critique of simulated warfare can shed new light. Of the United States' first Gulf War, Baudrillard (1995, 32) provocatively suggested that war itself was at stake as an undertaking with genuine rewards, meaningful risks, and stable causes--an assessment that also applies strongly to the circumstances of Euripides' Helen and to the deficit caused by the discovery of Helen's replicability and occupation of Egypt. Another war must now take place as a deterrence mechanism that draws our attention from the futility of the first and functions as a "secret expiation" (Baudrillard 1995, 57) of that earlier violence. Helen's deceptive seduction of Theoclymenus's authority provides for this emergent necessity. As Helen proposes, Menelaus can now apply his newly gained armor and heroic visage "to setting up with his hand trophies from countless barbarians, when we board the oared vessel" ([phrase omitted]/[phrase omitted], 1380-1381). The stage is now set for a second rendition (a simulation) of the Trojan conflict in miniature, from which Menelaus may (again) emerge victorious with the body and name of his estranged wife. (80)

As many critics have already observed, however, what occurs aboard the Phoenician vessel hardly qualifies as a meaningful reenactment of war. (81) The Messenger reports the shouted commands of the ship's keleustes, once the Greek subterfuge comes to light: "Don't delay, but let one man take up a spar as a spear, and another break up the benches, and another take up an oar from its thole, and make the heads of the enemy strangers bloody!" (1597-1599). From this we learn that Menelaus's Egyptian escorts have no weapons at hand for the impending conflict with their Greek passengers. The Messenger then observes an alarming antithesis (82) between the two sides, when "everyone stood straight up, with the one side [[phrase omitted]] holding oars in their hands, and the other [[phrase omitted]] swords" (1600-1601). The slaughter of Egyptian sailors under these conditions corresponds to what Baudrillard (1995, 72) calls an "alibi"--an ex post facto deterrence mechanism--meant to "prove that this war was indeed a war and not a shameful and pointless hoax, a programmed and melodramatic version of what was the drama of war." Rhetorical hyperbole notwithstanding, Baudrillard's critique of the first Gulf War as a simulacrum (an event that simulates "hot wars" with meaningful stakes) can help us to understand the one-sided conflict aboard the Egyptian ship as a 'dead war' that simulates and seeks to redeem an earlier Trojan campaign whose stakes are nullified by the events of Euripides' play.

The corpses of the primitively armed Egyptians have a crucial role to play as 'extras,' whose compulsory participation in the battle imparts an aura of authenticity to this second foreign confrontation (see Baudrillard 1995, 75-76). It is, nevertheless, a staged event, an execution of men who are effectively prisoners in a guerre manquee that follows a "hyperrealist logic of the deterrence of the real by the virtual" (Baudrillard 1995, 27). In clearer terms, Menelaus's virtual war for a Helen already in his possession distracts its spectators and participants from the emptiness of the earlier conflict, thereby subsuming the truth of the Trojan War's conditions beneath the virtual. For Baudrillard (1990b, 6), "When the real is no longer what it was, nostalgia assumes its full meaning." (83) Within this re-visitation of martial conflict, it is nostalgia for a "real" but unrecoverable past that induces Menelaus to urge his crew, now "flowers of the land of Hellas," to "slaughter and murder barbarians" (1593-1594), and nostalgia for a "real" and meaningful war that leads Helen to invoke the "glory of Troy" (1603) from the ship's prow. That war, however, "did not take place."

IX. Exodos and Helen's "Fatal Strategy"

From simulated war we now turn to escape, and to Menelaus's exodos with his newly regained spouse. Regarding Helen's final moments, Francis Dunn (1996, 133-157) has suggested that Euripides employs an avant-garde or radically experimental form of hyper-conventionality, in such a way that the poet "test[s] the limits of his genre, [and] also moves beyond it" (156-157). (84) Euripides, according to Dunn, deploys generic conventions in the play's exodos not strictly necessary for the resolution of the play's plot, in order to highlight tragic conventionality itself, a poetic strategy consistent with the play's broader meta-dramatic and meta-mythological gestures. (85) For instance, when Castor arrives with his silent twin and speaks ex machina, he must explain the lateness of his intervention on behalf of his sister Helen:
[phrase omitted]. (1658-1661)

We would have saved our sister long ago, since Zeus made us gods, but
we were weaker than fate and the gods, to whom it seemed best that
things turn out as they did.

The gods and fate, then, are responsible for events and Castor therefore reveals the vestigial quality of his arrival at the drama's conclusion. Helen is, at this point, already en route to Greece, and Theoclymenus can no longer threaten her or Menelaus. Likewise, Dunn (1996, 136-137) observes that Castor's etiology of Akte's new name (1673-1675), "Helen" or "Taken," has little relevance to the plot and no connection to events subsequent to the play. (86) Although this aition recalls Helen's abduction, the renaming of the island on which Hermes paused with her hardly has the impact of, for example, the ritual aitia pronounced by Athena in the exodos to Euripides' Iphigenia among the Taurians, with which Helen is frequently compared. (87) Further, Castor's prevention of Theonoe's death at her brother's hands (1682-1683) does nothing to alter the situation of the play's protagonists, nor does the god mention the captive Greek women who were complicit in Helen's escape (Dunn 1996, 138-139). (88) The play's last moments lack none of the conventional elements of the late-Euripidean exodos (e.g., deus ex machina, aition, formulaic epilogue, acquiescence to divine mandate), but the drama seems to draw our attention to the fact of those conventions, thereby inviting metadramatic consideration of tragic endings.

There is more to Helens dramatic tactics in the exodos, however, than the clever deployment of an avant-garde reflexivity, and here we may remark upon the analogousness of Baudrillard's "fatal strategy" of composition to the effects of Helen's conclusion. In performing critique through writing, Baudrillard (1990a, 9) follows a strategy of escalation, where "every trait thus raised to the superlative power, caught up in a spiral of redoubling--the truer than true, the more beautiful than beautiful, the realer than real--is assured of having an effect of vertigo independent of any context or quality of its own." Euripides has already presented a dramatic performance "more true than true" in its restaging and ostensible resolution of past mythic instantiations. His new Helen is "more beautiful than beautiful" in her seductive pursuit of Menelaus's interests along with her own. Both she and her eidolon are in various respects hyper-real, or "more real than real" in their competition for priority. Consistently with this pattern of escalation, the hyper-conventional form of Helen's exodos makes it "more tragic than tragic" in the sense that it draws attention to its status as tragic by self-consciously foregrounding its deployment of tragic Bauformen. (89) In this ending lies the crux of Baudrillard's strategy of exuberant acceleration and studied hyperbole in composition: "Whether poetry or theory, [writing is] nothing but the projection of an arbitrary code, an arbitrary system (an invention of the rules of the game) where things come to be taken in their fatal development" (1990a, 154). (90) Fatality, both for Baudrillard and in the concluding episode of Euripides' Helen, amounts to the elucidation of the rules that inform simulation and to their exposure as components in a game of mimesis.

This strategy of writing and performance, therefore, "pushes us," as Baudrillard (1990a, 9) argues, "toward a dizzying over-multiplication of formal qualities, and therefore to the form of ecstasy, [which is] the quality proper to any pure and empty form." Helen's hyper-conventional exodos constitutes "pure, ecstatic form" in its reflexive deployment of tragedy's formal conventions. Thus, if "simulation is the ecstasy of the real," the ending of Euripides' Helen could also be called the "ecstasy of tragic mytho-poiesis." In its inducement of meta-tragic ecstasy, the exodos constitutes a "dead point" (Baudrillard 1990a, 14) which exposes its mythic form and content as conventionally wrought artifacts, placing them in an "obscene position of absolute obviousness" (1990a, 79). (91) In other words, the exodos exposes this newest Helen story as a tragic "clone story," a product of mythic and theatrical simulation. The Helen's exodos, then, constitutes a performance of resistance, for the resistance posed by Helen (and by Helen) occurs as the hyperbolic performance and the resulting critical exposure of the dynamics of simulation. In its radical enactment of the rules of the game of mytho-poiesis and its open treatment of the virtuality of war and power, the exodos renders transparent the mythic vector that transmits Helen's story and the martial violence that punctuates it. Helen's fatal conclusion, like the play as a whole, subjects the mythic violence of a war whose stakes have been nullified to the critical violence of radical performance and ecstatic resistance. The dramatic tactics at work in Helen's final episode in this way correspond precisely to Baudrillard's "fatal strategy," a "principle of evil" (1990a, 79, 181-191) whose performance is both banal in its "over-multiplication of formal qualities" and seductive in its ironic illumination of "a hidden rule of the game" (1990a, 189) of mythic and tragic production. What better object for such an undertaking than Helen, whose prolific doubling and iconic beauty always already embody both over-multiplication and seduction?


I conclude this study of simulation and seduction in Helen by turning to the drama's immediate historical context, and to Thucydides' treatment of the launching of Athens's devastating invasion of Sicily. (92) Thucydides locates the public significance of this moment at the level of appearances and spectacle. In spite of earlier trepidation about the voyage, Thucydides (6.31.1) reports that the Athenians "were emboldened by the strength at hand, on account of the multitude of each and all the things that they saw [[phrase omitted]] [and] by the sight [[phrase omitted]]. The foreigners and the rest of the horde came for a spectacle [[phrase omitted]] which they regarded as noteworthy and incredible." The expedition was far-famed "no less for its wondrous boldness [[phrase omitted]] and visual conspicuousness [[phrase omitted]]" than for the immensity of the fleet (6.31.6). Not only does Thucydides use sight and the visual to explain the event's impact upon its spectators, but he also turns to euprepeia (fine appearance, visual majesty) as a motivating factor for the campaign's participants and as the source of its historical significance. This was "the most lavish and visually majestic [[phrase omitted]]" of all such efforts up to that time (6.31.1-2), and its immense expenditure originated in part from each person's wish that his own ship "stand out for its fine appearance [[phrase omitted]] and speed" (6.31.3). Thucydides further associates the launching's reception by the rest of Hellas with the visual, since the competition ([phrase omitted]) for euprepeia among the Athenians "appeared [[phrase omitted]] to other Greeks as a demonstration [[phrase omitted]] of power and authority" (6.31.4). An event of immense civic consequence occurs, in Thucydides' narrative, as a visual event--a "virtualization" of war (Baudrillard 1995, 28)--whose spectacular power captivates its audience along with its participants. Martial struggle is here configured as epideixis--as a visual demonstration that simulates the eris of battle--and the visual (opsis, thea) becomes the new site of military preparations whose immediate goal is likewise visual (euprepeia).

Like the Thucydidean narrative of Athenian preparations in 415 BCE, Euripides' Helen critically exposes the operation of simulacra. The drama interrogates the ways in which simulation conflates the real and the virtual and informs the prosecution of war and the imposition of power. Whereas Thucydides renders the moment of launching a spectacle and a simulacrum of martial conflict, Euripides' new Helen is an opsis (71, 557, 636), a "simultaneous equivalent of all the others" (Baudrillard 1994a, 64), and a disorienting mythic simulacrum whose struggle for authenticity exists in tension with the play's critical exposure of mytho-poiesis. (93) By deploying a figure so uniquely suited to tracing the production and effects of simulacra, Helen opens to critique issues of mythic authenticity, relations of power, and the imposition of coercive violence. In approaching Euripides' Helen along these lines, I hope to have shed light on the ways in which the dynamics of simulation operate in Helen's "clone story," and to have directed a valuable new lens at how Helen's embodiment of the principle of seduction destabilizes and resists constructions of power, identity, and signification in the play.

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(1.) Wolff (1973, 78-79) suggests that the eidolon "has haunted much of earlier Greek literature" and continues to haunt the Helen on stage.

(2.) On structural and thematic doubling in Helen, see Pohlenz 1954, 386; Strohm 1957, 85-86; Wolff 1973, 62, 77-78 (calling the play a dissos mythos); Hartigan 1981, 24; Bergren 1983, 81 (in the mythic tradition around Helen); Segal 1986; Downing 1990; Marshall 1995, 77; Pucci 1997; Gumpert 2001, 43-57; Wright 2005, 328-329; Meltzer 2006, 203, 209; Burian 2007, 24-25; Davis 2009, 260-261; Ford 2010; Mastronarde 2010, 73. Marshall (2014, 25) proposes a three-part structure for the drama, but also situates its two prologues as "two separate beginnings of two different plays," a "Helen" and a "Menalaus" (31).

(3.) The scholarship around Helen's generic status and experimentation is too voluminous to be fully documented here. Particularly full examples include Verrall 1905, 43-133 (Euripidean "apology" and self-parody); Pippin 1960 (experimental "comedy of ideas"); Grube 1961, 332-352 (comedy); Kitto 1961, 31 1-329 ("tragi-comedy"); Sutton 1972 (satyric); Seidensticker 1982, 153-199 ("eine romantische Marchen-komodie," 196); Segal 1986, 222-227 ("romance"); Romilly 1988, 140-142 ("comedie des erreurs"); Austin 1994, 139 ("jeu d'esprit"), 145 ("romance"), 149 ("novel"), 162 ("matinee performance"). Marshall (2014, 49-54) concedes that Helen is melodramatic, but eschews earlier pejorative, anti-tragic understandings of the term. Helen's status as tragic is cogently asserted by, e.g., Griffith 1953, 36; Dale 1967, ix; Podlecki 1970; Whitman 1974, 35-36; Wright 2005, 14-18; Allan 2008, 66-72; Zuckerberg 2016, 202-207.

(4.) See, e.g., Solmsen 1934b; Griffith 1953; Pippin 1960; Zuntz 1960, esp. 222-225; Conacher 1967, 290-293; Kannicht 1969, 1.57-68; Luschnig 1972, 160-163; Wolff 1973; Hartigan 1981, 23-24; Segal 1986; Romilly 1988, 140-143; Marshall 1995; Worman 1997, 171; Bassi 2000; Wright 2005, esp. 226-337; Allan 2008, 46-49; Zeitlin 2010; Boedeker 2017.

(5.) In his essay "That Dangerous Supplement," Derrida (1997, 145) describes the supplement as that which "adds onlv to replace. It intervenes or insinuates itself in-the-place-of; if it fills, it is as if one fills a void. If it represents and makes an image, it is by the anterior default of a presence."

(6.) Similarly, Meltzer (2006) examines the susceptibility of the signifier "Helen" and heroic kleos to dissemination and the logic of substitution.

(7.) "Far from designating a realm beyond political economy," Baudrillard (1975, 23) insists, "use value is only the horizon of exchange value" and is thus limited to the sign of political economy, in which he also implicates Marxist dialectics. Baudrillard (1975, 33) goes on to suggest that the logic of historical modes of production effectively "circumscribes the entire history of man in a gigantic simulation model."

(8.) On the dynamics of simulation and death in Euripides' Helen and their correspondence to the drama's chthonic setting, see in particular section VI below.

(9.) An earlier formulation of symbolic exchange in "primitive" cultures can be found at Baudrillard 1975, 69-109.

(10.) Baudrillard is (wrongly, I think) emphatic about maintaining a thoroughgoing distinction between the primitive and the modern: "This reconciliation of all antagonistic forms [i.e., the symbolic/primitive and the structural/modern] in the name of consensus and conviviality is the worst thing we can do. We must reconcile nothing. We must keep open the otherness of forms, the disparity between terms; we must keep alive the forms of the irreducible" (1996, 123). To do so, however, at the expense of historical misrepresentation seems to me to be a misguided strategy for "think[ing] extreme phenomena" (1996, 66-67) or for undertaking a radical and ecstatic critique of simulation and virtuality.

(11.) In fact, Baudrillard's (1996, 89-90) account of the subject's "secret alterity" is suggestively reminiscent of Greek tragic subjectivity as represented by the actor's mask: "We should look for the mask beneath the identity, the figure which haunts us and diverts us from our identities--the masked divinity which, in effect, haunts each of us for a moment, one day or another."

(12.) Baudrillard's account of simulation draws upon Benjamin's treatment of mechanical reproduction and its annulment of art's "aura" of authenticity at 1981, 174 note 23; 1990a, 118-1 19; 1990b, 179-180; 1993a, 55-57, 62-63; 1994b, 99.

(13.) In The Mirror of Production (1975, 119-129) and the essay "Toward a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign" (1981, 143-163), Baudrillard argues that within simulation and the structural law of value Saussure's signified and referent constitute "a single and compact thing, an identity of content that acts as the moving shadow of the Sr [signifier]. It is the reality effect in which the play of signifiers comes to fruition and deludes the world" (1981, 152).

(14.) Baudrillard (1981, 47) makes the following observation about such "paradigmatic oppositions": "That which, at the level of a rational logic of models, is given as 'universal,' as completed beauty, as absolute truth of form and function, has at bottom no other truth than the relative and ephemeral one of its position in the social logic it exposes."

(15.) Burnett (1971, 76-100) divides Helen into an early suppliant action (up to the recognition duet) and a subsequent rescue action (after the eidolon's departure); I follow this division throughout. The play's two halves are also discussed by Solmsen (1934a, esp. 391 and 399-405) according to a pattern of anagnorisis and mechanema. Strohm (1957, 75-79, 82-86) explicates the interaction between the intrigue and recognition motifs in late-Euripidean drama. Matthiessen (1964, 93-107) posits an Odvssean plot pattern of nostos-anagnorisis-mechanema. Whitman (1974, 51-52), on the other hand, associates the play's two halves with tuche and techne, respectively.

(16.) Baudrillard 1994b, 95-103. See also Baudrillard's (1993b, 113-123) essay, "The Hell of the Same," which is a modified version of his earlier "Clone Story" (originally published in 1981 as a chapter of Simulacres et simulation).

(17.) Rabinowitz (1993, 127) associates second-order (i.e., meta-dramatic) consideration of drama with the '"authorial audience,' [which is] aware that the work being performed is only an 'imitation.'" She equates suspension of spectator disbelief, on the other hand, with the "narrative audience."

(18.) See, however, Rosenmeyer's (2002) cautionary remarks on the "overload" of meta-theatricality as an interpretive framework for "the liberties of a capacious theatrical mode" (2002, 107). I am, however, convinced that Helen's text demonstrably elicits our awareness of it as drama and myth, and that the play is therefore amenable to analysis as meta-drama and meta-mythology

(19.) Laura Swift (2009 and 2010, 218-238) approaches Helen's lyrics as a strategic appropriation of the partheneion. Ford (2010), Steiner (2011), and Murnaghan (2013) variously approach Helen as a staged exploration of the origins and composition of tragic music. Burian (2007, 22-23) identifies music as a consistent theme and subject matter of the play's choral lyrics.

(20.) Downing (1990) already finds in the play a disorienting rerlexivity that raises awareness of theatrical artifice. Wright (2005, 327) reads lines 262-265 as an allusion to the actor's mask, whereas Torrance (2011, 182 note Hand 2013, 19 note 22) links line 813 to the mechane (stage crane). Zeitlin (2010) treats Helen's beauty and the eidolon as objets d'art, and proposes that "Helen comes as close as it can to a theory of the theater itself and makes explicit its modes of operation and its latent concerns" (2010, 269); see also Zeitlin 1981, 320-324. Powers (2010) tracks the prominence in the play of the props that constitute Helen's own "theatrical mechane." Zuckerberg (2016) invokes Menelaus's rags as a meta-theatrical invocation of the Aristophanic hero-in-rags.

(21.) Friedman (2007, 195) proposes that "perhaps no other extant play... takes up the question of tragedy's relationship to myth as extensively and explicitly as the Helen."

(22.) See also Wright's (2005, 133-154) fuller discussion of meta-mythology in Euripides' Helen and Iphigenia among the Taurians.

(23.) Grube (1961, 333 note 2) and Pucci (2012, 51 note 1) treat the "there is a logos" phrase as a conventional method for articulating traditional wisdom not known first-hand bv the speaker However, Helen's doubtful mode of presentation seems to me to introduce questions about her background rather than to vouch for the accuracy of its content, and her expressions of skepticism are more categorical than Grube implies. Dale (1967, ad Hel. 16ff), Kannicht (1969, ad Hel. 16-21), Burian (2007, ad Hel. 21), and Allan (2008, ad Hel. 17-21) acknowledge the uniquely skeptical tone that Helen imparts to this conventional utterance. I have relied on Allan's 2008 edition of this play for the Greek text. All translations from the Greek are my own.

(24.) On Helen's dual paternity (Zeus/Tyndareus) and maternity (Nemesis/Leda), see esp. Skutch 1987. Hartigan (1981, 27-28) views the Zeus-swan myth as dubious, while Bergren (1983, 81) and Downing (1990, 5-6) explain Helen's skepticism in terms of the play's persistent dualities. Wright (2005, 142-144) and Torrance (2013, 164-165) suggest that the prologue highlights Helen's dual parentage in order to raise questions about Helen's identity. Allan (2008, ad Hel. 17-21) interprets her skepticism as "provok[ing] reflection upon the nature and truth value of mythology itself."

(25.) See lines 99 ([phrase omitted]), 126 ([phrase omitted]), 132 ([phrase omitted]), 136 ([phrase omitted]), and 138 ([phrase omitted]). Such expressions can be explained by Helen's wish to conceal her identity from Teucer and the fact that Teucer must report as hearsay matters that he has not personally witnessed. However, these conditions need not preclude a concurrent meta-mythological effect brought about by the scene's repeated references to hearsay.

(26.) This choral aphorism recalls Hesiod, Theog. 27-28: "We [Muses] know how to speak many false things that resemble truths, and we know how to give voice to true things, when we wish." The reliability of the narrative around Helen's reputation thus resembles that of Hesiod's divine conveyors of mythic history.

(27.) The meta-theatricality of this verse is also noted by Norwood 1954, 36; Pippin 1960, 154; Grube 1961, 346; Dale 1967, ad Hel. 1050ff; Whitman 1974, 61; Segal 1986, 265; Downing 1990, 12; Pucci 1997, 63; Burian 2007, ad Hel. 1056; Torrance 2013, 22-23. See also, however, the prudent caution around the broad application of this concept urged by Allan 2008, ad Hel. 1055-1056. Zuckerberg (2016) has recently drawn attention to the meta-theatrical qualities of Menelaus's appearance, costume, and diction. Although I agree with her observation of Menelaus's apparent self-awareness at line 1056 and elsewhere, the text does not seem to me to provide conclusive support for her assertion that Menelaus in Helen is somehow "defined by Aristophanes" (219).

(28.) Kovacs (2003, 44-45) follows Cobet in emending the [phrase omitted], (obsoleteness) transmitted in manuscript L to [phrase omitted], (pointlessness). [phrase omitted], however, seems to me to respond reasonably to line 1055, since the plan's hoariness could impede its success, nor (as Kovacs suggests) is the plan's "relevance" at issue. Rather, Menelaus questions its likely efficacy on the basis of its wide mythic currency.

(29.) Feigned death is employed as a deceptive strategy in Aeschylus, Cho. 680-687; Sophocles, El. 1117-1118, 1341-1342, 1442-1480.

(30.) Holmberg (1995, 33) associates the eidolon with Helen's Homeric instantiation. Pucci (1997, 46), on the other hand, suggests that "the Helen who 'did not sail to Troy' exists literally as a deferred vicarious effect of the eidolon." and Bassi (2000, 28-29) makes a similar argument about how "the enduring--if necessarily absent--presence of that epic Helen" complicates Helen's identity.

(31.) Bassi (1993, 58-59) observes that "the invention of the eidolon adumbrates the futility of silencing the Homeric narrative (under the description of an oral culture) or erasing it (under the description of a literate culture)." Helen's mythic background always haunts and challenges new instantiations of her, just as new iterations would seek to supplant or resolve earlier tradition.

(32.) Pucci (2005, 56) highlights the tangibility of the eidolon, in addition to its visual likeness to Helen. Davis (2009, 257) states their physical exchangeability more bluntly: "[T]he phantom Helen slept with Paris for ten years, then, when rescued, slept with Menelaus for seven more, and at no time did either of them doubt her identity."

(33.) Wolff (1973, 62) associates this passage with Helen's description of Kypris as polutkonos at line 238, creating a link between the destructive effects of the goddess's erotic influence and Helen's beauty, and Whitman (1974, 43) notes Helen's tendency to accept blame for the destruction of Troy in this passage and elsewhere. Downing (1990, 3) attributes the formulation of lines 198-199 to Helens pattern of "gemination."

(34.) On the connection between these passages in the context of a Euripidean conception of divinity and the heavens, see Matthiessen 1968, 699-702; Whitman 1974, 59-60; Pucci 2005, 55-59. As Pucci (1997, 45) points out, Helen even conflates her own abduction with that of the eidolon, when she describes Menelaus's efforts at Troy as seeking "my re-abduction" (50). Burian (2007, 27-28) also briefly notes the play's sustained association of Helen with aither.

(35.) In the exodos to Euripides' Orestes, Apollo ex machina uses the same phrase ([phrase omitted], 1636) to describe Helen's apotheosis. Golann (1945, 37-41) connects Helen's apotheosis at the play's conclusion to her historical divinity in Sparta (Herodotus 6.61 records her temple at Therapnae).

(36.) Helen is abducted or held in captivity in various mythic accounts by Theseus and Pirithous, Paris, Hermes, Theoclymenus, and Zeus (in the form of apotheosis); and is violently reacquired by the Dioscuri and Menelaus. For a synthesis of Helen's mythic background, see, e.g., Harder 2006 and Allan 2008, 10-13. Gumpert (2001, 10) finds Helen's repeated abduction crucial to her mythic reproducibility.

(37.) Pucci (1997, 54-55) also notes the "syncretism" between Helen and her double produced by the shared experience of eroticized abduction.

(38.) On the poetic and intellectual tradition around Helen's abduction, see esp. Allan 2008, 10-28 and Calame 2009. The theme of parthenic abduction and the influence of the Kore/Persephone-paradigm in Helen are addressed by Wolff 1973, 63 and note 7 (for earlier sources that document this association), 65; Hartigan 1981, 28-29; Seidensticker 1982, 160-161; Segal 1986, 227-229; Arnott 1990, 8; Juffras 1993, 45-49; Foley 2001, 307-309; Friedman 2007; Allan 2008, ad Hel. 244-249; Jansen 2012, 329-330; Murnaghan 2013 (Helen as a conspicuous, parthenic choregos). Rehm (1994, 121-127), Zweig (1999), Foley (2001, 301-333), Burian (2007, 1 1-14), and Luppi (2011) explore Helen's escape from a chthonic Egypt as a tragic enactment of the ritualized female transition to adulthood and marriage. Voelke (1996) and Swift (2009) pursue this theme in the play's second stasimon.

(39.) Kannicht (1969, ad Hel. 607) recognizes the cultic significance of the adjective, and suggests that it alludes to previous literary depictions of caves that house Nymphs. Dale (1967, ad Hel. 607) reads the adjective similarly.

(40.) According to Wolff (1973, 64), the manner of the eidolon's return to her celestial source material suggests both death and deification. Torrance (2009, 5) further highlights the prominence of apotheosis in the play.

(41.) On Teucer's application of the word mimema at line 74, Luschnig (1972, 161) briefly notes the hyper-real quality of Euripides' new Helen: "In a sense Teucer is right in calling her an imitation of Helen: for the gods have fashioned an image of Helen more real than reality."

(42.) On the link between Helen and Penelope and the ways in which the play draws upon the story-pattern of the Odyssey, see Eisner 1980; Seidensticker 1982, 162-164; Segal 1986, 235; Arnott 1990; Garner 1990, 167-1 70; Austin 1994, 140, 146, 148, 156-158, 199 (here Austin also draws a contrast); Holmberg 1995; Marshall 1995, 76; Foley 2001, 318-320, 327-328; Lange 2002, 131-141; Friedman 2007, 198-203; Powers 2010, 27-8.

(43.) On Helen's parthenia in contrast to her status as a gune or damar in the play, see esp. Swift 2009, 431 and Luppi 201 1.

(44.) Pucci (1997, 66) cogently links Helen to the eidolon in terms of Helen's emergent status as an erotic sophe (clever or resourceful woman). A rigid polarity between a 'real' Helen and the eidolon in the play is already questioned by Wolff 1973, 70, 77-78; Papi 1987, 35-37; Juffras 1993, 55-56; Austin 1994, 203; Rehm 1994, 126-127; Marshall 1 995, 77; Voelke 1996, 296 (cited in Zweig 1999, 173 note 4). See also the questions about difference raised after Pucci 1997 by Bassi 2000, 28-29; Gumpert 2001; Wright 2005, 295-296; Meltzer 2006, 188-222; Davis 2009; Blondell 2013, 220-221.

(45.) Gumpert (2001, 21) finds in Helen's theme of doubling "an unsettling kind of schizophrenia."

(46.) On the aporia induced at such moments, see, e.g., Alt 1962; Kannicht 1969, 1.64-65; Whitman 1974, 50 (extending the scene's disorienting effects to the reader); Wright 2005, 297-306. Schmiel (1972, 174-180) and Allan (2008, 21) provide background on the recognition duet in light of the discovery of Oxyrhynchus papyrus 2336. See also the comments of Matthiessen 1964, 134-138 on the recognition duets in Helen and Iphigenia among the Taurians, along with Strohm's (1957, 77) and Allan's (2008, ad Hel. 528-596) remarks on the eidolon's complication of the late-Euripidean pattern of recognition. Chong-Gossard (2008, 42-48) implies that these difficulties can be resolved through Helen's persuasive narration, but Helen's testimony leaves the questions raised by her exchangeability with the eidolon intact.

(47.) Pace Verrall 1905, 50, who supposes that Helen displays some physical sign (e.g., a "mole") at line 578. Foley (2001, 306 note 10) poses the question, "Why does Euripides have Helen insist that, like Penelope and Odysseus, she and Menelaus can recognize each other through certain tokens known only to the two of them (290-291), and then fail to use this device in the actual recognition-scene?" On this point and the inevitable inefficacy of such tokens in the play, see also Grube 1961, 342; Whitman 1974, 49; Zweig 1999, 168; Allan 2008, ad Hel. 290-291; Boedeker 2017, 247-248.

(48.) Matthiessen (1964, 133) closely associates ignorance (agnoia) with appearance and supposition (dokesis) in the recognition scene, as does Meltzer 2006, 207-208. Gumpert (2001, 31) limits Helen's complication of visual perception to epistemological questions. References to sensory perception and the visual occur during Helen's and Menelaus's recognition at lines 545, 558-559, 563, 569, 570-573, and 575-582.

(49.) Helen here directs Menelaus to rely upon a mode of cognition that she deemed kene (empty, vain, 35-36) in the eidolon's Trojan abductor. The irony of Helen's argument in this passage receives lively discussion from Alt 1962, 18; Bassi 2000, 28; Wright 2005, 303; Burian 2007, ad Hel. 575-581; Allan 2008, ad Hel. 575-580.

(50.) "The Menelauses of this world," Segal (1986, 236) suggests, "in a sense always cling to phantoms." Menelaus chases a fleeting or absent Helen in Stesichorean (PMG 192 = Plato, Phdr. 243A) and Herodotean (2.112-120) instantiations of Helen's story, as well as in the events preceding Helen. On these earlier palinodial responses to epic tradition vis-a-vis Euripides' Helen, see esp. Dale 1 967, xvii-xxiv; Kannicht 1 969, 1.21-48; Bassi 1993; Wright 2005, 86-110. Marshall (2014, 79-95) tracks Helen's debt to Aeschylus's satiric Proteus. Burian (2007, 4-9) gives a succinct overview of sources contributing to Euripides' Helen.

(51.) See, e.g., Segal 1986, 222, 225, 229-230; Downing 1990, 1-3; Austin 1994, 138; Marshall 1995; Friedman 2007, 199-200; Davis 2009, 268; Blondell 2013, 203-204; Marshall 2014, 92-93.

(52.) Sources on Euripides' construction of Egypt as a second Underworld and Theoclvmenus as a surrogate Hades can be found in Foley 2001, 306 note 1 1, to which I add Friedman 2007, 201.

(53.) Jesi (1965, 61-69) provides a particularly full synthesis of Egypt's chthonic associations.

(54.) On the style, syncretic content, and critical issues of this stasimon, see esp. Wolff 1973, 70-74; Austin 1994, 177-183; Allan 2008, 292-296. This ode has received recent and substantial treatment from Zweig 1999, 169-170; Friedman 2007, 204-209; Swift 2009 and 2010, 229-238; Marshall 2014, 115-122. For further sources on the ode's content and subject matter, see Foley 2001, 30 note 15.

(55.) In Symbolic Exchange and Death, Baudrillard (1993a, 142) associates this fatal effect of the double with "the internalization of the soul and consciousness," i.e., with early modernity. Helen's persistent desire to establish her uniqueness aligns her more closely with Baudrillard's modern individual than with the paradigm of symbolic exchange that he associates with the so-called primitive double. The dynamics of simulation at work in the play, I suggest, further complicate Helen's relationship to her double and to death.

(56.) Pucci (1997, 56-59) notes Helen's resemblance of the eidolon during the rescue action and observes that "The two images collide and reinforce each other" (57). Zeitlin (2010, 272) has also recently observed that Helen's strategy "repeat[s] the deceptive tactics, the apate, of the eidolon and its manufacture." Burian (2007, 30) too observes that "Helen effects her salvation at least by using to her own advantage the tools and techniques of which she was so long the victim."

(57.) Meltzer (2006, 200) briefly adduces Helen's vocal mimicry in describing her duplicity in prior mythic tradition. Gumpert (2001, 37) discusses the presence of multiple Helens in Odyssey 4 and briefly associates Helen's vocal deceit with Baudrillard's "simulations" (40). On Helen(s) in Odyssey 4, see also Bergren 1980 and Austin 1994, 71-89.

(58.) On Helen's ambiguous, "unusually mobile" (Worman 1997, 155), or deceptive qualities in the play's mythic background, see Alt 1962, 9-10; Wolff 1973, 62-64; Bergren 1980; Zeitlin 1981, 321; Bergren 1983; Kennedy 1986; Bassi 1993; Austin 1994; Worman 1997; Gumpert 2001, 33-42.

(59.) Holmberg (1995, 36) sees Helen's deception as complicit in masculine structures of authority (and therefore as redemptive to her character)--a frequently adopted reading of Helen's tactics taken up again recently by, e.g., Foley 2001, 325, 330; Meltzer 2006, 221-222; Blondell 2013, 202-221. Although Helen's intervention results in Menelaus's escape from Egypt and reestablishment in Sparta, I view Helen's seductive capacity as simultaneously challenging relations of power and difference.

(60.) Worman (1997, 155) proposes that the central texts in which Helen figures "associate her body with a type of persuasive narrative that operates within the field of vision, describing physical presence in terms that aim at seducing the mind's eye." My analysis seeks to unpack the dynamics of this seduction at the level of appearance and physical presence.

(61.) Helen's insistence on additional verification of Theoclymenus's promise recalls Medea's deceptive manipulation of oaths in her exchange with Aegeus at Euripides' Med. 731-753. Here, too, a monarch is seductively deceived into conceding his strategic advantage in exchange for an erotically desired outcome--in Aegeus's case, the production of heirs.

(62.) Mastronarde (2010, 302-303) gives an overview of the mixed responses invited by Menelaus's character. For background on scholars' negative assessment of Menelaus's character, see Torrance 2009, 1 note 5, to which I add Grube 1961, 339-341 and Seidensticker 1982, 176-179. Podlecki (1970, 402-406), Whitman (1974, 45-49), Dirat (1976), and Torrance (2009) seek to redeem Menelaus from such judgments. My reading of the plav is concerned entirely with Menelaus's tactics, rather than with the play's characterization or apparent portrayal of him as "comedic," "tragic," "serious," etc.

(63.) Matthiessen (1968, 691) and Whitman (1974, 56-57) note formal likeness of this exchange to a conventional agon logon--a format appropriate to the diametrically opposed strategies that Helen and Menelaus employ Segal (1986, 234-235) also distinguishes the two rheseis along the lines of unrealistic violence and Odyssean cunning. These contrasting tactics correspond to Baudrillard's (1990b, 8) distinction between seduction (symbolic mastery through the "play of appearances") and power ("mastery over the real universe"). More broadly, Marshall (2014, 24-45) sees the play's structure up through Theonoe's departure at line 1031 as reflecting a contest for dramatic control between Helen and Menelaus, and he affirms the scene's likeness to a tragic agon.

(64.) Chong-Gossard (2004) compares Theonoe to the failed virginity of Hippolytus and examines the risk to Theonoe's life incurred through her pious complicity in Menelaus and Helen's escape plan.

(65.) The logic of Menelaus's coercive strategy opens two possibilities for the play's trajectory: (1) Helen and Menelaus die at Proteus's tomb and thus end the play unsatisfactorily, or (2) Theonoe purchases the purity of her father's tomb at the expense of filial loyalty. In this second scenario, her acquiescence to Menelaus's threat would foreclose her introduction of Theoclymenus's spiritual wellbeing as a primary motivation at lines 1017-1021, or render it an afterthought to the complicity already forced from her by Menelaus. Both of these courses would militate against the play's focus on Theonoe's steadfast piety.

(66.) Pace Wolff 1973. 66, who seems to attribute Theonoe's complicity in the escape plan to Helen's earlier suicide pact with Menelaus. Grube (1961, 346) is, to my knowledge, alone in acknowledging that "Theonoe takes no notice of" Menelaus's threats. On Theonoe's role in the drama, see Matthiessen 1968; Whitman 1974, 53-61; Ronnet 1979; Sansone 1985; Chong-Gossard 2004, 17-26. Strohm (1957, 82) proposes that Euripides has "das traditionelle 'Hindernis' der Intrige... verdoppelt" by including the Egyptian siblings. Theonoe need not, as Pohlenz (1954, 388), Matthiessen (1968, 693-695), Whitman (1974, 54-55), and Sansone (1985, 19-20) argue, personally adjudicate divine conflict to occupy a central place in the play's trajectory; on this, see also Allan 2008, ad Hel. 1017.

(67.) Segal 1986, 245. Theonoe's piety and judiciousness have been positively assessed by Pohlenz 1954, 386-388; Pippin 1960, 152, 158-161; Zuntz 1960, 204-210; Matthiessen 1968; Burnett 1971, 93-98; Ronnet 1979; Sansone 1985 (Theonoe's preoccupation with kleos notwithstanding); Segal 1986, 241-244; Romilly 1988, 142; Juffras 1993; Chong-Gossard 2004, 19-21.

(68.) Theonoe's anticipation of Helen's seductive strategy further emerges in their shared use of the language of euergesia at lines 1020 (Theonoe regarding Theoclymenus's interests), 1294-1300 (Helen to Menelaus), and 1405-1409 (Helen to Theoclymenus).

(69.) Wright (2005, 177-202) suggests that Euripides' Helen and Iphigenia among the Taurians counteract "oppositional" constructions of Greek and barbarian ethnicity. Allan (2008, 55-61) counters this reading by proposing that Helen promotes Greek superiority within a "spectrum" of ethnic difference between Greek and foreign.

(70.) The uniqueness of the chorus's exit with Helen into the skene is discussed by Kannicht 1969, ad Hel. 381-382; Arnott 1973, 54; Allan 2008, 179 and 205 (on epiparodoi); Mastronarde 2010, 96 note 15; Marshall 2014, 28-30, 213; Boedeker 2017, 254. On Menelaus's rhesis as a second prologue, see also Schadewaldt 1926, 8 note 3; Dale 1967, ad Hel. 386; Kannicht 1 969, ad Hel. 386-434; Whitman 1974, 45; Arnott 1990, 12; Allan 2008, ad Hel. 327-328; Marshall 2014, 30-31.

(71.) On the crucial role in the play of costume and theatrical accessories, see esp. Powers 2010 and Zuckerberg 2016.

(72.) Marshall (2014, 222-223, 286-289) observes the disorienting effects of costume and mask alterations undertaken by the same actors for the same characters, but maintains a stable distinction between exterior disguise and a truer or more authentic interiority. Pippin (1960, 152-153) implies that Menelaus's newly acquired armor somehow reinstates his heroic status, but also suggests that "appearance can lie, for these clothes are not his own" (152). I argue, on the other hand, that Helen radically divorces the signs of poverty and heroism from identity. They do not "lie" so much as they now bear no relation to a specific referent.

(73.) As Kannicht (1969, ad Hel. 1081-1082) points out, the balanced antithesis between kairon and akaira cannot be adequately rendered in translation. I have employed the (admittedly awkward) adjective "opportune" to capture the semantic variety of the adverbial phrase es kairon (in the sense of both "timely" and "advantageous").

(74.) Baudrillard (1996, 5) likewise describes the Byzantine iconolaters as "subtle folk, who claimed to represent God to his greater glory but who, simulating God in images, thereby dissimulated the problem of his existence."

(75.) Meltzer (2006, 189-195) makes a similar proposal about linguistic signifiers of heroism. Likewise, Davis (2009, 258) argues that Menelaus's armor falls short of "rendering] what is interior" to Menelaus, and Wright (2005, 324) suggests that Helen's strategy at lines 1081-1082 "makes us question how far language really represents reality." In contrast, I propose that Helen's seduction locates identity entirely at the level of names and appearances, thereby drawing into question the stability of the underlying categories to which signs ostensibly refer.

(76.) This heading conflates Jean Giraudoux's La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu--a dramatization of tensions within Troy around the impending conflict over Helen--and Baudrillard's La guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu (1995), which seeks to expose the United States' first campaign in Iraq as a televised simulacrum of war. In "The Illusion of War," Baurdrillard (1994a, 64-65) explicitly associates the Trojan and Gulf Wars with simulacra.

(77.) On Menelaus's need for Helen's reacquisition to justify the Trojan campaign, see esp. the cogent remarks of Schmiel 1972, 284-285 and Papi 1987, 30-31. Allan (2008, ad Hel. 593) observes Menelaus's psychological turmoil over a potentially "meaningless" war at this moment.

(78.) The term is Papi's (1987, 27-28); on this point, see also, e.g., Seidensticker 1982, 199; Segal 1986, 232-233; Juffras 1993. Although Allan (2008, 5, 8-9, 200-201, 213, 279, 335-336) urges caution against tendentious "anti-war" readings of the drama, I find jejune his comments ad Hel. 1600-1 612 and I 603-1 604. Prior lamentations of the Trojan War in the play will inevitably color (although not wholly determine) audience responses to the perpetration of further violence on Helen's behalf. Further, as Whitman (1974, 51) remarks, "The motif [of 'protest against war'] is too prevalent to be ignored." Marshall (2014, 21-22) includes "the legacy of war" among the drama's most prominent areas of exploration.

(79.) Zuntz (1960, 223) relates such verbal paradoxes to the play's structural principle of doubling, and Downing (1990, 3) finds in them an "almost obsessive 'gemination' which dominates both its [Helen's] structure and theme."

(80.) The battle has been recently described as a second Trojan conflict that would redeem Menelaus's character and reputation by Allan 2008, ad Hel. 1593-1599, 1603-1604; Torrance 2009, 6-7; Powers 2010, 27; Jansen 2012, 344. Segal (1986, 260) describes the battle as "a cathartic, liberating reexperience of a traumatic, guiltladen past" for Menelaus.

(81.) On the callousness of Menelaus and Helen towards the Egyptians, see Verrall 1905, 85-86; Wolff 1973, 82; Papi 1987, 39-40; Segal 1986, 259-261; Juffras 1993, 56; Rehm 1994, 125. Pucci (1997, 68) and Meltzer (2006, 194) observe the tension between Helen's identity earlier in the play and her behavior aboard the Phoenician vessel.

(82.) Kannicht (1969, ad Hel. 1601) puts the kormoi (oars) seized by the Egyptians "in pointierter Antithese zu [den]" xiphe (swords) wielded by the Achaean combatants.

(83.) Meltzer (2006) finds in late Euripidean drama a "poetics of nostalgia" that responds to the Peloponnesian War's hardships. However, Baudrillard's notion of nostalgia for an unattainable "real" of the past casts doubt upon the stability of a "regained" glory that fully expiates the perpetration of the Trojan War.

(84.) Holmberg (1995, 38) likewise suggests that "What Euripides was interested in was tragedy, and he was especially interested in pushing the limits of the genre." Strohm (1957, 86) views Helen as the final product of Euripides' formal development.

(85.) Torrance (2011, 177-192 and 2013, 14-33) draws attention to the metapoetic exposure of tragic convention to scrutiny in the recognition scene at Euripides, El. 518-44. Electra's incredulity regarding the Aeschylean tokens, Torrance (2013, 28) argues, "raises some implicit meta-poetic questions on the challenges of producing 'new' tragic poetry." Similarly, I suggest that the hyper-conventionality of Helen's final moments invites scrutiny about mytho-poiesis and exposes "the rules of the game" of tragic composition.

(86.) Mastronarde (2010, 184) draws attention to the conventionality of place name aitia in several Euripidean tragedies. Allan (2008, ad Hel. 1670-1675) finds this stopover "geographically implausible," but finds in Euripides' aition an effort to reconcile the drama with earlier mythic tradition around the island at which Helen and Paris interrupted their journey to Troy. Burian (2007, ad Hel. 1673-1673) suggests that this aition "seems unusually perfunctory and detached."

(87.) Wright (2005) and Jordan (2006), for instance, argue that Helen and Iphigenia among the Taurians were performed in the same tetralogy at the City Dionvsia in 412 BCE. Marshall (2014, 45-49) acknowledges a "coincidence of plot elements" (46), but suggests that the Iphigenia predates Helen.

(88.) Allan (2008, ad Hel. 1642-1679) objects to Dunn's (1996, 135) characterization of the deus ex machina as an "alienating device," on the grounds that the scene "underlines Zeus' concern for his daughter." However, the dramatic necessity of Castor's direct intervention (even in Allan's sense) remains dubious in light of the fact that Helen has already related the particulars of Hermes' prophecy and Zeus's intervention in the prologue.

(89.) See Aristotle's well-known characterization of Euripides as "the most tragic of the poets" (Poet. 1435a29). On the exodos as a component of tragic Bauformen, see, e.g., Kremer 1971, 1 17-122.

(90.) In Tlte Perfect Crime (1996, 93), Baudrillard alludes to the radical potential of this fatal strategy of ecstatic performance: "To preserve the strangeness between people... to break down that 'social' programming of exchange which equalizes destinies, all one can do is introduce the arbitrariness of chance, or of the rules of a game. Against the automatic writing of the world, the automatic de-programming of the world."

(91.) Baudrillard (1994a, 2-3) cites this performative exposure of the system of simulation as the goal and only possible contribution of theory: "Nor is theory in a position to 'reflect (on)' anything. It can only tear concepts from their critical zone of reference and force them beyond a point of no return (it too is moving into the hyper-real space of simulation), a process whereby it loses all 'objective' validity but gains substantially in real affinity with the present system."

(92.) A connection between Helen and the Sicilian Expedition has been drawn by Pippin 1960, 155; Zuntz 1960, 201, 226-227; Alt 1962, 15-16; Wolff 1973, 82-83; Whitman 1974, 51; Hartigan 1981, 26; Dunn 1996, 155-156; Foley 2001, 328; Jordan 2006, 20-21; Meltzer 2006, 188; Friedman 2007, 196-198. More broadly, Pohlenz (1954, 382) links what he sees as a late-Euripidean "innere Profanierung" or secularization of tragedy with the Archidamean period of the Peloponnesian War.

(93.) Wolff's (1973, 79) proposal that Helen "dramatizes the power of subjective and mass illusion" is thus equally applicable to Thucydides' roughly contemporary treatment of the Sicilian campaign's launching.

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Author:Lush, Brian V.
Article Type:Critical essay
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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