The Fall of A God and His Empire Leda, wife of Tyndareos, gave birth to some of the most illustrious, important, and influential people of ancient Greece. The first lady of Sparta gave birth to Castor, Clytmnestra (who would eventually control Greece), Phoebe, Phylonoe, Polydueces (Pollux), and the beautiful woman who eventually caused the downfall of the City of Troy, Helen. Although some of her children were conceived by King Tyndareos others weren’t. Castor, Helen of Troy, Pollux and some say Clytmnestra, were conceived by the Greek god Zeus while posing as a swan. Swans as we think of them today are no more than a beautiful, majestic bird that flies elegantly through the sky. Many see them as a symbol of beauty and love. But beauty can camouflage evil. Swans are unlike most birds in that they have external sex organs, possibly why Zeus chose a swan. In the poem “Leda and The Swan” by William Butler Yates the beauty of the swan is used to intrigue and entice the beautiful woman. The greatest of all the Greek Gods, Zeus, disguises himself as a swan to lure her close so that he may rape her. She was helpless and terrified as the swan attacked and ravaged her. “A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon breast” (Yeats lines 1-4 Kirszner 916) After this incident Leda “bore two eggs from one issued Castor and Pollux, from the other Helen (and, in some myths Clytemnestra).”( encyclopedia.com/html/l/leda.asp) It seems Zeus had made a mistake that would forever haunt him. “When Helen reached marriageable age, all the greatest men in Greece courted her. Her mother’s husband, King Tyndareos of Lacedaemon, was concerned about the trouble that might be caused by the disappointed suitors. Acting on the advice of Odysseus, he got all t…
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