favourite faces for favourite mythic ladies: Oenone with Claire Foy

How could she ever compare to Helen of Sparta? Helen who was golden - or was she dark? or with hair the colour of copper? It seemed to Oenone, discarded wife, that Paris’ new bride couldn’t be held onto. As soon as Helen was out of sight, Oenone could only remember that she was impossibly beautiful.

She bottled up her anger and stored it on high shelves. She kept her betrayal in a tightly locked box that she slipped beneath the bed where Paris and his new wife made love. Oenone could hear them through the corridors at night, louder than it should have been, as though it were a sound presented just for her.

Oenone dreamed nightly of clutching Helen by that beautiful hair and dragging her out the gates to throw at the feet of the enemy soldiers. ‘Take her!’ was what she would scream at them. ‘Take her and leave! This is what you want, now leave us be!’

But she never did it. She never even spoke a word of venom to the other woman. War took everything the city had and Oenone woke each morning already exhausted.

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