do Elena of Troy, Anna Bolena and Monica Lewinsky share? At a first sight,
nothing. All them have been, without wanting it and without being
aware of it, at the beginning of facts endlessly greater than them, they
did not even image when entering - to say that his way - the scene.
Getting away with Paride the beautiful Elena, wife of Menelao, king of Sparta, has caused the war of Troy, which has given material and the most beautiful poem of antiquity, but has also marked the beginning of the Greece penetration in Minor Asia. Making Henry VIII of England lose his head , when still married to the very devout Catherine of Aragon, Anna Bolena pushed the king toward the conflict with the Church of Rome, which denied him the marriage cancellation, and this way she was the cause of Anglican Church genesis.
By her a bit sordid love games with the president, Lewinsky have put in difficult position the leadership of the only one world superpower, she has detonated a general crisis of the world stock exchanges and has created the impression that in a very tricky moment the world was without guide.
Elena is a key figure between reality and legend, very difficult to set in her historical background. Unfortunately, also this one is not clear. In the classic version (it concerns our thesis), Elena became the direct cause of the war of Troy, but according to Erodoto, Paride and her on the run were really pushed by a storm as far as Egypt and kept there by king Proteus, while at Troy it would have been brought a mere simulacra of him.
Even granting for the sake of argument that facts developed as Homer narrated them, two kinds of considerations become necessary:
1) the Elena's getaway did not have any politic background, but it was due only to a passion. Never and never she could neither imagine she would trigger a so big reaction inside the Hellenic world nor that it would have had so enduring geopolitics consequences. 2) the event, just for its so faint outlines, acquires a special symbolic value: it shows how events, which look of minor importance, can become more trigging elements than the more important ones; and how women, better the Woman is, in a sense, the ideal motor of these processes. 3) Once they are started, it is impossible to stop them: once the expedition against Troy has departed, even a return of Elena back to Menelaus would have been useful, as it would be useful the Monica Lewinsky's regret, at this point.
Anna Bolena was fifteen years old when she first met Henry VIII, who had been her mother's lover, Elizabeth Howard, when he was seventeen and by that time he was the lover of her elder sister Mary. Anna was sent very young to the court of France, where she has been bridesmaid of Queen Claudia and where she has learnt dance, singing and the art of seduction. At a certain moment, for the tensions between the two countries, she was made get back and made her apparition at the court of England.
In the following years, the Henry's attraction for that little girl became rather paroxysmic. Even if he went on sleeping with Mary, he dreamed of Anna and for Anna begun to think about divorcing from his wife Catherine of Aragon, widow of his brother Arthur, plain and 6 years older than him, he had married only for reasons of state and who, notwithstanding the several pregnancies, have given him only a daughter(the future Mary the bloody).
The Bolena, including Mary, very ready to make herself apart, tried to push Anna into the king's arms in the traditional way, but the girl, nearly nineteen years old, refused to budge. She despised her mother and her sister because they prostituted themselves and she did not intend at all to imitate them.
The king, at his point, lost his head. 35 years old, he had had many women, who had been pushed into his bed, who adored him kneeling, but who he had never fallen in love with.
Now he did, the object of his desires repelled him, was indifferent to his power as well as to his gifts. “Or divorce, or nothing”, was her countersign, and to strengthen her arguments, she reminded him that, according to Bible, marring one' s own brother widow was a sin, and that he had already been punished for that by the death in their infancy of all the possible male heirs.
The following years, Anna played cat and mouse with Henry. Once she retired in his castle of Hever, once she reappeared at court to manage operations, without ever consent more than that. Under her pressure, the king charged his Prime Minister, cardinal Wolsey, to start official negotiations with the Holy See for divorce papers.First Pope Clement VII was open to negotiation, but when the emperor Carlo V, Queen Catherine's nephew, threatened reprisals, he backed away and charged Wolsey himself to pronounce the decision. But he was afraid of the “little Bolena”'s influence on the king and steered clear, demanding the Pope to send a full power delegate to London to solve the
It arrived the old cardinal who, with Wolsey,
prepared the case for a sort of trial, that ended with a nothing. Henry
and Anna, whose influence over the king was growing day by day, lost their
patient and Wolsey, powerful Prime Minister since the accession to the
throne of Henry, fell out of favour with them and was then replaced by
But things dragged on ups and downs, the Vatican tergiversating, and finally Henry decided to move the big step: just to marry Anna, broke off with the Holy See and founded the Anglican Church, whose leader was the king. Anna reigned for some years, gave Henry a daughter who will become the great Elizabeth, than, as every body knows, was repudiated, closed in the Tower and in the end beheaded.
After this experience, Henry, finally free from the Church precepts, got married other four times, but it was for Anna, and only for her that English people do not belong to the Rome Church anymore, standing all the consequences that have followed.
Coming to our days, to Monica Lewinsky who because of the too much love for Clinton, has become his ruin.
Nothing of all this. Monica is only of her age, a rich neurotic, uninhibited and mythomaniac girl who, thanks to her familiar terms, has succeeded in entering the sanctuary of the White House and there - maybe charmed by the Clinton's reputation as a lover - has decided to enter beyond the sofa of the Oval Hall, but the effects have been devastating the same.
From the huge quantity of papers produced by the Great Inquisitor Kenneth Starr and placed at everybody's disposal, it results quite clearly that, at least in a first time, Monica was really infatuated of the president, who, as everyone knows, mad for women relationship, wasn't the beginner of the relationship, but limited himself to take advantage of the circumstance. Nevertheless he has done it in a strange way, incompletely, in a way inappropriate to a Casanova as he is and leaving the girl always in an uncertainty about her future. They made oral sex, but often Clinton did not allow Monica to make it at all. Other times they gave themselves up to strange manipulations, to genitals contacts, fondling and so on, but Monica's attempts to be “possessed” by the president always failed.
On that august 17th, as readers would remember, Clinton was compelled to give evidence about the kind of his relationship with Monica in front of the Great Jury and then he deemed necessary to give his version to the Country, making short work of it as a kind of snag. But, to justify him, it must be said that at this point Monica, even if “in love”, had already tried to blackmail the president to obtain at least a good work as a sort of a “golden handshake” and had said every thing, really everything, to the district attorney Starr in exchange for her own immunity.
Without this deposition of hers, Monica, instigated also by her mother (who had kept the well-known president's sperm spattered dress and exhibited it as an evidence), it is probable that the day of reckoning would not have come and that Clinton would have succeeded, with his ability, already shown in other circumstances, to escape the Starr's hold.
From this entire event which, unlike those regarding Elena and Anna Bolena, we know in details, we can draw some conclusions.
First, if Monica were an adventurous, not even too wise, girl, Clinton too has revealed this time a good plenty of irresponsibility, that worries when regarding a man of his position. For a fifteen of meetings, more or less fugitive with the stager, he had met first when she had brought him a pizza on November 1995, he has hazarded his career, patiently built for years: he haven't thought that all president's actions are always some way recorded, that any phone call was risky, that that half embrace during a meeting would be passed in television thousand times, as the main clue of the “unseemly relationship”. By itself nothing of dramatic, but very harmful for a president nowadays accused of having kept on lying continuously since he has been spotlit by the nation: regarding the way he avoided national service in Vietnam, the assumption of marijuana when he was young; his extra-conjugal relationships, starting from Jennifer Flowers; the sexual harassment denunciate by Paula Jones; furthermore, from his electoral campaign financing to his rôle in the Whitewater scandal, from the missile technology supplying to China to the real enduring of the expedition to Bosnia.
So we greet Elena, Anna e Monica, the storm trio, not as diabolic intriguers, but like improbable “longa manus” of Fate.
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