Menelaus is Helen's husband, Odysseus's friend and ally, and a King of Sparta. Rich, loud, and not especially good looking, Menelaus is a powerful ruler who won Helen's hand in a contest. When Helen ran away with Paris, Menelaus came to Ithaca to ask Odysseus to join him in a war against the Trojans, since Odysseus swore an oath to protect Menelaus's claims to Helen. Later, Telemachus goes to Menelaus’s palace to seek news of his father.
Menelaus Character Timeline in The Penelopiad
The timeline below shows where the character Menelaus appears in The Penelopiad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: My Marriage
...special talent for evaluating people’s looks—which ended up getting her in trouble when she left Menelaus for the much better looking Paris. (full context)
...won Helen in case someone tried to take her away, which allowed her marriage to Menelaus to go smoothly. After his help, he made a deal with Tyndareous that he would... (full context)
Chapter 11: Helen Ruins My Life
...run away with a handsome prince of Troy, Paris. The pair fell in love behind Menelaus’s back during a nine-day feast given by Menelaus in honor of Paris. Menelaus did not... (full context)
...was upset because he and many other men had sworn a sacred oath to defend Menelaus’s rights to Helen, meaning that he and the other men would have to go to... (full context)
...must, but when the time came he did try to get out of it. When Menelaus showed up at Ithaca with Agamemnon, Odysseus pretended to have gone crazy, putting on peasant’s... (full context)
Chapter 18: News of Helen
...discovered anything about Odysseus on his trip. Telemachus informed Penelope that he went to visit Menelaus. Penelope asked if he saw Helen while he was there, and Telemachus said that he... (full context)