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Menelaus, in Greek mythology, king of Sparta and younger son of Atreus, king of Mycenae; the abduction of his wife, Helen, led to the Trojan War. During the war Menelaus served under his elder brother Agamemnon, the commander in chief of the Greek forces. When Phrontis, one of his crewmen, was killed, Menelaus delayed his voyage until the man had been buried, thus giving evidence of his strength of character. After the fall of Troy, Menelaus recovered Helen and brought her home. Menelaus was a prominent figure in the Iliad and the Odyssey, where he was promised a place in Elysium after his death because he was married to a daughter of Zeus. The poet Stesichorus (flourished 6th century bce) introduced a refinement to the story that was used by Euripides in his play Helen: it was a phantom that was taken to Troy, while the real Helen went to Egypt, from where she was rescued by Menelaus after he had been wrecked on his way home from Troy and the phantom Helen had disappeared.
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poetry: Poetry as a mode of thought: the Protean encounterAfter the war at Troy, Menelaus wanted very much to get home but was held up in Egypt for want of a wind because, as he later told Telemachus, he had not sacrificed enough to the gods. “Ever jealous the Gods are,” he said, “that we men mind their dues.”…
Atreusstory, Agamemnon and Menelaus—sons of Atreus and Aërope—found Thyestes at Delphi and imprisoned him at Mycenae. Aegisthus was sent to murder Thyestes, but each recognized the other because of the sword that Pelopia had taken from her father and given to her son. Father and son slew Atreus,…
Helen of Troy…from among them she chose Menelaus, Agamemnon’s younger brother. During an absence of Menelaus, however, Helen fled to Troy with Paris, son of the Trojan king Priam, an act that ultimately led to the Trojan War. When Paris was slain, Helen married his brother Deiphobus, whom she betrayed to Menelaus…