In Book 4, what is Menelaus’ opinion of Odysseus in The Odyssey?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Contented and quite happy in The Odyssey, Menelaus' has very fond memories of Odysseus.  Along with his wife Helen, both regale Telemachus and Peisistratus with stories of Odysseus' guile and courage.  Fundamentally, it is evident in Book Four that Menelaus considers Odysseus very important in the Greek victory over the Trojans.  After Helen drugs everyone into talking "happy thoughts," Menelaus talks about Odysseus role in the Trojan Horse campaign and how he helped keep the men focused when Helen tried to distract them with the voices of their wives.  For her part, Helen, quite surprisingly, talks about how she kept Odysseus' identity secret during a spying mission where he collected valuable intelligence to take back to the Greeks.  It would be natural to see that Menelaus shared this same opinion.  There is a great deal of reverence for Odysseus present in this book, something that impacts his son, causing him to tear up at the mention of his lost father.

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