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How is Menelaus portrayed in the fIlm Troy and Homer's Iliad?

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nhl123 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted January 1, 2012 at 4:05 AM via web

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How is Menelaus portrayed in the fIlm Troy and Homer's Iliad?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 1, 2012 at 4:51 AM (Answer #1)

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Menelaus is portrayed as the "average" type man. He is not as greedy as his brother Agamemnon. In Homer's Iliad, Menelaus is just ordinary. He does not have his brother's ability to inspire others to follow him. He does not have Odysseus' use of rhetoric. Menelaus is just an average type character. Truly, Agamemnon is the most ambitious of the two:

Agamemnon has what Menelaus seems to lack: the ability to inspire people to follow him. Menelaus’s fighting skills are only average, as Homer shows them to us. He is nowhere near the tactician his brother is, and certainly not on a level with Odysseus in that regard or the ability to hold an audience spellbound with his rhetoric.

In Homer's Iliad, Menelaus does not seem as upset about the fact that Paris stole his wife as he does about the fact that Paris has broken the rules of etiquette:

Menelaeus seems more annoyed that Paris has broken the rules of etiquette than outraged that a guest in his house has abducted his wife and has been living with her as her lover.

In the film Troy, Menelaus is a bitter man. He is determined to get his wife back so he can choke her with his bare hands. Menelaus is portrayed as a great warrior. He is confident in his ability to fight with Paris. He makes Paris appear as a boy in comparison to Menelaus' strength. Menelaus is a confident warrior. He does not have any fear of Paris. He fights Paris with courage and vengeance. Although he is not greedy about securing Troy for himself, he is determined to get his revenge for what Paris has done to him. In the film Troy, Menelaus is portrayed as a mighty warrior. In contrast, in Homer's Iliad, Menelaus is just an average warrior.

In Homer's Iliad, Menelaus just wants to get home quickly after the war, enjoying the spoils of war with Helen by his side:

Unlike his brother and many of the other Achaean kings, Menelaus enjoys a quick and safe return home after the war, with Helen and all his rightful possessions restored, and more besides from the spoils of Troy.

In contrast, in the film Troy, Menelaus dies at the hand of Hector after Paris broke his agreement. Menelaus never makes it home in the film. He dies after he bravely fought Paris. With Paris injured, Hector steps in and kills Menelaus. Paris appears as an inexperienced warrior when fighting Menelaus. Menelaus dies as a brave man.

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