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Who is the "beautiful wife" of Menelaus referred to in Homer's Odyssey?  

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cheddar88 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2013 at 9:33 PM via web

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Who is the "beautiful wife" of Menelaus referred to in Homer's Odyssey?

 

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM (Answer #1)

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The beautiful wife of Menelaus is Helen, who was carried off to Troy by Paris, one of King Priam's sons, and who was said to have been the cause of the Trojan War. Menelaus was a brother of Agamemnon, who was the most powerful of the Greek kings. At Menelaus' urgent request, Agamemnon called all the other Greek kings together and launched an invasion of Troy. The kings included Odysseus and Achilles. By the time of the Odyssey, the war with Troy would have ended in a Greek victory and Helen would have been reclaimed by her husband.

A great deal of mythology is attached to the Trojan War. One is the famous myth about "The Judgment of Paris." Three goddesses asked him to judge which of them was the most beautiful. The winner would be awarded a golden apple inscribed "To the Fairest." Each goddess tried to bride Paris into awarding the apple to her. Hera, the wife of Jupiter, promised to make him the richest man in the world. Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom, promised to make him the wisest man in the world. Aphrodite, goddess of love, promised to give him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. Being young, Paris chose Aphrodite's bribe. It turned out that Helen, already married to Menelaus, was the most beautiful woman in the world--and that was what started the Trojan War, at least according to mythology.

 

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cheddar88 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 18, 2013 at 2:18 AM (Answer #2)

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The beautiful wife of Menelaus is Helen, who was carried off to Troy by Paris, one of King Priam's sons, and who was said to have been the cause of the Trojan War. Menelaus was a brother of Agamemnon, who was the most powerful of the Greek kings. At Menelaus' urgent request, Agamemnon called all the other Greek kings together and launched an invasion of Troy. The kings included Odysseus and Achilles. By the time of the Odyssey, the war with Troy would have ended in a Greek victory and Helen would have been reclaimed by her husband.

A great deal of mythology is attached to the Trojan War. One is the famous myth about "The Judgment of Paris." Three goddesses asked him to judge which of them was the most beautiful. The winner would be awarded a golden apple inscribed "To the Fairest." Each goddess tried to bride Paris into awarding the apple to her. Hera, the wife of Jupiter, promised to make him the richest man in the world. Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom, promised to make him the wisest man in the world. Aphrodite, goddess of love, promised to give him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. Being young, Paris chose Aphrodite's bribe. It turned out that Helen, already married to Menelaus, was the most beautiful woman in the world--and that was what started the Trojan War, at least according to mythology.

 

Thank you so much!  That was so well worded and my daughter understands it much better now.... I appreciate your time.

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