Telemachus leaves home on a mission to find his father and bring him safely home, if he is in fact still alive. Along the way he visits Sparta and calls upon the king Menelaus and begin to feast with him. During the feast they commence discussing the Trojan War and the losses the Greeks suffered there. At the mention of Odysseus, Telemachus begins to weep just as Helen comes down to join the feast.
Helen asks Menelaus if he knows the names of the strangers but she immediately suggests that it is Telemachus. The likeness to Odysseus is striking to her as well as Menelaus for as soon as she suggests it, he points out that Telemachus does resemble him in his hands and feet as well as his hair and the "shape of his head" and the way he speaks.