© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Menelaus was the king of Sparta, but he’s most famous for getting royally dumped. When his gorgeous wife Helen ran off with Paris, the pretty boy of Troy, Menelaus was beyond angry. He called up his powerful brother Agamemnon and together they drafted the who’s who of Greece to sail to Troy and avenge Menelaus’ honor. Next thing you know, the biggest army of Greeks the world had ever seen was knocking on the gates of Troy, and the Trojan War swiftly kicked into high gear. Ten years and one giant wooden horse later, Troy was in ruins, and Helen was back in her husband’s arms. The lesson here? Never make a Spartan mad.

Basic Information

NicknameAgamemnon's Brother
Current cityElysium

Work & Education

OccupationKing of Sparta
EducationAres' Academy of War


Political viewsDeath to all Trojans!

Family & Friends (& Enemies)

ParentsPleisthenes (Dad)
Aerope (Mom)
ChildrenHermione (with Helen)
Megapenthes (with some slave woman)
FriendsAgamemnon (my brother who really came through for me when Helen ran off)
Odysseus (more like work buddies)
EnemiesParis (who took off with my wife)
Every Citizen of Troy (just because)


Relationship statusMarried to Helen (it’s extremely complicated)
Interested inMy wife (I just can’t help it. Have you seen what she looks like?)


Quotations“No adultery is bloodless”
– Natalia Ginzburg

“When tears come down like falling rain,
You'll toss around and call my name.
You'll walk the floor the way I do.
Your cheatin' heart will tell on you.”
– Hank Williams

“Death is the mother of beauty.”
– Wallace Stevens

“Well I hope that I don't fall in love with you
'Cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays and you display your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you calling out for me
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.”
– Tom Waits

“In order for a man to be truly evil, he must be a woman.”
– Craig Bruce
BooksAnna Karenina (Here’s a heroine I love to hate. Adultery is not cool, Anna!) 
“No Second Troy” by William Butler Yeats  
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin  
“She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron  
“The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 
“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway  
“Beat! Beat! Drums!” by Walt Whitman  
The Iliad by Homer (even though there should be way more of me in this one)  
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien  
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (sometimes I think the shrew tamed me) 
MusicYour Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams (kind of my anthem) 
I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You by Tom Waits (but I did) 
The Wind by the Zac Brown Band  
Drunk on You by Luke Bryan (makes me think of when things were good with me and Helen)  
Head Full of Doubt by the Avett Brothers  
Maneater by Hall and Oates (lookin’ at you Helen!)  
Somethin’ Bout a Truck by Kip Moore  
Warrior’s Call by Volbeat (Rock it out.) 
Movies300 (Don’t mess with Sparta!)  
Hot Tub Time Machine (a new classic)  
Anna Karenina (Grrrr...)  
Fight Club (Yeah, I definitely see myself as the Brad Pitt type.) 
The Hangover
Apocalypse Now (Most of my life was apocalypse always.)  
The Dark Knight Rises 
TV ShowsGame of Thrones  
Friday Night Lights  
Sons of Anarchy 

Activities & Interests

LikesThe Society for Creative Anachronisms  
Beauty pageants 
ActivitiesRuling Sparta
Putting my wife in her place
Launching awful bloody wars because of my domestic problems
InterestsRoyal history
Battle tactics
GroupsHeroes of the Trojan War
Union of Kings
Victims of Adultery Support Group

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...