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The Odyssey Menelaos Quotes


Quote 10

(Menelaos:) ‘Three times you walked around the hollow ambush, feeling it, and you called out, naming them by name, to the best of the Danaans, and made your voice sound like the voice of the wife of each of the Argives. Now I myself and the son of Tydeus and great Odysseus were sitting there in the middle of them and we heard you crying aloud, and Diomedes and I started up, both minded to go outside, or else to answer your voice from inside, but Odysseus pulled us back and held us, for all our eagerness.’ (4.277-284)

It’s interesting that Menelaos is able to laugh at this story; remember, it was all for the sake of getting Helen back that the Achaians went to war with the Trojans in the first place. But that’s not all that’s weird—notice how Helen tricks the Achaians (whom she somehow knows are in the horse) by pretending to sound like their wives. Menelaos himself is fooled; does that mean Helen was pretending to be… herself? Weird. Anyway, with master tricksters, it apparently takes one to know one—notice that it’s Odysseus who prevents the other Achaians from letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak.