Euripides' Helen is not directly responsible for the Trojan War; rather, it is her "shadow" that Paris takes to Troy and the war is waged on a false basis. Meanwhile, Helen waits in Egypt for her husband Menelaus to return from the war. Reports that he was killed at Troy prove to be false when Menelaus arrives at court to seek assistance after having been shipwrecked off the Egyptian coast. This turn of events proves difficult for both, because the Egyptian king has decided to make Helen his wife. A plan is devised and the two manage to escape.