What Is Penelope's Innocence In The Odyssey

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Good morning Ms. Rummel, my sole purpose today is to convince you of Penelope’s complete innocence. In the book the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, the tale of the Odyssey was retold through the eyes of Penelope, Odysseus’s wife. Towards the end of the book, when Odysseus returns to his home, Ithaca, he orders for Penelope’s twelve handmaidens to be hung, as a punishment for sleeping with the suitors during the twenty years when he was away. Many people believe that Penelope caused the murder of the twelve maids; however, if you pay close attention to the book and its subtext, there are many other people besides Penelope that have a larger claim to the responsibility of the maids’ murder. Through thoroughly analyzed evidence from the book itself,…show more content…
I must call attention to the fact that the maids’ never blamed Penelope for their deaths. Even in the afterworld, when they had freedom of expression, they fled from Penelope, as if ashamed of themselves, like they had let her down and were afraid to face her. However, the maids are constantly hunting down Odysseus, resentfully lamenting their fate. Whenever the maids are nearing him, Odysseus feels nervous and queasy, as stated on page 189, Penelope declares “They make him nervous… They make him want to be anywhere and anyone else.” Why would Odysseus ever feel nervous if he was innocent? He clearly had something to hide. Even Eurycleia had a bigger part in securing the fate of the maids’ than Penelope. When Odysseus returned, he wanted to kill all the maids; however, he couldn’t, so he told Eurycleia to select a few to punish. Eurycleia, spurred by resentment and jealousy, chose the twelve prettiest, youngest maids to spite Penelope. Therefore, was it not Eurycleia who secured both the figurative and literal noose of the handmaidens? Through rigorous analysis of the information provided in the book, I am confident that you have been fully persuaded of Penelope’s innocence regarding the murder of her 12 handmaids. She and the maids are both victims in their respective situations; she would never risk severing the close bond between them. Many people in the past have been convicted of and cruelly punished for deeds that they have been falsely accused of – please, with all your power – do not let Penelope be one of
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