Penelope In The Odyssey Analysis

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In an epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus struggles to come back home while his wife, Penelope, faces barbarous suitors who plague her house to court her for the marriage in order to claim the kingship of Ithaca. With an absence of the man of the household and a son who is not old enough to rule over the country and handle the domestic complications, Penelope endeavors to keep the household orderly and civilized. In order to prevent further chaos in the household, Penelope maintains her role as the Queen of Ithaca and Odysseus’s wife through her loyalty and cunning. For a woman who does not know when her man will return home, Penelope is extremely strong to keep hope and wait for her husband; thus, her unwavering loyalty to her husband…show more content…
However, for a woman in Homer’s society, who belongs to either her father and her husband, she is the head of the household for 20 years in the absence of Odysseus. She does not preserve peace in the household, but she takes actions to prevent the destruction of ranks of the household by delaying her marriage so that when Odysseus come back home, he can reclaim the kingship, or when Telemachus is old enough, he can take the throne which is rightfully his. In the position where women have no power, she uses her intellectual strength to control the suitors. Penelope promises the suitors that she will choose one of them to marry after she finishes weaving the shroud for Laertes because it is shameful if she does not do anything for her father-in-law. The suitors eagerly comply to her request without knowing what Penelope plans to do. After discovering Penelope’s deception, the suitors complain, “Her very words, and despite our pride and passion we believed her. So by day she’d weave at her great and growing web- by night, by the light of torches set beside her, she would unravel all she’d done. Three who years, she deceived us blind, seduced us with this scheme” (Homer, Odysseus, 2. 101- 106). With one simple promise, she is able to keep the suitors in control for three years, which demonstrates her intellectual strength. Penelope, a woman who perceives to be a weak character and unable to keep the household together, manages to assert dominance over 108 men with words alone. She shows wisdom in personal management in private household, satisfying the role of head of the household, through
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