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Penelope In The Odyssey

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In Homer’s Poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is the exceptionally patient and clever spouse of the infamous hero, Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. One poignant factor of Penelope’s character is her patience and devotion which is displayed throughout the poem. With her husband absent for a great majority of her life for the later of twenty years and his location unknown, Penelope stays, patiently awaiting Odysseus’ return, all whilst preserving their estate and raising her son by herself. Throughout this time, she had many persistent suitors in pursuit of her, abusing her husband’s absence. In the beginning of the Odyssey, the suitors are feasting in the hall of Odysseus' palace and listening to the bard, Phemios, who is singing about the…show more content…
Weaving is an art which was given from Athena to women, while Penelope uses both cunningness and weaving to deceive the suitors. With the making of the shroud for Laertes, Odysseus’s father she was able to keep the suitors at bay for three whole years. She would weave during the day and unravel it at night. With her clever words she assured the suitors that it was her womanly duty to weave a shroud to her father-in-law and promised to marry one of them after she finished it. Yet her plans were thwarted by one of her treacherous maids. 119 The suitors curse her for her deceitful scheme, but still they praise her for her intelligence, which in turn makes her more desirable. Regardless, Penelope manipulates her suitors without violating the social role of women in ancient Greek society; in the world of the Odysseus, the social order was fixed and hierarchical and social mobility was…show more content…
Penelope’s power does not only derive from her position in her household, it also derives from her character. Her worth is measured by her action and choices and what others thinks of her. She is praised by men and placed on a level of status only equaled to men. The obvious role she played was to help her husband and his return, but the more complex one is her impact on the society and its rules that Homer depicted. Penelope was in the epic a woman who was wielding power in a misogynistic society, and she had to bend and break rules to gain and justify the authority she had over
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