The Archetype In Dorothy Parker's 'Penelope And The Suitors'

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In Greek Mythology, the women are typically described as reserved and gentle. The archetype has influenced art and literature for decades. For example, in the tale of Penelope, Odysseus leaves his kingdom for The Trojan War and stays away for ten years. His wife, Penelope has to protect her kingdom from the suitors and she accomplishes this by weaving a shroud during the day and unraveling it at night. She was very wary of other people, as if they were going to steal her kingdom, and even tested Odysseus to see if he was who he claimed to be. Poet Dorothy Parker and Artist John William Waterhouse interpreted the tale into different ways, showing two different sides of Penelope. In the painting Penelope and The Suitors, John Williams Waterhouse…show more content…
The scene depicted in the poem conveys the image of Penelope describing Odysseus’ travels versus what she does at home; she feels that people will not give attention to what she has done and will give Odysseus all of the praise. Instead of using fierce tone words to portray Penelope’s annoyed demeanor, the poet uses usually peaceful diction to describe the tone. Even though the words are tranquil, the poem still has an effective way of depicting her point of view. The words used in the poem, such as, “breeze”, “glittering”, and “sky” reveal a calm and serene tone, but knowing the meaning of the poem, it is understood that there is a hidden irritation from the narrator, Penelope, toward the public. In the middle of the poem. there is a shift of point of view. When Penelope illustrates Odysseus, she says “ He shall ride… He shall cut…” (lines 4-5). However when she describes herself, she says “ I shall sit…” (line 6). The poet repeating the word “shall” creates a pattern, but the change in tone from using action verbs, such as, “ride” and “cut” to using a stagnant verb, “sit” shows the different imagery in how Odysseus in perceived and how Penelope is seen in the community. The rhyming pattern of the poem is ABABCDDEEC. While the beginning of the poem rhymes, in line 5, the word “wave” does not rhyme with anything before it or immediately prior.…show more content…
As stated by Keira Stevenson, Dorothy Parker was born the 22nd of August, 1893 and was the fourth and last child (Stevenson). At age four, after the death of Dorothy’s mother, her father remarried a harsh Protestant woman, who she nicknamed “the housekeeper” (Stevenson). As a child, “Dorothy attended a private school…”(Stevenson). Upon her graduation, she moved to New York City in 1911 (Stevenson). Although her aspirations were to be writer,“she played piano at a dance studio to make a living” (Stevenson). Her brother and father passed in 1913 (Stevenson). In the year of 1917, Dorothy received a job at Vanity Fair and married Edwin P. Parker (“Dorothy Parker” Poets.org). Vanity Fair bought Dorothy’s first poem when she was 21 (“Dorothy Parker” Poets.org). In 1920, she was let go from Vanity Fair, which gave her an opportunity to write and become a book reviewer for The New Yorker in 1927 (“Dorothy Parker” Britannica School). During the 1920’s, Dorothy gained a reputation for intelligent conversations and her distinct cleverness (“Dorothy Parker” Britannica School). Dorothy battled depression and alcoholism, in spite of her success and respectability and tried to commit suicide (“Dorothy Parker” Poets.org). She found success in her first collection of poems, Enough Rope, which was a best seller in 1926 (“Dorothy Parker” Poets.org). In 1928, Dorothy and Edwin divorced (“Dorothy Parker” Poets.org). The autobiographical short
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