Essay on Analysis Of ' The Odyssey '

Essay on Analysis Of ' The Odyssey '

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In Greece, on the island of Ithaka, the queen awaits the homecoming of her husband from the Trojan War. However, Odysseus does not return from the war unlike his fellow shield brothers, leaving his wife alone in Ithaka with their son. Penelope is left in a very vulnerable situation because suitors are now coming into her home looking to marry her, as whoever she chooses to marry would become the king of Ithaka. Penelope is forced to adjust to life without her husband, and in a way, fend for herself completely. This is not a problem for Queen Penelope, however. Penelope is not only the most loyal wife, but also exudes a self-confidence and intelligence befitting of the Queen of Ithaka.
From very early on in Homer’s The Odyssey, Penelope is presented to us as a very cunning individual who uses this quality as a means to keep her intrusive suitors at bay. The chief suitor, Antinoos, uses the word cunning to describe the queen after she had been able to deceive them (Homer 2.97). Penelope did this, firstly, by stalling her weaving, a task which she has insisted she must finish before she would be prepared to marry any of the suitors. However, Penelope never intended to complete her project, for “ ‘every night by torchlight she unwove it; / and so for three years she deceived the Akhaians.’ ” (2. 113-124). By unweaving the burial shroud - which she had been crafting for Odysseus’ father, Laertes - each night it was left incomplete, until an unfaithful maid told the suitors her secret. Despite having been discovered, Penelope’s ruse had successfully stalled the suitors for three - almost four - years. This would not be the last time she used her guile to delude the advances of her suitors. Nearing the end of the work Penelope...


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...his devotion is also captured in the way Penelope both grieves and praises Odysseus in the same thought;
“ ‘ Dearest companions, what has Zeus given me? / Pain - more pain than any living woman. My lord, my lion heart, gone, long ago - / the bravest man, and best, of the Danaans, / famous through Hellas and the Argive midlands-’ ” (4.773-777).
This that she holds her husband in very high regard while also missing him terribly, her love for him is highlighted in these moments
Reflecting on Penelope as a character we can see she possesses intelligence in all forms and an unending loyalty unlike any other Homeric woman. She outwitted the suitors and successfully waited for Odysseus’ to return while avoiding their advances for twenty years. All this combined supports Penelope as the best queen, most loyal wife, and the most admirable Homeric woman.

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