"My lady, there is no man in the wide world who could find fault with you. For your fame has reached broad heaven itself, like that of some illustrious king."(Page 289,Book 19)
In Homer's epic, The Odyssey, Odysseus is an epic hero with an epic wife, Penelope. Penelope is also the Queen of Ithaca, a vital role indeed. Penelope's love and devotion towards Odysseus is proven when she waits nineteen years for her husband to return from the wine dark sea, rather than losing faith and marrying another man. Penelope's character is strong and solid, and her personality remains consistent throughout Homer's Odyssey.
Since there are so few mortal women featured in The Odyssey, Penelope can be seen as an ideal figure to represent all noblewomen in the Greek world. Although women were seen as possessions they could still be highly respected and influential in society. This is shown very effectively in this quote by Antinous as he speaks about Penelope, "Her skill in fine handicraft, her excellent brain, and the genius she has for getting her way, In that respect, I gra...
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...en Skylla and Penelope: Female Characters of the Odyssey in Archaic and Classical Greek Art," pp. 29-58.
Richard Brilliant, "Kirke's Men: Swine and Sweethearts," pp. 165-73.
Helene Foley, "Penelope as Moral Agent," in Beth Cohen, ed., The Distaff Side (Oxford 1995), pp. 93-115.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.
Marilyn Arthur Katz, Penelope's Renown: Meaning and Indeterminacy in the Odyssey (Princeton 1991).
Nancy Felson-Rubin, Regarding Penelope: From Courtship to Poetics (Princeton 1994).
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