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Penelope And Odysseus, Ideal For Each Other

1087 words - 5 pages

Prompt: Penelope is the ideal woman for Odysseus. What are some common characteristics that they share?

How many couples can remain faithful to each other even when they have been separated for twenty years? In The Odyssey by Homer, Penelope overcomes numerous obstacles to wait for Odysseus’s return while he struggles to overcome the perils of his journey and return to Penelope. By overcoming these challenges, Penelope and Odysseus demonstrate their shared characteristics of loyalty and cunning that make them ideal for each other.
One important characteristic that Penelope and Odysseus share is their loyalty to each other. Odysseus failed to return home seven years after the Trojan ...view middle of the document...

He desires Penelope, and so grieves for her on the shoreline. When the Olympians allow Odysseus to continue on his journey, Calypso tries to convince him to stay by reminding him of the misery he will have to face. However, despite the disasters Odysseus knows he will meet on the way home and at his return, Odysseus still wants to return to Penelope. Shortly after leaving Calypso’s island, a storm forces Odysseus to land on the island of Phaeacia. There he encounters the alluring Princess Nausicaa. Young and clever, she has just become “marriageable” and desires Odysseus as a husband. Her father, King Alcinous, approves; he promises Odysseus a life of wealth and luxury to marry Nausicaa. Odysseus, however, turns down his offer and remains faithful to Penelope. Although both Penelope and Odysseus are given the opportunity to live a wealthy lifestyle, they choose to endure their hardships and remain loyal to each other.
Another important characteristic that Penelope and Odysseus share is cunning When the suitors press Penelope to choose a new husband, she promises to remarry after she has weaved a shroud for Odysseus’s father, Laertes. The suitors consent, and eagerly wait for her to finish. However, at night Penelope unravels the day’s weaving, delaying the completion of the shroud. In this way Penelope keeps the suitors at bay and protects Odysseus’s kingdom. Three years later the suitors discover the trick and force Penelope to finish the shroud. Shortly after, Penelope learns that Odysseus is still alive. To give Odysseus time to return, Penelope, confident that the suitors will not succeed, tells them that she will marry the man that can string Odysseus’s bow. Although the suitors understand that they are inferior to Odysseus, they are too proud to admit it and so accept the challenge. By accepting, however, the suitors unknowingly help Penelope delay their pursuits and protect the kingdom. However, before all the suitors have attempted the bow trial, Odysseus returns. He strings the bow and reveals himself, putting an end to the competition. Penelope, however, is afraid that this is a trick to make her leave with another man. Unable to reject him on the basis of suspicion Penelope subtly verifies his identity. She tells a maid to move their bed,...

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