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1Penelope Essay Research Paper Penelope in the

1Penelope Essay, Research Paper Penelope in the Odyssey: In Homer s epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is highly significant and represents the epitome of the Greek ideal, because she embodies the ideal wife. Penelope embodies the ideal wife, because she conforms to the ideals of her society.

1Penelope Essay, Research Paper

Penelope in the Odyssey:

In Homer s epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is highly significant and represents the epitome of the Greek ideal, because she embodies the ideal wife. Penelope embodies the ideal wife, because she conforms to the ideals of her society. The ideals of her society include, tremendous will power, faithfulness, honor, sadness, helplessness and long suffering. Penelope s husband, Odysseus, has been exiled for 20 years, since he left home to fight in the Trojan War. Penelope has tremendous will power and is intensely faithful to Odysseus, despite his absence. In his absence, she anxiously awaits his homecoming and preserves her honor. However, she is sad and helpless, and has experienced long suffering. She incessantly dwells on his memory and is very solitary.

Penelope embodies the ideal wife, because she conforms to the ideals of her society and remains faithful to her husband Odysseus. Penelope has tremendous will power and is intensely faithful to Odysseus, despite his absence. In his absence, she anxiously awaits his homecoming and preserves her honor. However, she is sad and helpless, and has experienced long suffering. She incessantly dwells on his memory and is very solitary. For example, when the minstrel sings of the homecoming of the Akhaians, Penelope, who heeded the song, is reminded of Odysseus, and comes down with a veil over her face, from her high room, and through her tears, urges the minstrel to cease his song. She tells him that the song, “wears my heart away. It opens in me again the wound of longing for one incomparable, ever in my mind (Book I).” In this passage, Penelope shows the qualities of tremendous will power, faithfulness, honor, sadness, helplessness and long suffering. She exhibits these qualities because she stays with Odysseus. The fact that she wears a veil around the palace, indicates that she is sad and helpless and in mourning for her husband. The veil places a wall between her mourning for her husband and reality. She uses a veil as a device to block out reality and concentrate on her qualities. The fact that she comes down from her high room, is another example of this device. Penelope cries and tells the minstrel to stop his song, because she wants to concentrate on her will power, faithfulness, honor and staying with Odysseus. She does not want to face reality and see that Odysseus is absent. She asks the minstrel to stop his song, as a device to block out reality and concentrate on her qualities. Penelope wants to try to reverse things and pretend her husband was never absent. However, many things have happened in his absence. Most of all the absence of Odysseus has worn her away and made her sad and helpless and in some ways, more fragile on the outside. However, in his absence, she has become a stronger and more ideal wife. She loves Odysseus tremendously and misses him, because he is without equal in her eyes. Nobody could replace Odysseus for her and thus she stays with him. Furthermore, Penelope has pride. As a single mother, she single-handedly nurtures and brings up her son. She instills into him the ideology of his father Odysseus. She also remains in her home and strives to preserve her patrimony. Clearly Penelope is the ideal wife.

Penelope embodies the ideal wife, because she conforms to the ideals of her society and remains faithful to her husband Odysseus. While awaiting her husband’s return, Penelope endures perpetual insolence and sexual advances from the suitors who invade her household and squander her possessions. Penelope rebuffs the advances of the suitors and remains an ideal wife. Deferring the suitors is no easy task; therefore Penelope is very resourceful and goes to great lengths to postpone marriage to the men. For example, she puts the men off for years by promising to marry one of them upon her completion of a burial shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes. In order to delay the completion of the shroud, she unravels her work every night (Book II). Penelope also privately sends promises to each of the suitors, in order to divide them so that they will not unanimously demand a decision from her as to which one she wishes to marry (Book II). In this passage Penelope shows that nothing can get in the way of her love for Odysseus.

In Homer s epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is highly significant and represents the epitome of the Greek ideal, because she embodies the ideal wife. Penelope embodies the ideal wife, because she conforms to the ideals of her society. The ideals of her society include, tremendous will power, faithfulness, honor, sadness, helplessness and long suffering. Without Penelope’s enduring faithfulness, Odysseus would not have had a home to return to. Furthermore, Penelope s ideal nature makes Odysseus s hard journey home worthwhile.

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