Odyssey - Essay Example

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Homer’s The Odyssey is a story about the greatness of one man, and many great women at his side. One of them is his wife, Penelope. Penelope is a perfect woman in her times…
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Download file to see previous pages Penelope is an ideal woman in her times because is a generous Queen, she respects and follows the elders, influential men, and the gods, she is clever in keeping the suitors away and managing the household, and she remains virtuous as a wife.
One of the greatest virtues of Penelope is her goodness as a Queen. When a beggar (who is actually Odysseus) brings her news about her husband, she treats him kindly and lavishly. She tells her maids to give him a good washing and a nice bed because tomorrow, “he can sit in the hall beside Telemachos and expect to dine there; and it will be the worse for any of those men who inflicts heart-wasting annoyance on him” (Homer 19.317-325). She is the kind of woman who dotes on a stranger, and a beggar at that. Her great love for her husband seems to spill over to other people too. Furthermore, during the arrow shooting context, his suitors make fun of the beggar. Penelope defends him and tells him to also try his hand in the contest (Homer 21). These actions manifest how good she is as a queen and as a person. She respects all people whatever their social status is. At the same time, she values the beggar enough to even let him participate in the contest. Her hand in marriage is the prize, but she gives equal chances to all. As a queen, Penelope is an ideal monarch with esteem for every person of every social class.
Penelope is an ideal woman because she follows the counsel of the elderly and other men and fulfils her duties to the gods. After learning about Antinoös’ murderous plans against her son, Penelope weeps endlessly. Euryclea, an old nurse, advises her to pray to Athene who will protect Telemachos as she does for Odysseus: “Ascend your chamber with your ladies here,/And pray the seed of goat-nursd Jupiter,/Divine Athenia, to preserve your son,/And she will save him from confusion” (Homer 4.104-107). Penelope follows her advice and brings ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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