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Penelope

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Penelope
From the story   -   The Odyssey
Of the tradition   -   Greek Oral Poetry
Role in story   -   Hero, wife of Hero
Family members   -   Odysseus, Telemachus


Penelope is the wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus. Penelope spends her days in the palace pining for the husband who left for Troy twenty years earlier and never returned. Homer portrays her as sometimes flighty and excitable but also clever and steadfastly true to her husband.

Character TraitsEdit

  • Never loses faith in her husband.
  • Flighty and excitable
    • Odysseus, Telemachus, and Athena often prefer to leave her in the dark about matters rather than upset her. (Athena must distract her so that she does not discover Odysseus's identity when Eurycleia is washing him. Athena often comes to her in dreams to reassure or comfort her, for Penelope would otherwise spend her nights weeping in her bed.)
  • Sly
  • Artful

Response to the suitorsEdit

  • Indecisive
  • Never refuses to remarry outright, instead, she puts off her decision and leads them on with promises that she will choose a new husband as soon as certain things happen. ** Completion of a burial shroud that she will never complete
  • Whomever wins the archery contest of Book 21 results from her awareness that only her husband can win it.

Origins of nameEdit

  • Penelope = to weave


  The Odyssey by Homer edit

Ithaca Residents: Odysseus - Telemachus - Penelope - Eumaeus - Eurycleia - Melanthius - Melantho - Laertes
Gods and Goddesses: Athena - Poseidon - Zeus - Hermes
Suitors: Antinous - Eurymachus - Amphinomus
Voyage Acquaintances: Calypso - Polyphemus - Circe - Tiresias - Nestor - Menelaus - Helen - Agamemnon
Phaeacians: Nausicaa - Alcinous - Arete

Italacized members are Odysseus's enemies - Strike-through members are deceased by the end of The Odyssey

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