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Encyclopedia > Penelopeia
For other uses of the name, see Penelope (disambiguation).
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Penelope represented as a statue in the Vatican, Rome

Penélopê ("duck") is a character of the Odyssey, one of the two great epic poems (the other being the Iliad; both are attributed to Homer) of ancient Greek literature. Penelope is the wife of the main character, the king of Ithaca Odysseus (also known as Ulysses) and daughter of Icarius and his wife Eurynome. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband from the Trojan War, while she has hard times in refusing marriage proposal from several princes (such as Agelaus, Amphinomus, Ctessippus, Demoptolemus, Elatus, Euryades, Eurymachus, Irus and Peisandros, led by Antinous) for four years since the fall of Troy. For this reason, she is often regarded as a symbol of connubial fidelity.


When Odysseus returned, his dog, Argos recognises him and immediately dies. Odysseus, disguised as an old beggar, sees that Penelope has remained faithful to him, pretending to weave a burial shroud for Odysseus' elderly father Laertes and claiming she will choose one suitor when she has finished. Every night for three years she undoes part of the shroud, until the suitors discover her plot.


Odysseus watches the suitors drink and take advantage of his family's hospitality, and challenges them to an archery contest. None of the suitors can string the bow, and Odysseus wins the contest and proceeds to kill them all with help from his son Telemachus, Athena and a servant, Eumaeus. Despite now being undisguised, Penelope still cannot believe her husband has really returned, and tests him by ordering her servant Euryclea to move the bed in their wedding-chamber. Odysseus protests that this can not be done since he had made the bed himself and knows that one of its legs was a living olive tree, and Penelope finally accepts that he is truly her husband.


After Odysseus' death, she marries his son by Circe, Telegonus, with whom she was the mother of Italus.


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Generic Template (4458 words)
Penelopeia also finds out that her son is gone, and is depressed until Athena visits her (as Ipththimê) abd tells her Telemachos will be alright.
Athena makes Penelopeia more attractive, then she goes down to the dini dining hall and scolds the men for mistreating the beggar, and refuses to marry anyone still, and recalls what Odysseus said before he left for war.
Penelopeia asks what Odysseus was wearing when the beggar met him, just to make sure he isn't lying, and she begins to weep because he describes the clothes in such detail.
research papers buy research papers (1755 words)
Penelopeia tells Eumaios to bring the beggar to her; she wants to know if he has any news about Odysseus.
Penelopeia, discouraged, decides to go ahead and marry whomever can meet the challenge that she will put forth to the suitors: to string Odysseus's bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axe-heads in a row.
Penelopeia issues her challenge to the suitors, but none of the men can bend the bow to string it.
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