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Encyclopedia > Penelope
The Vatican Penelope: a Roman marble copy of an Early Classical 6th-century Greek work (Vatican Museums)
The Vatican Penelope: a Roman marble copy of an Early Classical 6th-century Greek work (Vatican Museums)

In Homer's Odyssey, Penélopê (Πηνελόπεια) is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and is rejoined with him at last. Her name[1] is usually understood to combine the Greek word for web or woof (πηνη) and the word for eye or face (ωψ), very appropriate for a weaver of cunning whose motivation is hard to decipher.[2] Until recent readings, her name has been associated with faithfulness,[3] but the most recent readings offer a more ambiguous reading.[4] Download high resolution version (1120x1648, 409 KB)Penelope - Statue in the Vatican, Rome - Project Gutenberg eText 13725 - http://www. ... Download high resolution version (1120x1648, 409 KB)Penelope - Statue in the Vatican, Rome - Project Gutenberg eText 13725 - http://www. ... Entrance to the museum Staircase of the Vatican Museum The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) are the public art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City, which display works from the extensive collection of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Penelope is a character of the Odyssey. ... Homer (Greek: ) is the name given to the supposed unitary author of the early Greek poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Beginning of the Odyssey The Odyssey (Greek Οδύσσεια (Odússeia) ) is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to the Ionian poet Homer. ... Head of Odysseus from a Greek 2nd century BC marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus, found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, less commonly, Ulysses), pronounced , is the main hero in Homers epic poem, the Odyssey, and plays a key...

Contents

Role in the Odyssey

Penelope is the wife of the main character, the king of Ithaca, Odysseus (Ulysses in Roman mythology), and daughter of Icarius and his wife Periboea. She has one son by Odysseus, Telemachus, who was born just before Odysseus was called to fight in the Trojan War. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband;[5] meanwhile she has hard times in refusing marriage proposals 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. On his return, Odysseus, disguised as an old beggar, sees that Penelope has remained faithful to him. She devises tricks to delay her suitors, one of which is 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 has undone part of the shroud, until her maidens discover her trickery and reveal it to the suitors. Localization of Ithaca The big island in the center is Kefalonia. ... Head of Odysseus from a Greek 2nd century BC marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus, found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, less commonly, Ulysses), pronounced , is the main hero in Homers epic poem, the Odyssey, and plays a key... In Greek mythology, there were two people named Icarius, or Ikários (and one named Icarus) Icarius was the son of Oebalus and Gorgophone and, by Periboea, father of Penelope and Perilaus. ... In Greek mythology, five people shared the name Periboea. ... Telemachus and Mentor Telemachus departing from Nestor, painting by Henry Howard (1769–1847) Telemachus (also transliterated as Telemachos or Telémakhos; literally, far-away fighter) is a figure in Greek mythology, the son of Odysseus and Penelope. ... The fall of Troy, by Johann Georg Trautmann (1713–1769). ... In Greek mythology, Agelaus, or Ageláos was a suitor of Penelope, killed by Odysseus. ... In Greek mythology, Amphinomus, also Amphínomos (literally grazing all about), was the son of King Nisos and one of the suitors of Penelope that was killed by Odysseus. ... A suitor of Penelope who was killed by Odysseus. ... There were two figures named Elatus or Élatos in Greek mythology. ... Eurymachus, or Eurýmakhos, an Ithacan nobleman and the son of Polybus, was one of the leading suitors of Penelope in The Odyssey. ... In Greek mythology, Irus was one of several figures: Irus (also Iros or Arnaeus) was a suitor of Penelope, a gigantic beggar that was killed by Odysseus with a giant club. ... In Greek mythology, Antinous, son of Eupeithes, was one of the suitors of Penelope during the absence of her husband, Odysseus, at the Trojan war. ... Troy or Ilion, see Troy (disambiguation) and Ilion (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, Laërtes (Greek: Λαέρτης) was the son of Arcesius and Chalcomedusa. ...

Odysseus and Penelope by Francesco Primaticcio (1563).
Odysseus and Penelope by Francesco Primaticcio (1563).

Because of her efforts in putting off remarriage, she is often seen as a symbol of connubial fidelity. Though the hearer is reminded several times of her fidelity, Penelope is getting restless (due, in part, to Athena's meddling) and she longs to "display herself to her suitors, fan their hearts, inflame them more" (xviii.183-84)[6] She is ambivalent, variously calling out for Artemis to kill her and (apparently) considering marrying one of the suitors. When the disguised Odysseus returns to his home, in her long interview with the disguised hero, she announces that whoever can string a particularly rigid bow, and shoot an arrow through twelve axe handles can have her hand. "For the plot of the Odyssey, of course, her decision is the turning point, the move that makes possible the long-predicted triumph of the returning hero".[7] There is debate over to what extent she is aware that Odysseus is behind the disguise. By Penelope and the suitors' knowledge, Odysseus, were he in fact present, would clearly surpass any of the suitors in any test of masculine skill that could be contrived. Since Odysseus seems to be the only person (perhaps with Telemachus) who can actually use the bow, it may have been another delaying tactic of Penelope's. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x1868, 183 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Penelope ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x1868, 183 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Penelope ... The rape of Helena, 1530-1539. ... Events February 1 - Sarsa Dengel succeeds his father Menas as Emperor of Ethiopia February 18 - The Duke of Guise is assassinated while besieging Orléans March - Peace of Amboise. ... Helmeted Athena, of the Velletri type. ... The Diana of Versailles, a Roman copy of a sculpture by Leochares (Louvre Museum) In Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) , (genitive) ) was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. ...


When the contest of the bow begins, none of the suitors are able to string the bow, except of course Odysseus, who wins the contest. He then proceeds to kill all the suitors with help from Telemachus, Athena and two servants, Eumaeus the swineherd and Philoetios the cowherd. Odysseus has now shown himself in all his glory, and it is standard (in terms of a recognition scene) for all to recognize him and be happy. Penelope, however, cannot believe her husband has really returned (she fears that perhaps it is some god in disguise as Odysseus, as in the story of Alcmene), 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. That moment highlights their homophrosyne (like-mindedness). Helmeted Athena, of the Velletri type. ... In Greek mythology, Eumaeus, or Eumaios, was Odysseus swineherd and friend before he left for the Trojan War. ... In Greek mythology Alcmene, or Alkmênê (might of the moon) was the mother of Heracles. ... Odysseus and Euryclea, by Christian Gottlob Heyne In Greek mythology, Euryclea, or Eurýkleia was the wet-nurse of Odysseus. ... For the Italian political alliance see Olive Tree, and the color, olive (color). ...


In one story of the Epic Cycle, after Odysseus' death, she marries his son by Circe, Telegonus, with whom she was the mother of Italus. Telemachus also marries Circe when Penelope and Telemachus bring Odysseus' body to Circe's island. The Epic Cycle (Greek: Επικός Κύκλος) was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems that related the story of the Trojan War, which includes the Kypria, the Aithiopis, the Little Iliad, the Iliou persis (The Sack of Troy), the Nostoi (Returns), and the Telegony. ... Circe, a painting by John William Waterhouse. ... In Greek mythology, Telegonus (born afar) was the youngest son of Circe and Odysseus. ... In Roman mythology, Italus, son of Penelope and Telegonus, was the king of the Oenotrians or Sicels, who were the first inhabitants of Italy. ... Circe, a painting by John William Waterhouse. ...


Suitors

Penelope and the Suitors by John William Waterhouse (1912).
Penelope and the Suitors by John William Waterhouse (1912).

Some of Penelope's suitors were: Image File history File links JohnWilliamWaterhouse-PenelopeandtheSuitors(1912). ... Image File history File links JohnWilliamWaterhouse-PenelopeandtheSuitors(1912). ... John William Waterhouse. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

In Greek mythology, Agelaus, or Ageláos was a suitor of Penelope, killed by Odysseus. ... Amphimedon is a suitor of Penelope who gave a glancing blow to Telemachus with his spear before falling to him. ... In Greek mythology, Amphinomus, also Amphínomos (literally grazing all about), was the son of King Nisos and one of the suitors of Penelope that was killed by Odysseus. ... In Greek mythology, Antinous, son of Eupeithes, was one of the suitors of Penelope during the absence of her husband, Odysseus, at the Trojan war. ... A suitor of Penelope who was killed by Odysseus. ... There were two figures named Elatus or Élatos in Greek mythology. ... Eurynomos is a demon in Greek mythology, sometimes identified with Hades (or Orcus in Roman mythology) and sometimes said to be a servitor of Hecate. ... Eurymachus, or Eurýmakhos, an Ithacan nobleman and the son of Polybus, was one of the leading suitors of Penelope in The Odyssey. ... Peisander of Camirus in Rhodes, Greek epic poet, supposed to have flourished about 640 B.C. He was the author of a Heracleia, in which he introduced a new conception of the hero Hercules costume, the lions skin and club taking the place of the older armor of the heroic... Polybus was a famous physician. ...

Location

The 108 suitors' homelands and strength are:

  • 52 from Dulichum (with 6 serving-men)
  • 24 from Same
  • 12 from Ithaca (with 2 servants)

Same is a location in Ancient Greece, which may be the same as modern Samos. ... Localization of Ithaca The big island in the center is Kefalonia. ...

Notes

  1. ^ It happens to be close to the Greek word for duck.
  2. ^ For the mythology of weaving, see Weaving (mythology).
  3. ^ J.W. Mackail, Penelope in the Odyssey (Cambridge University Press, 1916, epitomizes the traditional view of the dutiful Penelope.
  4. ^ Marylin A. Katz, Meaning and Indeterminacy in the Odyssey (Princeton University Press, 1991)
  5. ^ Odysseus spends ten years in the war of Troy and ten years in his homecoming.
  6. ^ Many modern readers have commented that this is not an action entertained by an ordinary Hellenic wife, but the contemplated act of a goddess: an epiphany.
  7. ^ Bernard Knox, introduction to Robert Fagles' The Odyssey (1996:55).

The theme of weaving in mythology is ancient, and its lost mythic lore probably accompanied the early spread of this mysterious art. ... Epiphany may refer to. ... Robert Fagles is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. ...

References

  • del Giorgio, J.F. The Oldest Europeans A.J.Place (2006). It underlines Penelope's power and her role in a cataclysmic time.
  • Finley, M.I. The World of Odysseus, London. Pelican Books (1962)
  • Homer, Odyssey
  • Seth L. Schein, ed. (1996). Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretive Essays. Princeton University Press. 0-691-04440-6. 
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood retells the story of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope.

The Penelopiad is a fiction novel by Margaret Atwood in which Penelope (the wife of Odysseus and cousin to Helen of Troy) tells about the time her husband was away, how she kept suitors at bay and about his return after 20 years of absence. ... Margaret Eleanor Atwood, OC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian writer. ... Head of Odysseus from a Greek 2nd century BC marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus, found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, less commonly, Ulysses), pronounced , is the main hero in Homers epic poem, the Odyssey, and plays a key...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Penelope (mythology)
  • Odyssey in English on the Perseus Project
  • Penelope Unravelling Her Web - a painting of Penelope by Joseph Wright of Derby (from the Getty Museum)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (686 words)
Penelope was characterized as a girly-girl, very feminine in stereotyped ways — flirty, concerned with her make-up, that sort of stuff.
Only Penelope and the villain, Dick Dastardly, really stood out, so they both got their own shows while the one they came from went out of production after a single season.
In this show, Penelope was an heiress, and her legal guardian, Sylvester Sneekly, was constantly plotting to steal her fortune — which he couldn't do as long as she was alive.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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