Penelope- the queen


Penelope the queen is one of the most influential female figures in literature. She’s often remembered for her loyalty to Odysseus, who was off fighting for 10 years, and her mother Hera. 

This is based on the epic simile, the reader should envision Penelope as a queen who is the reigning authority in her domain.

Penelope was constantly faced with suitors that were vying for her hand in marriage. While these suitors would try to seduce Penelope, she always rebuffed them because she knew that she wanted to wait for Odysseus.

Instead of feeling sorry for herself every day, she had the maids make shrouds out of their weaving so they could at least be accomplished even though they weren’t being courted, or married.

Here are some points discussed about Penelope the queen-

1. Penelope is a strong character.

She can still think clearly when faced with multiple suitors. During the Odyssey, there were 27 suitors trying to marry her. 

While most girls would become stuck up or angry, Penelope was able to remain calm and carry on with the housework. 

Eventually she’d be forced to pick someone, but she made sure that her son was well taken care of until his father returned. 

She was able to plan very well because of her experience with Odysseus, who went through many hardships like Penelope did. For example, Odysseus’s ship got wrecked after he got home and passed away (Odyssey 9).

2. Penelope is very loyal.

Penelope was so loyal to Odysseus because she knew that they were meant to be together. She waited for ten years for his return, and when he returned she was overjoyed.

She helped him get rid of the many suitors that were trying to woo her. The Odyssey tells us that she removed the bowstring from Odysseus’s bow because no man could string it; only Odysseus could do it (Odyssey 24).

3. Penelope is a great mother, wife, and friend.

She would do anything to make Odysseus proud of her, this shows how much she loved him (Odyssey 2). Penelope was a great mother to Odysseus’s son Telemachus. She made sure that he was taken care of as well as possible. 

The Odyssey tells us that Penelope would let the suitors into the house during the daytime, but she would always have Telemachus watching from a hidden place. 

When Odysseus came home, he’d kill each visitor by sword or bowstring (Odyssey 9). She’s a strong woman who knows what she wants- marriage to Odysseus

While other girls her age would probably be nice, Penelope still stuck up for herself and refused to marry anyone else.

4. Penelope was very successful as a queen.

Penelope’s kingdom was peaceful and well managed. She kept the suitors occupied with different games and competitions. 

During the Odyssey, we’re told that Penelope set up a contest where the suitors had to string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axe handles. 

When all of the suitors failed, she then said that she would marry whomever could do it (Odyssey 24). The suitors went crazy trying to string the bow, but Odysseus returned and strung it right away- proving who he was (Odyssey 26).

5. Penelope grows throughout the story.

Penelope started out as a girl of few words. She didn’t have much experience with dealing with suitors, so she always fell back on the maids for advice. 

Towards the end of the Odyssey, Penelope is more confident and bold. She’s not afraid to speak her mind anymore. She’s accepted the fact that Odysseus is dead, but still wants to make sure that Telemachus will be safe after she dies. That’s why she had him disguise himself as an old beggar to see if he could pass through all of the suitors without getting killed (Odyssey 24).

6. Penelope was able to handle pretty much everything thrown her way.

The Odyssey tells us that Penelope almost died when Ulysses got home, but Odysseus saved her. Later on in the story, she was able to raise 22 children, which is an amazing feat for a woman of her age. 

After Odysseus died, she still continued on with her daily rituals. She waited every day to hear if Odysseus was coming home or not before doing anything else. When he did return, she was overjoyed and they were reunited (Odyssey 27). Truly Penelope had the heart of a true queen

7. Penelope is a hero

Penelope waited for Odysseus, who was killed in the Trojan war, for 20 years. She never gave up on him even when he wasn’t alive anymore. 

If that isn’t heroic, then I don’t know what is. Penelope was able to raise her kids on her own, and she did a great job at it too. She also raised the kid of one of her husband’s employees without him knowing who his father really was.

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