Penelope "The Faithful"

By: Taylor Lebsock


Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, waited for her husband to return home for 20 years. She had remained faithful the whole time he was gone, as he did not. Because Penelope put all of her effort into staying faithful, she is often seen as a symbol of fidelity. Athena tried to get Penelope to remarry. Penelope said as soon as she finished weaving, she would do it and every night she would undo some of her weaving so she did not have to remarry. There were 108 suitors trying to marry Penelope.

More Information

When Odysseus returned, he was disguised as an old beggar because he doesn't want anyone to know he is back yet. Penelope knew that only Odysseus could pass in every test of masculine skill, therefore she arranged a test between the suitors and disguised Odysseus to prove that it was him and she would marry him. Odysseus passes the test and even though Penelope suspected it was him, she still was in shock that he returned, thinking it was maybe a God in disguise. A servant was ordered to move their bed into the bridal chamber, but Odysseus said that it could not be done because he made it himself. Penelope realizes and accepts that it truly is her husband. Penelope reaches arete because she used all of her might to keep herself faithful even through struggles of people trying to get her. She got what she worked for and stayed with her original husband.