Ulysses has at last indeed come home again, and has killed the suitors who were giving so much trouble in his house, eating up his estate and ill-treating his son. She told him how much she had had to bear in seeing the house filled with a crowd of wicked suitors who had killed so many sheep and oxen on her account, and had drunk so many casks of wine. Beginning with this I hewed out my bed, till I had finished it, inlaying it with gold and silver and ivory, and I stretched on it a thong of ox-hide, bright with purple. The story of how the suitors were killed has gotten out. They had a wonderful memorial for him, and the people of Ithaca celebrated their beloved king. Not one soldier would you have seen dry-eyed, the Muses' song so pierced us to the heart.
He has just killed all of the noble young men of Ithaca—their parents will surely be greatly distressed. No other woman could bear to keep away from her husband when he had come back to her after twenty years of absence, and after having gone through so much; but your heart always was as hard as a stone. Analysis Although she seems to suspect that the visitor might be her husband, it is not surprising that Penelope is cautious. He began with his victory over the Cicons, and how he thence reached the fertile land of the Lotus-eaters. For whoso has slain but one man in a land, even though it be a man that leaves not many behind to avenge him, he goes into exile, and leaves his kindred and his native land; but we have slain those who were the very stay of the city, far the noblest of the youths of Ithaca. As he listens, she asks Eurycleia to move the bedstead out of the couple's chamber and spread it with blankets.
But now let us go to bed, that we may lie down and enjoy the blessed boon of sleep. Some critics suggest that the queen's hesitance is feigned, that she knows the visitor is her husband, and that she is simply being coy, perhaps to impress him with her prudence. In theory, she could strike down all the suitors herself, or ask Zeus to send lethal lighting bolts; instead, she allows the men to fight their own battle, but she protects Odysseus and his men form the arrows of the suitors: she exaggerates Odysseus's superiority and the suitors' clumsiness. Heaven put it in her heart to do wrong, and she gave no thought to that sin, which has been the source of all our sorrows. But as heaven has put it in your mind to speak of it, tell me about the task that lies before you. Odysseus told of what hard blows he had dealt to others and of what blows he had taken-all that story.
There is no man living, however strong and in his prime, who could move it from its place, for it is a marvellous curiosity which I made with my very own hands. Hearing him recount these details, she knows that this man must be her husband. To test the stranger, Penelope tells Eurycleia to bring him the bridal bed, but Odysseus cries out angrily that the bed cannot be moved because he built it around an olive tree. I am now going to the wooded lands out in the country to see my father who has so long been grieved on my account, and to yourself I will give these instructions, though you have little need of them. Then Minerva bethought her of another matter. Why dost thou mock me, who have a heart full of sorrow, to tell me this wild tale, and dost rouse me out of slumber, the sweet slumber that bound me and enfolded my eyelids? I would have you consider this matter. Meanwhile Eurynome and the nurse took torches and made the bed ready with soft coverlets; as soon as they had laid them, the nurse went back into the house to go to her rest, leaving the bed chamber woman Eurynome to show Ulysses and Penelope to bed by torch light.
A bush of long-leafed olive was growing within the court, strong and vigorous, and girth it was like a pillar. This they did, and armed themselves. He told her everything, and she was so delighted to listen that she never went to sleep till he had ended his whole story. They loved him, and could not bear to think that they had lost Odysseus. Archetypes The Caregiver- The Nurse was the caregiver in this book because she attended to Penelope and Telemachus for the twenty years Odysseus was gone. He was the stranger whom they all kept on treating so badly in the cloister.
Athena joins the fray disguised as Mentor to watch Odyssseus fight and eventually joins in to help him win. Literally and metaphorically, no one can move their wedding bed. Therefore go thou up to thy upper chamber with thy handmaids, and abide there. Verily thy heart shall have no joy of it, even as I myself have none; for Teiresias bade me go forth to full many cities of men, bearing a shapely oar in my hands, till I should come to men that know naught of the sea, and eat not of food mingled with salt; aye, and they know naught of ships with purple cheeks, or of shapely oars that serve as wings to ships. As for us, we will follow with thee eagerly, nor methinks shall we be wanting in valor, so far as we have strength. Everyone is killed except Phemius, the minstrel who sang for the suitors against his will, and Medon, the page. Yet verily in her case a god prompted her to work a shameful deed; nor until then did she lay up in her mind the thought of that folly, the grievous folly from which at the first sorrow came upon us too.
The Odyssey - Book Twenty-Three - Detailed Version Book Twenty-Three The mansion is purged with fire and brimstone. But Odysseus far away has lost his return to the land of Achaea, and is lost himself. As for us women, we sat terror-stricken in the innermost part of our well-built chambers, and the close-fitting doors shut us in, until the hour when thy son Telemachus called me from the hall, for his father had sent him forth to call me. This I marked while I washed his feet, and was fain to tell it to thee as well, but he laid his hand upon my mouth, and in the great wisdom of his heart would not suffer me to speak. The suitor Amphimedon, whom Agamemnon knew in life, gives a brief account of their ruin, pinning most of the blame on Penelope and her indecision.
And as when a man overlays silver with gold, a cunning workman whom Hephaestus and Pallas Athena have taught all manner of craft, and full of grace is the work he produces, even so the goddess shed grace on his head and shoulders, and forth from the bath he came, in form like unto the immortals. Book twenty-one begins with Penelope presenting the challenge to the suitors. Indeed they would have gone on indulging their sorrow till rosy-fingered morn appeared, had not Minerva determined otherwise, and held night back in the far west, while she would not suffer Dawn to leave Oceanus, nor to yoke the two steeds Lampus and Phaethon that bear her onward to break the day upon mankind. Odysseus and Telemachus slaughter the suitors like eagles attacking little birds. All this, he said, should I see fulfilled. List Penelope's characteristics from what you know about The Odyssey prior to reading Book 23.
You would have enjoyed it if you could have seen him standing there all bespattered with blood and filth, and looking just like a lion. Now that he has restored honor to his household, Odysseus must make amends to Poseidon. Agamemnon and Achilles argue over who had the better death. Homer depicts a woman who is very hopeful but careful. Epithets Hermes the Healer Pg. Whoever succeeds will win her hand in marriage.