The most important woman in this book is Penelope, mainly because of her guile and intelligence. Her guile and intelligence make her important because they put her at a much-needed mental advantage over the suitors. An example of her guile and intelligence is the instance of the shroud she wove for Laertes. When Antinoos is talking to Telemakhos about how Telemakhos's mother, Penelope, tricked the suitors by weaving and unweaving the shroud to avoid marrying a suitor, he says, "We have men's hearts; she touched them; we agreed. So every day she wove on the great loom- but every night by torchlight she unwove it; and so for three years she deceived the Akhains."(2:111-114). As a result of doing this, Penelope delayed having to marry one of the suitors for almost four years. It gave Odysseus more time to get home. Another example of Penelope's guile and intelligence is when she tested Odysseus when she was first reunited with him. She tested him by telling Eurykleia to make up his bed and to put it outside the bedchamber. In this quote Penelope is telling Eurykleia to move Odysseus' bed. "'Make up his bed for him, Eurykleia. Place it outside the bedchamber my lord made with his own hands. Pile the big bed with fleeces, rugs, and sheets of the purest linen.'" (23:202-205). Upon hearing this, Odysseus claimed that his great bed couldn't be moved because it was connected to a living tree. He knew this, because he had built it many years before. Then... [continues]
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