Guile In Odysseus

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Without the women in the Odyssey, Odysseus would’ve gotten nowhere. They were strong emotionally and physically. They were deceptive and cunning in the things they did. They also were guile not only in words but in actions too. The women in the Odyssey were strong, independent women who played a huge role in protecting Odysseus. The women in the Odyssey could handle a lot of emotional pain and grief, while also being very tough. Penelope waited 20 years for her husband Odysseus to come home, refusing and holding off any suitor wanting her hand in marriage. She handled a lot of emotional agony and anguish, sometimes thinking her husband was never going to come home. She had to be physically strong, working day and night to create a shroud and …show more content…
Penelope was very sought over by suitors, not only because of her beauty but mostly because of her status and money. Though she had many to choose from, there was only one she wanted, Odysseus. So, she set up a challenge for the suitors. Homer wrote that Penelope told the suitors, “Here is my lord Odysseus’ hunting bow. Bend and string it if you can. Who sends an arrow through iron axe-helve sockets, twelve in a line? I join my life with his, and leave this place, my home, my rich and beautiful bridal house, forever to be remembered, though I dream it only.” (Language 946) Penelope knew there was only one man who could string that bow, and that was Odysseus. Odysseus was the only one who had the strength to string that bow, and even if someone did manage to string it, they would still have to shoot the twelve axe heads which requires immense accuracy. This was Penelope’s first example of guile, the second is the weaving and unweaving of the shroud. The third example is when Odysseus returns home to Ithaca but is dressed as a beggar, and to make sure that he is really Odysseus, Penelope gives him the bed challenge. Which consists of her asking her female servant Eurycleia to retrieve their bed and move it for him. When Odysseus responds in outrage about how there is no way she could move their bed, because he built it himself into the tree, Penelope knows that he is really her husband. The women in the Odyssey were guile in ways others couldn’t be, and had to think on their