• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Match Made in Heaven.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Match Made in Heaven Nan Ni "There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." Homer That bard created such two people in The Odyssey, their contrasting roles concealing the similarities in their natures. Both Penelope and Odysseus dealt with "a world of pain", but in very different settings: she wastes away at home, while he faces a myriad of adventures and sufferings around the Greek world. Although Homer assigned them dissimilar parts in his epic, however, his story still reveals striking resemblances between Odysseus and Penelope: they possess positive qualities and several faults in common as well as one major dissimilarity, all of which are the secrets to their long and blissful marriage and help them to see "eye to eye." One can easily see why Ithaca's king and queen remained happily united for so many years when looking at the shining characteristics they share. Both are wondrously loyal, even when faced with an abundance of temptations. Over the course of twenty years, Odysseus knew countless lovely women, from Nausicaa to Calypso, yet he remained determined to return to his wife. ...read more.

Middle

her own longing for attention - after all, Penelope is a woman whose husband has been gone for more than twenty years. She succeeds in accomplishing both: After she descends the stairs, "the suitor's knees went slack, their hearts dissolved with lust" and they showered her with "gorgeous presents." Homer seems to reiterate this fact that Penelope enjoyed the courtship of so many fine, young princes, even though her suitors were a burden and a plague to the household. Book 19 includes a passage describing a dream Penelope had, in which an eagle, which later reveals himself as Odysseus, destroys her flock of geese by "snap[ping] their necks and kill[ing] them one and all", the geese obviously symbolizing her gaggle of suitors. Penelope is comforted by this dream and seems to hope that it foreshadows future events, but also acknowledged that she "wept and wailed" and was "sobbing, stricken" at the slaying of her geese. Hence, though Penelope does remain honorable and is faithful to Odysseus during the twenty years when they were apart, she still, perhaps subconsciously, fostered a desire to do otherwise. However, Penelope's slight interest in her suitors may not be a have been such a bad thing; on the contrary, it could have inspired her to forgive her husband more easily if he ever told her of his dalliances with goddesses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Penelope didn't put her teenage son in his proper place, opting instead to meekly withdraw to her own quarters. Had Telemachus spoken similar words to his father, Odysseus's ego certainly wouldn't have allowed such a lack of reverence, and Telemachus most likely would have received some tough love at his hands. Pride is the only significant distinction between the characters of Odysseus and Penelope, but it is a meaningful difference as well. If Ithaca's queen was as self-righteous as its king, one could expect many royal family squabbles instead of the marital bliss they are famed for. Penelope is modest and demure, attributes that are absolutely necessary in order to live in harmony with a proud man like Odysseus. In conclusion, Odysseus and Penelope are alike in almost every respect, with their good qualities holding them together, their faults leading to understanding, and their one dissimilarity producing compatibility. That is why they were able to build the strongest kind of love, the love described in I Corinthians 13:7 : " Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." The Odyssey itself is a testimony to this kind of bond between husband and wife, a bond forged by harmonious natures, able to survive through twenty years of separation, temptation, and suffering. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. What impression is given of Aeneas as a man and as a leader in ...

    Aeneas also gives them hope and faith, "A god will also give an end to these things". Aeneas provides his men with the hope that he himself did not possess in the first speech. This ability is an important quality of leadership that Virgil portrays through Aeneas's second speech.

  2. The Effects of Pride and Power

    she leaves at such an important time, and Oedipus says, "the Queen alone is perhaps ashamed, to think of my low origin"(1023-1024), Oedipus fails to see that his wife is trying to save him from downfall by staying away from the truth, but all that Oedipus sees is his pride

  1. Whom do you admire more as a leader – Odysseus in the Odyssey or ...

    his men whom "held me back and calmed me down", not his composure. Similarly, it is the words of Athene, in Book 13 and onwards, that maintain his composure in the palace just as much as his endurance ("endure your aggravation" O.13.309, "You really are incorrigible!...go to sleep" O.20.45).

  2. What qualities does Odysseus show in the episodes he relates in Books 9-12? Does ...

    This is because Odysseus doesn't meet anyone worth or capable of winning over with his rhetoric. Those he meets tend to be weird creatures and savages, except for Aeolus but he is so friendly he doesn't need winning over except for the second visit when he can't be won over due to his decision that Odysseus must be cursed).

  1. Is Telemachus the last moral outpost in a sea of corruption in Ithaca?

    This isn't so in the context that Homer's Odyssey was set. Telemachus has come from a noble background and I expect that throughout his upbringing a lot of evidence was placed on family honor, reputation, respect and morality. He evidently aims to uphold these values throughout the first few books of The Odyssey.

  2. 5 people you meet in heaven

    Now that Eddie learned these things about his father, he understands more, he can finally forgive his father. Then he gets to see his wife Marguerite, they had met at seventeen years old. Eddie knew right then that was the woman he was going to marry.

  1. How are the figures of Telemachus, Odysseus and Athena presented in Books I to ...

    - to show that there is something beyond the legendary warrior), an idea that is continued when Odysseus begins to fear that he will never escape Calypso's cave (Cook, Book V, l.297 "his knees gave way and his own heart went slack").

  2. Odysseus. The first time we meet Odysseus is in book five, previous to this ...

    With Odysseus' physical strengths he could choose to be fierce and controlling, but instead he chooses to be kind and fair. His emotional stability creates a likable heroic character. The first time we meet Odysseus is in book five, previous to this we have only heard about him, from the gods, his family, and his friends.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work