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Penelope

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Penelope

Penelope devising tricks to deceive her suitors

Penelope was the faithful wife of Odysseus. She was originally a Spartan princess, daughter of King Icarius and cousin of Helen and Clytaemnestra. She was faithful to her husband for the 20 years he was at Troy and sailing home. She was mother of Telemachus, who eventually sailed away himself to fing his father. She is a reknowned figure of ingenuity and fidelity.

Suitors of PenelopeEdit

230px-Francesco Primaticcio 002

Penelope and Odysseus

Whilst her husband was away, many suitors arrivied to try and win the hand of the queen regent. However, she devised a clever plan to keep her suitors at bay. She announced she was weaving a burial shroud for her father-in-law, the former king Laertes, and that she would announce the winner after she finished.

Painting-penelope

Penelope weaving the shroud

However, every night she unravelled the shroud. This trick persisted for several months until she was betrayed by a serving woman. She then proclaims a contest; whoever could string Odysseus' bow and shoot an arrow through 12 axe shafts, knowing fully only Odysseus could perform such a feat. However, a beggar (Odysseus in disguise) manages this and reveals himself as her husband.

She is shocked into disbelief, thinking he may be a god in disguise (like how Zeus seduced Alcmene in the form of her husband) and tells her servants to move their marriage bed. This serves as a final test. Odysseus complains this is not possible as he made the bed, and it is made partly from a living olive tree. Penelope is finally convinced and they live a long and happy life on Ithaca.

FamilyEdit

Lelegid/Lacadaemonid Genealogy in Greek mythology
 
 
Poseidon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lelex
 
Cleocharia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Myles
 
Euhippe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clete
 
Eurotas
 
 
Zeus
 
 
 
Taygete
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lapithes of the Lapiths
 
Orsinome
 
 
 
 
 
Sparta
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lacedaemon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acrisius of Argos
 
Eurydice
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amyclas
 
Diomede
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zeus
 
Danaë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Philomela
 
Cynortas
 
 
 
Argalus
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perseus
 
Andromeda
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gorgophone
 
Oebalus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hippomenes
 
Tyndareus
 
 
 
Leda
 
 
 
Zeus
 
Polycaste
 
Icarius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Castor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Polydeuces
 
 
Penelope
 
Odysseus of Ithaca
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Agamemnon of Mycenae
 
Clytaemnestra
 
 
 
 
 
Helen
 
Menelaus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Telemachus
Preceded by:
Anticlea
Queen of Ithaca
Mythic
Succeeded by
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