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Penelope's Guest
Updated: 5/12/2020
Penelope's Guest
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Storyboard Text

  • Odysseus and Telemachus Hide the Weapons
  • "Now we must stow the weapons out of reach , my boy, /all the arms and armor- and when the suitors miss them/ and ask you questions, put them off with a winning story..." (XIX, 4-6)
  • Odysseus Questions Penelope After Talking to Suitors
  • "[But] My lady... wife of Laertes' son, Odysseus,/ will your questions of my family never end?" (XIX, 186-187)
  • "Young men, / my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more,/go slowly, keen as you are to marry me , until / I can finish off this web... so my weaving won't all fray and come to nothing." (XIX, 156-160)
  • Penelope Befriends and Tests "The Stranger" after mentioning Odysseus
  • "Now stranger, I think I'll test you, just to see/ if there in your house, with all his friends-in- arms,/ you actually entertained by husband as you say. Come, tell me what sort of clothing he wore, what cut of a man was he?/ What of the men who followed him in his train?" (XIX, 248-258)
  • "I can see him now./ King Odysseus.../he was wearing a heavy tywoolen cape, sea purple/ in double folds .....he kept a herald/ beside him, a man a little older than himself." (XIX, 258-280)
  • Odysseus plans for the downfall of the suitors that invade his home. He devises a plan which involves him stealing away their weapons as they sleep.
  • Penelope orders her Maids to Treat the Stranger Kindly since he Told her about Odysseus
  • Penelope finishes talking to the suitors, claiming she will not marry one of them until her quilt is finished for her father. "The Stranger" (Odysseus) then asks Penelope why she keeps questioning him and his origin.
  • Eurycleia Discovers the Real Identity of the Stranger
  • "Yes, yes! you are Odysseus-oh dear boy- I couldn't know you before...not till I touched the body of my king!" (XIX, 536-338)
  • "But now you know, / now that a god has flashed it in your mind,/ quiet! not a word to anyone in the house." (XIX, 548-550)
  • Penelope tests "the Stranger" to check up on his truthfulness. She soon realizes that "the Stranger" is being truthful once he correctly describes Odysseus.
  • The Contest of Penelope's Husbend
  • "Now, / mean to announce a contest with those axes ... Now I will bring them on as a trial for my suitors./The hand that can string the bow with the greatest ease, /that shoots an arrow clean through all twelve axes-/he's the man I follow..." (XIX, 643-651)
  • Penelope asks her maids to treat "the Stranger" with kindness, to wash him and keep him warm after he had told her what he knew about Odysseus in his falsehood stories with the truth Penelope desired.
  • "Now, stranger. much as I pitied you before,/ now in my house you will be my special friend, my honored guest." (XIX, 289-291)
  • Eurycleia discovers a scar on "the strangers" leg as she washes his feet. She recalls that Odysseus had the same scar in the same spot, after a brush up with a wild boar. She then comes to the conclusion that "the stranger" is actually Odysseus after spilling her washbasin. However Odysseus asks her not to say a word.
  • On her final straw with the suitors, Penelope proposes a contest for them to finally win her hand in marriage. "The Stranger" urges her to host her contest as soon as possible so Odysseus could return home.
  • "Royal wife of Laerrtes' son, Odysseus, now,/ don't put off this test in the halls a moment." (XIX, 655-656)
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