Monday, April 9, 2018

"The wily wife: why Homer's patient, faithful Penelope is more cunning than Odysseus"

Madeline Miller:

She tells them that she will choose a new husband once she has finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law. Every day she works on it, and every night she secretly unravels what she has done, knowing that the men won’t have any idea how long it takes to weave a shroud, nor be able to judge how much progress is being made. And so, for three years, she holds them off.


Homer has spent the whole poem honouring his hero’s wiles, but it is his heroine who plays the final trick.