Penelope is a fairly strong and round character in Homer's work. I think that the most overwhelming characteristic she possesses is fidelity. Simply put, she remains loyal to her husband. While it has been an absence of over 20 years, she does not take another husband in recognition of her original and true partner. She is a strong woman, as Homer depicts her as not excessively maudlin about the past relationship and her husband's absence. Rather, she is focused on ensuring that Telemachus is strong enough to be his own adult, and very aware of how others might perceive her. In the scene with all of the suitors, she knows that this "visitor" is unique and distinctive and mentions the bed in order to reveal the truth. The elements of truth, loyalty, and care are the attributes that emerge the most from Penelope through Homer's description.