In "The Odyssey," what are Penelope's feelings and personal reflections when Odysseus was at sea and when he returned?I'm trying to write a letter and capture her voice. 

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Penelope was very melancholy while Odysseus was away. She kind of moped around, weaving on her loom, trying to raise Telemachus. She desired for her son to know the magnificent man she took as her husband. She leaned on Odysseus' mother, but often times the woman's depressed spirit brought her down even more. She tried to be a gracious queen to the suitors who came calling with gifts. She showed them hospitality and was very patient with this brutish men who had overrun her home. They ate her husband's food and drank his wine. They were unfaithful to Penelope before ever even having her with Penelope's unfaithful maidservants. This made her desire to wait for Odysseus even stronger. She slept in the women's quarters, not in her marriage bed while she awaited Odysseus' return because she only wanted to share the bed with her beloved. She was faithful to Odysseus for twenty years, even in the face of eligible suitors, she never lost faith that Odysseus would return. She waited until she could wait no more, until Telemachus started to grow facial hair. Upon Odysseus' return when he came disguised as a beggar, Penelope offered him a try at her impossible test of the great bow, which showed the suitors (and Odysseus) she cared not for the status of whomever her new husband might be. When Odysseus finally revealed himself, she was careful not to immediately believe him because men had tried to fool her before, which showed even further her undying faithfulness for Odysseus.