Why does Odysseus say to Penelope, "So then, here is your house, ask me anything else but please do not search out my birth, my land"?

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kirstens eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, one must remember that ancient Greece is quite different from today. In Ancient Greece and ancient literature, the woman, in her marriage to her husband, had to pledge unweilding loyalty and trust. To promise this is to follow all the directions of her husband. While Odysseus is away, Penolope cannot seek out information regarding his birth, his lands, his locations, his behavior, etc. She must pledge unending loyalty and trust. Period. That is the true mark of a good wife. To disobey was harshly punished, and if the female survived such disloyalty, she was ruined through banishment, as was her family.