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The Penelopiad

  • Date Submitted: 05/23/2011 07:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.5 
  • Words: 702
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As my topic I choose the comparison of Margret Atwood’s story The Penelopiad, and its view of the killing of the maids and the one from the Odyssey. I choose this topic because it is a true conflict. Odysseus comes back after 20 years to reclaim his rightful place as king and he finds that his house is turned upside down. He wants revenge and he gets it in the most disgusting, heart wrenching way possible. On the other hand Penelope is dealing with the backlash of this rage and the guilt she’s feeling because of what was done to the people she was put in charge of and who were only following her orders.

In the Penelopiad, Penelope has just awoken the next day after the mayhem with the suitors and with the Maids. At first she can’t remember anything but when her memory returns she calls Eurycleia. She has learned that Odysseus is back; the suitors are dead, and some choice maids as well. As she hears the story from Eurycleia, one of her faithful servants, she asks which of the maids were killed and which weren’t. As Eurycleia explains who has been killed and Penelope becomes very emotional. While all of this is coming to her she thinking ‘Oh My Goodness What Have I Done”, because the maids that were killed were the maids that she trusted with all her dirty work. Those were the maids that she sent to be her eyes and ears in the palace and to figure out what the suitors were about. They were raped and abused because of what she asked them to do and then they were killed and forced to clean up the dead bodies of the suitors because of her orders. She feels guilty and decided that there is nothing that she can do but sulk.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus comes home to find that the suitors that want his wife have overrun his house. They have beat Telemachus, abused his servants and have mistreated him as a poor man. Once Odysseus shows his true self he then confronts the suitors about what have they been doing to his house and wife. The suitors don’t believe Odysseus...


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