As our Classic Love Stories Series continues, we will be telling the story of Oddyseus and Penelope; two lovers that epitomize ‘enduring love’. They both fought through thick and thin to get back with each other after been initially broken apart by war. We believe their story can inspire young lovers out there to remain steadfast with the one whom they love in spite of the difficulties that may arise.
As we look forward to Valentine’s Day in less than a month, the story of Oddyseus and Penelope couldn’t have come at a better time to tell us that true love is worth waiting for. Enjoy the story below, as critically explained by lenacorazon.com
LOVE STORY OF ODDYSEUS AND PENELOPE.
Odysseus has spent 20 years trying to return to his home in Ithaka after the end of the Trojan War. Along the way he manages to offend both gods and mortals (including Poseidon, who is enraged at the way Odysseus taunts and provokes the Cyclops), but through his wily intelligence, and the guidance of “grey-eyed Athena,” he manages to finally return home.
There he discovers that his home has been overrun by 108 men attempting to win Penelope’s hand in marriage, as they believe him to be dead. Odysseus and his son, Telemachus, slay the suitors, and finally, the wandering warrior can be reunited with his wife.
The reunion is not very simple as one would expect. Penelope is shrewd, and she challenges Odysseus to prove his identity. In response he describes how he built their marriage bed with his own hands, fashioning it around an ancient olive tree:
“An old trunk of olive
grew like a pillar on the building plot,
and I laid out our bedroom round that tree,
lined up the stone walls, built the walls and roof,
gave it a doorway and smooth-fitting doors.
Then I lopped off the silvery leaves and branches,
hewed and shaped that stump from the roots up
into a bedpost, drilled it, let it serve
as a model for the rest. I planed them all,
inlaid them all with silver, gold and ivory,
and stretched a bed between — a pliant web
of oxhide thongs dyed crimson.
There’s our sign!
I know no more. Could someone else’s hand
Have sawn that trunk and dragged the frame away?”
Penelope kisses Odysseus at last when he offers this sign, and in response, he weeps:
“Now from his breast into his eyes the ache
of longing mounted, and he wept at last,
his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms,
as the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer
spent in rough water where his ship went down
under Poseidon’s blows, gale winds and tons of sea…
she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,
her white arms round him pressed as though forever.”
You have to appreciate Penelope’s fortitude, intelligence, and strength. Although Penelope didn’t have to brave the retribution of gods and men for twenty years, she had to wait for twenty years, rearing a son, evading the suitors, and holding onto the belief that Odysseus lived.
While Penelope might have been confined, she isn’t completely helpless. She uses her own techniques to thwart the suitors and to undermine their advances. For example, she promises to choose a husband from among them only after she weaves a burial shroud for her father-in-law; however, she secretly undoes part of the shroud every few nights in an attempt to delay her decision and to buy herself more time.
Penelope is a remarkable character and the perfect mate for a hero like Odysseus, one that a lot of young lovers of today should emulate.
According to Homer, the couple regard each other as lovers and partners; Homer further makes it clear that they relate with one another as equals, and by the end, they are left in marital bliss.
This is another aspect of their love we should imbibe. If Oddyseus and Penelope could win against all odds, you can do same too.
You’ve got a beautiful love story you would like to share with us at GLOWVILLE? You would love to inspire young lovers out there with your beautiful story? Please send us a mail at email@example.com and let’s help you share. Thank you.