Greek and Roman Mythology > Penelope

Penelope

Penelope is another of those mythic heroines whose beauties were
rather those of character and conduct than of person. She was
the daughter of Icarius, a Spartan prince. Ulysses, king of
Ithaca, sought her in marriage, and won her over all competitors.
When the moment came for the bride to leave her father's house,
Icarius, unable to bear the thoughts of parting with his
daughter, tried to persuade her to remain with him, and not
accompany her husband to Ithaca. Ulysses gave Penelope her
choice, to stay or go with him. Penelope made no reply, but
dropped her veil over her face. Icarius urged her no further,
but when she was gone erected a statue to Modesty on the spot
where they parted.

Ulysses and Penelope had not enjoyed their union more than a year
when it was interrupted by the events which called Ulysses to the
Trojan war. During his long absence, and when it was doubtful
whether he still lived, and highly improbable that he would ever
return, Penelope was importuned by numerous suitors, from whom
there seemed no refuge but in choosing one of them for her
husband. Penelope, however, employed every art to gain time,
still hopping for Ulysses' return. One of her arts of delay was
engaging in the preparation of a robe for the funeral canopy of
Laertes, her husband's father. She pledged herself to make her
choice among the suitors when the robe was finished. During the
day she worked at the robe, but in the night she undid the work
of the day. This is the famous Penelope's web, which is used as
a proverbial expression for anything which is perpetually doing
but never done. The rest of Penelope's history will be told when
we give an account of her husband's adventures.




Myth Collection


Achelous and HerculesAcis and GalateaAdmetus and Alcestis
Agamemnon, Orestes, and ElectraAmphionAmphitrite
AntigoneApollo and DaphneApollo and Hyacinthus
AriadneArionAristaeus
Aurora and TithonusBacchusBaucis and Philemon
CadmusCastor and PolluxCephalus and Procris
Ceyx and HalcyoneClytieCupid and Psyche
DaedalusDiana and ActaeonDryope
Echo and NarcissusEndymionErisichthon
Glaucus and ScyllaHebe and GanymedeHercules
IbycusIo and CallistoLeucothea dnd Palaemon
LinusMarsyasMedea and Aeson
MelampusMenelaus and HelenMidas
Minerva and ArachneMonstersMusaeus
NeptuneNereus and DorisNiobe
Nisus and ScyllaOrionOrpheus and Eurydice
Pegasus and the ChimaeraPenelopePerseus and Medusa
PhaetonPluto and ProsperinePrometheus and Pandora
PygmalionPyramus and ThisbePython
RhoecusSapphoSimonides
ThamyrisThe Calydonian HuntThe Camenae
The CentaursThe Golden FleeceThe Graeae and Gorgons
The Griffin, or GryphonThe IliadThe Myrmidons
The PygmiesThe Rural DeitiesThe Sphinx
The Trojan WarThe Water DeitiesThe Winds
TheseusThetisVenus and Adonis
Vertumnus and Pomona

 
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