Essay 2-3 pages
Consider the introduction of Penelope’s response to Phemius, and Telemachus’ words to her on pages 88-89 (specifically lines 409-414):
go back to your quarters. Tend to your own tasks,
the distaff and the loom, and keep the women
working hard as well. As for giving orders,
men will see to that, but I most of all:
I hold the reins of power in this house.
Is this the behavior Athena desired of Telemachus when she says, “Reach down deep in your heart and soul/ For a way to kill these suitors in your house,/ By stealth or in open combat./ You must not cling to your boyhood any longer–/ It’s time you were a man” (page 87, lines 338-341)? Is this the way men are expected to speak to women? The way sons speak to their mothers? How can you explain Telemachus’ tone?