How Does Odysseus Convince Penelope He Is Odysseus?

When Odysseus returns to his kingdom, he disguises himself as a beggar in order to take revenge on the suitors. He is able to observe the loyalty of his people without giving away his identity. Penelope, who notices the resemblance between the beggar and her possibly deceased husband, proposes a challenge: the suitor who can string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through a dozen axe heads will be the one she marries. Odysseus is the only one who can complete the task, and he does so by killing the suitor Antinous and revealing his identity. With the help of Telemachus, Eumaeus, and Philoitios, Odysseus leads the massacre of the suitors, with Athena’s assistance at the end. Penelope still cannot be certain that the beggar is her husband, so she creates one last test. She orders her slave Eurycleia to move the bed in the master bedroom, and Odysseus objects, claiming that it cannot be moved. This shows his intimate knowledge of the household, as only he would know that one of its legs is a living olive tree, since he built it himself. Penelope is not taking any chances and is looking for ways to confirm her husband’s identity. After passing the test, Penelope can be sure that it is truly Odysseus and can finally be at peace. With her endurance and craft, she has earned this moment.


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