A proud and opulently dressed woman with a head of hair so long she drapes over her shoulders; she has large, dark eyes and an eloquent smile. Her expression is one of calmness, serenity, and intelligence.
She may be sitting in the shade of a fig tree or reclining upon a bed of clothes she once spun herself. Her feet rest atop beautifully embroidered sandals; jewels adorn her chariot-woven robe, while her fingers are covered in rings onyx and crystal.
Penelope’s description is accurate, given that she is a woman with a head of hair that drapes over her shoulders and large, dark eyes.
She has an intelligent and serene expression. Penelope sits in the shade of a fig tree; therefore, she is probably a queen.
The description of Penelope’s hands and feet is similar to her description in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “finely-painted fingernails” and “dainty painted feet”. Her ringed hands might indicate that she has been married long enough to have many rings made for herself, like the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream who are described as “soone wedded they were”
Here are some points discussed about Based on the epic simile, the reader should envision penelope as a queen who is-
1. Penelope is a queen.
Penelope was married long enough to have many rings made for herself (SG). The narrator is comparing Penelope with goddesses and other women who are notable for their grace, beauty, or ability (SG).
Penelope does not have any royal attire or royal jewelry on her body that could be compared to a “golden girdle” or some other piece of valuable jewelry (SYN. Penelope appears in the shade of a fig tree and she is probably sitting in it (SYN) since she does not work outside of her home.
2. Penelope is serene.
The narrator describes Penelope as one who is “calm and serene” (SG). This word means that Penelope has an intellect to match her beauty and wisdom (SG).
Her serenity can be a metaphor for the perfection of her character and intellect because the word “serene” refers to something that is quiet or tranquil.
The word also has a negative connotation, but with playwrights, it usually means good cheer, courtesy, civility, good temper, gracefulness and refinement. Finally, it means having confidence in oneself; being self-assured.
The narrator describes Penelope as serene because she has confidence in herself and is self-assured.
3. Penelope is a queen who is proud and opulently dressed, but not ostentatious (SG).
The narrator describes Penelope as one who wears a “chariot woven robe” (SYN) and her dark eyes are described as large and eloquent, which means that she has beautiful eyes that can communicate with others (SG).
The narrator also says that Penelope’s smile is described as an “eloquent smile” (SG), which means it creates an emotional reaction of happiness that goes beyond a physical appearance to generate a sense of well being.
The hints that Penelope is proud are given through the description of her clothing and the beauty of her smile.
4. Penelope has a long head of hair.
The narrator describes Penelope’s hair as being “long” (SG), with large eyes, dark and deep, as if they were lodes of night (SYN).
The use of “long” (SG) also indicates that Penelope is a noble woman who can afford extravagant things such as clothes she spins herself (SYN). The writer uses proverbs to describe the woman’s hair:
“A long head of wool / A lode of night-dark eyes” (SYN), which means there is wealth in them. The use of “long” also means that the narrator is comparing penelope to other statues or rich women.
5. Penelope is described as an attractive woman with a serene expression.
The narrator describes Penelope as one who has “adorably painted fingernails” (SG), and her eyes are described as “large and dark, like lodes of night-blackish eyes” (SYN). The narrator also tells us that Penelope has fine teeth like pearls, a small but beautiful mouth.
The narrator claims that the queen’s hands are so delicate that they are covered in rings, onyx and crystal (SYN). Penelope’s feet are described as dainty, which means they are small and well formed (SYN). The narrator describes these parts of her anatomy using mostly positive words.
6. Penelope’s appearance is compared to a statue or other figures for women.
The narrator compares Penelope to a statue of Aphrodite (SG) and Penelope is also compared to other statues of women from the Greek epic poems (SYN).
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Penelope is also compared to famous women from Greek mythology such as Helen, Clytemnestra, Medea, Electra and Clymene (SYN).