Theme Of The Penelopiad

Decent Essays

Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad has many motifs, although the most significant motif is suffering, which is present throughout The Penelopiad through uninformed families, terrified suitors, and the agony of young girls. Even the narrator of the story, Penelope, has suffered ever since her childhood when she was thrown off a cliff. Since the beginning of The Penelopiad, each individual from Ithaca has ended up in pain. Penelope and Telemachus’ pain of not knowing the fate of Odysseus, a father, and a husband, the frightening death of the overstayed suitors, and the agony put on the maids, who are raped and hurt repeatedly by the awful suitors. All together, Margaret Atwood uses the motif of suffering to describe the unavoidable pain that the characters face throughout The Penelopiad, and how suffering correlates to the departure and return of Odysseus.
Atwood uses suffering to describe Penelope and Telemachus’ unknowing of the fate of Odysseus. Since the start of The Penelopiad, Atwood describes the suffering of Penelope, and the suffering of Telemachus through the absence of Odysseus. The grief began when Odysseus was sent to Troy, and after 20 years, still hasn't returned. Additional suffering is added to this pair, when Telemachus comes of age and starts looking for answers. “He’d gone in search of his father, since nobody else was prepared to lift a finger in that direction. He claimed his father would've been proud of him for showing some backbone about getting out

Get Access