Another Penelope: Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad Cover Image

Another Penelope: Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad
Another Penelope: Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad

Author(s): Monica Bottez
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: epic; quest; hybrid genre; indeterminacy; postmodernism

Summary/Abstract: The paper sets out to present The Penelopiad as a rewriting of Homer’s Odyssey with Penelope as the narrator. Using the Homeric intertext as well as other Greek sources collected by Robert Graves in his book The Greek Myths and Tennyson’s “Ulysses”, it evidences the additions that the new narrative perspective has stimulated Atwood to imagine. The Penelopiad is read as a propounding a new genre, the female epic or romance where the heroine’s quest is analysed on analogy with the traditional romance pattern. The paper dwells on the contradictory and parody-like versions of events and characters embedded in the text: has Penelope been the perfect patient devoted wife, a cunning lustful pretender, or the High Priestess of an Artemis cult? In conclusion, the reader can never know the truth, being tied up in the utterly puzzling indeterminacy of meaning specific to postmodernism.

  • Issue Year: II/2012
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 49-56
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: English