Prudence; This essay deals with the concept of prudence and how it is used and where in Homer's epic poem the "Odyssey."

Essay by JordanDavis February 2004

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Penelope was clever to question the disposition of Odysseus as for she has seen frauds prior to this point in time and could not be sure of Odysseus because of his twenty-year absence. Caution was her main priority in deciding whether Odysseus had truly come home after her longing for his company and the devastating situations she was held under while he was gone. It seemed fanatical that while sleeping this all took place, and when waking all her problems were suddenly gone and her beloved lord was in his rightful place where he belonged and not dead upon some unknown island on the sea. A concern would have rose with someone else besides Penelope because this all appeared too good to be true. One moment she was facing a problematic change and having to leave her home with one of the suitors, and after sleeping and waken, it changed to the exact opposite results and what suited her deepest desires, remembrances, and dreams.

To this, a test was required of Odysseus to tell Penelope of their mutual secret that they held with only each other. This test was exceedingly appropriate to show the real upshot or if this man was a fraud, or even if this whole situation was simply a dream. Penelope would not have needed to test him if she was sure of his presence, but it was impossible for her to have known for exact guarantee or whether to have doubt of his character. Hesitation was the appropriate action because getting too optimistic and confident at this point could lead to other things such as another heartbreaking misperception or possibly a misfortunate outcome such as him being a hoax. If Penelope had run up to him at first sight and embraced him, it could all...