Author: Jan Scholten
2.7.14 Stage 14, Erbium: the meeting with Penelope
Penelope and Odysseus meet, but Odysseus doesn't tell her who he is. Penelope talks about her troubles and says that she has promised the suitors that she will marry when she has finished the shroud for Laertes. She undid the thread every night from the part she had sewn in the daytime. But the suitors discovered this trick and then she couldn't undo her work anymore. Now she can’t delay the marriage any further. She has planned a contest for the suitors to shoot an arrow with Odysseus' bow through the heads of 12 axes. Odysseus tells her not to postpone the contest any longer.
Odysseus and Telemachus hide all the weapons of the suitors in the armory.
The first aspect is that Odysseus is still in disguise, and doesn't tell his name even to Penelope, his wife. This is the mask theme of Stage 14. The second aspect is the loss of power of Stage 14, which can be seen in the hiding of the weapons. The third aspect is the diverting. Penelope extracted the textile to divert and postpone the marriage with one of the suitors.