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Love's Reciprocation in The Odyssey

            What is love? Some say love is attraction; a bond between two people romantically involved. Some say love is passion, or a need to have something. You cannot function without it. Love flows like a river, endlessly drifting until it expands to the everlasting sea and, although it may be changed, it still remains. Some dare to dip their toes in. Some fear the current taking over them and drifting them to a lost and lonely world without it. Love surrounds us in everything we do. How could we live without love? With all the passion, all the mouths of this river, how do we know if this love is unconditional? How do we know how the things we love feel about us?.
             When you think of love, do you think of two people who never leave each other's side? Two people bound by an eternal force that compels them to stand by their partner. Think of The Odyssey. The focus of the story revolves around Odysseus trying to return to his wife on Ithaca. Penelope waits, patiently, desperately, anxiously. It could take over one's entire thoughts to be separated from a lover. Days, months, years, all pass by like eons slowly moving as if they were snails coated in a thick layer of salt. On Ithaca, Penelope receives opportunities to forget Odysseus and to move on. Suitors from across the land line up at her door with their odious smiles, begging, pleading for her to acknowledge that they're alive. Alas, she cannot give up on her love. She sits in the shadows never giving up that Odysseus will make his way back, because she loves him. She knows in her heart that no one could ever measure up to Odysseus and that she could not live with another man knowing that Odysseus was still out there. But, how is she to know of his determination to get home? Does he really want to come back to her, or, rather, does he want to return to his life as a rich and lavish lifestyle as king of Ithaca? Penelope may love Odysseus but he portrays actions that side against the mutual feeling.

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