We learn that Penelope is a smart, clever, tactful and perspicacious woman through several selections of The Odyssey, such as her trickery of the suitors with the spool. She knows the beggar was Odysseus because even though Odysseus" appearance was slightly altered by Athena, he is still Odysseus and still looks like Odysseus. When she realizes the beggar is Odysseus, she is smart enough to realize to not make a big deal out of it, because if she does he may get trouble from the suitors. Assuming Penelope knows the beggar is Odysseus, their conversation is a code, in which she confirms his intentions. Although Penelope knows it is Odysseus, not everything in the book supports this theory.
Penelope, wife of Odysseus shows her cleverness many times through out the book. Penelope said that she would choose a husband as soon as she finished weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus" father, Laertes. But each night, she carefully undid the knitting that she had completed during the day, so the shroud would never be finished. This showed her attribute of tactfulness because it tricked the suitors for awhile so she wouldn't have to marry any of them. Another excerpt of The Odyssey is when Odysseus was disguised as beggar and goes to the palace. When Penelope speaks to the suitors, she leads them on by telling them that Odysseus had instructed her to take a new husband if he should fail to return before Telemachus began growing facial hair, which he has grown. .
When Penelope asks to speak with the beggar, Odysseus, Odysseus tells her that they will talk when it is dark out. At the beginning of the their conversation she tells him about the trick she played on the suitors with the shroud. She also tells him the distress and agony the suitors have been causing her. Penelope does this because she knows that it is Odysseus and she wants to tell him about what has been going on in his kingdom while he was gone.