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The Penelopiad

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With modern twists, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad retells The Odyssey from the points of view of Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, and her handmaidens. Residing in Hades for eternity, the thirteen female spirits reminisce on their lives in Ithaca before and after the Trojan War’s end. In this reader’s theatre performance, the Greek chorus of handmaidens continually interrupts Penelope’s narrative to express their views on events. Using a different genre for each chorus, the maids’ interludes make for a lively aural and visual experience that include a jump-rope rhyme, a lament, an idyll, a ballad, a lecture, a court trial and several types of songs.

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