ODYSSEUS: (thoughtfully) Strange woman, the gods of Olympus have made you harder than any

ODYSSEUS: (thoughtfully) Strange woman, the gods of Olympus have made you harder than any. Who else in the world would keep aloof from her husband if he returned to her from years of trials, washed up upon his own land after twenty years? (to EURYCLEIA) Nurse, make up a bed for me to sleep upon. Her heart is stone in her breast.

PENELOPE: (she does not look up, but ODYSSEUS looks at her as she speaks.) Strange man, if man you are…'Tis no pride on my part, no, nor scorn for you, or even wonder, merely. I know well how you… how he appeared boarding the ship for Troy. It is hard not to think you are truly Odysseus. But all the same…Eurycleia, make up his bed and place it outside his bedchamber. Pile it with fleeces and sheets of pure linen.

ODYSSEUS: (shocked and raging) Woman, by the gods you've hurt me now! Who dared to move my bed? No builder had that skill, unless a god came down to do the task. No mortal could budge it with a crowbar. There is our pact, our secret sign, built into our bed – my handiwork and no one else's! (pacing) A trunk of olive grew in the building plot, and I shaped the bedroom around it. Then I cut off the leaves and branches, leaving it smooth. I shaped the stump into a bedpost, and let it be the model for three others. I inlaid them with gold, silver, and ivory, and stretched the bed between. (he towers over PENELOPE and grabs her shoulders.) There's our sign! I know no more. Could someone else's hand have sawn that trunk and dragged the frame away? (he crosses DR in disgust, not noticing PENELOPE'S face.)

PENELOPE: (as she hears him speak her eyes fill with tears and she runs to him.) Do not be angry with me, Odysseus! Think what difficulty we have been given: denied life together in our youth and flowering years, kept from crossing into old age together. Forgive me, do not rage at me! I could not welcome you with love. I had long ago fortified myself against the advances of men. (ODYSSEUS has not looked at her yet. She is pleading.) But now, what sign is as clear as our bed? No other man has ever laid eyes on it. Please, Odysseus. (weeping)

(ODYSSEUS turns to PENELOPE, his eyes questioning. She smiles through her tears. Suddenly, ODYSSEUS smiles, grabs PENELOPE and lifts her. They hold each other, kissing. Lights out, except for the fire.)