Bronze Age (Mycenaean) Greece was imperfectly portrayed in the Iliad and Odyssey, since both poems were concretions of poetic material originating in the Bronze Age, but developed for at least four hundred years thereafter. However, the palaces of the Mycenaeans were being excavated in Waterhouse’s own lifetime. He clearly drew upon this new knowledge in his backdrop for Penelope, staving off her suitors until Odysseus (Ulysses) could return home.
Notice upon the loom the tapestry from Waterhouse’s earlier painting of the Lady. Each picture is confined by the shape of the cirular mirror in which she sees reality reflected.
Waterhouse’s late Miranda is less restrained than his earlier Classical interpretation. She is now an active figure, less delicate; she strides rather than stepping demurely barefoot; she is perhaps a woman of the 20th Century despite her Renaissance costume.