"This desolate ghost concealed the soul and body of the man she had loved"
by cm
Odysseus and Penelope
Public DomainOdysseus and Penelope - Credit: Francesco Primaticcio

The return of Mandras as a filthy beggar has a clear parallel in the story of Odysseus, who journeyed for 10 years before reaching his home after the end of the Trojan War.   Odysseus, who some say came from Cephallonia, disguised himself as a beggar until he could overcome the suitors pursuing his wife, Penelope.   Penelope's delaying tactic, endlessly stitching and unstitching a burial shroud for Laertes, has a further parallel in the wedding blanket that Pelagia never quite finishes.  

The Odyssey on Book Drum