Odysseus is a man of many epithets, many implying multiplicity ("poly-"), and many disguises. He makes up multiple false identities. He's Man and No Man. He's from Crete, from Troy, from Ithaca, from everywhere. There are puns on his name ("odyssomai"-'to be angry').
Penelope is constantly veiled (NOT disguised). Her word-play focuses not on her own name (about which, predictably, the ancients had theories), but the city of Troy, for which her husband has abandoned her for 20 years. Her life is defined by absence & somewhere she isn't.
She calls it "Kakoilion", "Badtroy". It's a striking verbal coinage, renaming the city in terms of her own perception. Like the weaving trick, Penelope's cleverness serves only to undo, like always speaking under erasure or behind a veil: she throws a veil over Badtroy.
T. E. Lawrence has her call Troy "Destroy". Fagles copies this, with acknowledgment:
A black day it was
when he took ship to see that cursed city...
Destroy, I call it -- I hate to say its name!
"To see" is an interesting euphemism for Odysseus' purposes in going to Troy.
Lattimore has no wordplay:
It was on a bad day for him that Odysseus boarded/ his hollow ship for that evil, not-to-be-mentioned Ilion.
No verbal inventiveness. He adds "FOR HIM", to gloss κακῇ αἴσῃ: the real victim of the curse of the Trojan War was Odysseus.
When Odysseus left in his hollow ship
for Ilion, that curse of a city.
No wordplay, and the lack of it, to me, makes her sound a lot more irrational: as if she really thinks poor old Troy is to blame for its own invasion.
The Fitzgerald one is interesting:
the fate that sent him young in the long ship
to see that misery at Ilion, unspeakable".
This Penelope again thinks her husband was a victim; adds "young" and makes fate the subject of the sentence. Poor city-sacking Odysseus.
The Stephen Mitchell one makes her sound like a prim suburban mom, not wanting to say a rude word in public:
"It was an evil day when Odysseus sailed off
to that city whose evil name I can't bear to mention".
Here is mine:
A curse sailed on that ship
when he went off to see Evilium --
the town I will not name.
I coined a fake place-name. It's always fun for a translator to grapple with puns and wordplay.
It didn't occur to me, until doing this exercise just now, that Penelope might be blaming Troy primarily for hurting Odysseus. However much you read, reread, read around and meditate on the text and the work, it's always hard to see beyond your own assumptions.
I realize I don't tend to assume that an abandoned wife wd feel pure sorrow for her husband's plight, with absolutely no taint of buried rage. Other translators obviously make different assumptions.
Here is Rosa Onesti's Italian:
Con mala sorte sopra la concava nave partí
Odisseo a veder Ilio esecrata, innominabile!
Also no wordplay, and he's going "a veder" Troy, as if he's a tourist. The double adjectives at the end of the second line seems suitably furious.