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The Role Of Phaeacia In The Odyssey

1056 words - 4 pages

The Role of Phaeacia in the Odyssey

The episode with Phaeacia begins where Odysseus has been away from his
home for twenty years, and is longing to return to Ithaca and
Penelope. This book is very important and involves certain tests for
Odysseus to come across. At the beginning of this book, we are told
that the princess, Nausicaa, is described as “tall and beautiful as a
goddess.” Alcinous as good as offers Odysseus his daughter for
marriage to him by saying he would be lucky to have Odysseus n his
family. This is a test for Odysseus because he has to decide whether
to stay here on this magical island, but he refuses to be tempted, and
still chooses to try and return to Ithaca.

Nausicaa is described as a goddess, and this island is very close to
the Gods’. This is important, because Phaeacia does not ever involve
themselves in wars or conflict with any other communities or islands,
and the people were very close to the Gods’ which is in contrast to
Odysseus. For instance Odysseus is far from feeling close to the
God’s, but as we learn, Athene is constantly helping him so he is
involved with the God’s, and Poseidon made him go off course so he is
very much involved with the Gods, just as Phaeacia is. On the other
hand, we know that Odysseus is considered a “war hero” and spent ten
years in conflict at Troy, before trying to return home, which is
completely the opposite to the Phaeacian people. This book seems to be
important also, because it contains one of the vital motifs in this
story, of marriage. Athene comes to Nausicaa and says to her, “you may
soon be married”, which is trying to bring her into Odysseus’ future,
but this will not happen as it is fate that he will return to Ithaca.
This island is a magical island, and very hospitable towards him, but
there is still a hint of danger to him, because not only are the close
to the Gods’ in general, they are close and have a sacred temple to
Poseidon, who is against Odysseus returning to Ithaca.

The meeting with Nausicaa plays an important part in the story,
because we lean a lot about Odysseus. He considers how to greet the
princess, he weighs up his options of how he will be received, showing
he does not just jump straight in. we also learn that Odysseus is the
master of words as he uses tactics such as flattery, and manages to
persuade her to take him to the palace, even though he is stood naked
in front of a group of ladies. He is being calculus, but not in a...

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