What part does Phaeacia play in the Odyssey
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What part does Phaeacia play 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.
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 vindictive way. This book also shows the theme of hospitality, as they do take him in. The island is a magical island, which important to Odysseus' journey, as it has to be something out of the ordinary, he has to overcome either magical or danger to live up to the heroic image. The magical part of this island, is also reflected in the way they live, they have "bronzed floor", and they have great feasts with golden wine jugs.
This episode is plays a huge part in Odysseus' future. Again it allows his to tell his story, and we see that at some points he is rather emotional and we see just how much he is longing to return home. This episode plays a very important part because, the telling of his story, makes the people feel for Odysseus and helps him on his way home. If it weren't for the Phaeacians', there was a chance that Odysseus would never actually return home. When Odysseus is finished his tales, they were all "held ion the spell of his words they all remained still and silent" just again proving that he is a wonderful storyteller. After twenty years he finally returns to his home island, and not empty handed, he returns with great wealth given to him by the Phoenicians. This episode is very important and adds to the magical hint, because Odysseus has been struggling to return for twenty years, and failed and suddenly he is returns easily, with great wealth, left in a cave in a magical sleep, with the goddess Athene looking over him.
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