Alcinous - Wikipedia
and find homework help for other The Odyssey questions at eNotes. King Alcinous, along with his wife queen Arete, ruled the land of the Phaeacians. so impressed that he offers Odysseus the hand of his daughter, Nausicaa, in marriage.  The result is that Alcinous and Arete together reflect Nestor and Athena and to support the connection with barrenness, he notes that “wherever in Greece. On his way to the palace of Alcinous, the king of the Phaeacians, Odysseus is She also advises him to direct his plea for help to Arete, the wise and strong queen who with his visitor that he offers Odysseus his daughter's hand in marriage.
Then I saw Tyro first, born of a noble father, who said that she was the offspring of faultless Salmoneus, and said too that she was the wife of Kretheus, descended from Aeolus. She fell in love with a river, the divine Enipeus, who is much the most beautiful of rivers to pour forth on the earth…. When Tyro visited the streams of Enipeus Poseidon took on the likeness of the river god and made love to her; he then revealed himself to her in a speech and promised her that splendid children would be born from their union Odyssey Taking his shape the earthholder, the earthshaker, lay with her in the mouth of the eddying river; a dark wave as big as a mountain rose up around them, curved, and hid the god and the mortal woman.
And when the god finished the deeds of love, he took her by the hand and spoke a word and called her by name: Now go home and restrain yourself and do not say my name; I am indeed Poseidon the earthshaker. Tyro then gave birth to the twins Pelias and Neleus, who did not remain together: Neleus left Pelias behind in Iolkos and founded Pylos by himself Odyssey And she conceived and bore Pelias and Neleus, who became strong servants of great Zeus, both of them; Pelias in wide Iolkos had his home, owning many sheep, the other one in sandy Pylos.
The queen among women bore her other sons to Kretheus, Aison and Pheres and the chariot-fighter Amythaon. The second entry in the first part of the catalogue belongs to Antiope, who bore the twins Amphion and Zethos to Zeus. Like Neleus, these twins were city founders: Unlike Neleus, who founded Pylos by himself, these twins founded Thebes together Odyssey And after her I saw Antiope, the daughter of Asopos, who claimed to have slept in the arms of Zeus himself, and she bore two sons, Amphion and Zethos, who first founded the seat of seven-gated Thebes and walled it, since they could not inhabit wide Thebes without walls, strong though they were.
The relationship between the first two passages in the first half of the catalogue is exactly what it is in the second half of the catalogue: Iphicles is implied, however: Alcmena, who had Heracles by Zeus, is introduced as the wife of the mortal Amphitryon, who was the father of Iphicles Odyssey According to the myth Alcmena conceived the two twins by different fathers on the same night.
The tale, which became the subject of comedy in Plautus, is told in the epic Shield of Heracles. Heracles is not called a twin in Odyssey 11, but he is one.
In both respects this gives him something important in common with Nestor. A group of three heroines finishes the second half of the catalogue, ending the entire catalogue; Epikaste and her son Oedipus finish the first half of the catalogue.
Part 3. Athens
We will consider these passages more closely when we return to the structure of the catalogue as a whole and examine its component parts more critically. I could not say or name all the wives and daughters of heroes that I saw; immortal night would pass away first. But it is time to sleep, either going to the swift ship and crew or here; but my voyage will be up to the gods and to you. In order to start it up again the Phaeacians must intervene and encourage him to continue.
The burden is here shifted from Nestor, who did not bring Odysseus home, to the Phaeacians, who along with the gods will. The interruption dramatizes this shift. Arete, the queen, is the first to speak. So far she has been rather reserved about Odysseus, but here, for the first time, she expresses complete admiration for him, and she tells the other Phaeacians not to stint on their gifts to him Odyssey White-armed Arete spoke to them first: He is my guest, but each of you has a share in the honor.
So do not rush to send him away, and do not cut short your gifts when he has such need; for many possessions lie in your halls by the will of the gods. Dear people, not at all beside the point or short of expectation does our wise queen speak; be persuaded by her. But on Alcinous here both word and deed depend.
This will be my word, exactly so, if I live and rule over the oar-loving Phaeacians. But let the stranger be patient, though he longs for his return, and wait until tomorrow, until I make good his whole gift. His voyage will be up to all the men, but most of all to me; for I hold the power in the land. We now see that that responsibility has been shifted to Alcinous in particular, who accepts it: To dramatize this shift Alcinous gets Odysseus to restart his story by asking him if he saw any of his companions from Troy in the underworld Odyssey Odysseus, in answering him, resumes his story, which in due course will take him back out of the underworld and up to the present.
Alcinous has taken over for Nestor symbolically in the underworld, and as Odysseus moves forward from this point he now has Alcinous on his side. Just as Nestor is the son of the founder of his city, so too is Alcinous.
We learn this at the very outset of the Phaeacian episode, when Athena enters the Phaeacian city to appear in a dream to Nausicaa. The Phaeacians are here introduced as having formerly lived near the Cyclopes, who were stronger than they and brought them harm. Hence godlike Nausithoos moved his people to Scheria, their present home, and built a city for them. Nausithoos was now dead, and Alcinous ruled in his place Odyssey 6. They once lived in wide Hypereia near the Cyclopes, overbearing men who harmed them, for they were greater in strength.
Uprooting his people godlike Nausithoos led them away and settled them in Scheria, far from laboring men, and drove a wall around the city and built dwellings, and made temples of the gods and apportioned fields. But he had already succumbed to death and gone to Hades, and Alcinoos, knowing counsels from the gods, now ruled. In this passage Nausithoos is called the founder of Scheria, and his role as founder is emphasized by a detailed description of his act: Neleus too was now dead, and Nestor ruled in his place Odyssey 3.
But when early-born rosy-fingered dawn appeared, the Gerenian horseman Nestor rose from bed, and went out and sat on polished stones that were in front of his high doors, white and glistening with oil, on which formerly Neleus would sit, a counselor equal to the gods; but he had already succumbed to death and gone to Hades, and Gerenian Nestor, guardian of the Achaeans, now sat on them holding his scepter.
The repeated line, used first of Neleus, then of Nausithoos, occurs nowhere else. The parallel in diction strongly reinforces the parallel in content, and it begins to appear that the parallel in content is deliberate—that we are meant to be reminded of Neleus and Nestor when we first hear about Nausithoos and Alcinous. On her first entrance she appeared to Nausicaa in a dream. Now, on her second entrance, she disguises herself as a young maiden, and she encounters Odysseus himself in order to lead him to the Phaeacian palace.
Odysseus has already learned from Nausicaa that her parents are Alcinous and Arete, the king and queen. Athena, who like Nausicaa stresses the need to make a favorable impression on the queen, goes on to give Odysseus a genealogy of the royal family, which is the same for the king and queen, since they are not only husband and wife, but also uncle and niece.
Arete (mythology) - Wikipedia
Nausithoos, Athena says, was the son of Poseidon and the youngest daughter of a king of the giants named Eurymedon. This otherwise unknown figure destroyed both himself and his reckless people, but his daughter, whose name was Periboia, was apparently spared, for she bore Nausithoos to Poseidon, and Nausithoos became the king of the Phaeacians Odyssey 7.
But he destroyed his reckless people and was himself destroyed. Poseidon made love with her and fathered a child, great-hearted Nausithoos, who ruled among the Phaeacians. How Eurymedon destroyed himself and his people is not told, but the answer is implied in their designation as overbearing giants. For giants in Greek myth notoriously fought against the Olympian gods and were destroyed by them. We are doubtless meant to understand that Eurymedon and his people likewise rivaled the gods and were destroyed by them.
As we are explicitly told in the first passage of the catalogue of heroines in Odyssey 11, the god Poseidon made love to Tyro, the mother of Neleus, just as he did to Periboia, the mother of Nausithoos. The only one of his race who was spared destruction, furthermore, was his daughter Tyro, who mated with Poseidon and gave birth to the city founder Neleus.
Periboia, who gave birth to the city founder Nausithoos, likewise seems to be the sole survivor of her race. Later, when he is go- ing into the town, Odysseus meets Athena disguised as a young Phaeacian girl. She gives him the same advice and adds that Arete is honoured as no other woman, not only by her husband and children, but also by the Phaeacian people, who revere her as a goddess, and that her good sense is such that she even settles disputes among men vii.
Furthermore, Athena emphasised Aretes importance in the recitation of her genealogy, which she shares with her husband Alcinous, but in which the emphasis is on the female. Accordingly, the queen Arete rather than the king Alcinous is presented as the key person on whose goodwill Odysseus' further fate depends.
Commentators have placed much emphasis on the particular authority of the queen, and Arete has at times been related to the world outside the poem. Jaakko Aronen, and Professor Minna Skafte Jensen for reading and commenting on earlier versions of this paper.
Alcinous and Arete can also be seen to conform to the general conventions of Homeric society. When Odysseus enters the palace and supplicates Arete as he has been twice advised to do, she remains silent; it is Alcinous who welcomes Odysseus and provides for his entertainment, and it is he who promises to convey him home.
Arete only speaks when she and Alcinous are alone with Odysseus. She then questions Odysseus about his identity, homeland, and how he obtained the clothes he is wearing.
The fact that a direct enquiry re- garding Odysseus' identity comes from Arete rather than from Alcinous is perhaps significant, and indicative of her exceptional status.
When Arete speaks again, it is after the games when Odysseus has been presented with gifts by the Phaeacians. She then warns him that he should carefully lock the chest in which his new possessions are placed in order to guard against theft viii. Later, when Odysseus pauses in the recital of his adventures, Arete is the first to speak. She praises Odysseus and emphasises that he is her guest, demonstratively, it might seem, asserting her superior authority. She is, however, immediately contradicted, almost reprimanded, by the Phaeacian elder, Echeneus, who explicitly asserts that Alcinous is of the greatest impor- tance xi.
Within the Phaeacian episode, then, the pre-eminence of the queen rather than the king is a motif empha- 3 Graham See also Pomeroy, For a critical discussion of the theory of matriarchy in prehistoric Greece see Georgoudi See also Blundell Garvie95; Finley Consequently, the figure of Arete has often been seen as problematic be- cause Nausicaas and Athena's presentation of her leads to expectations con- cerning her importance and the role she will play in the story of Odysseus' stay in Scherie, which are not met.
Why Arete is given any prominence at all is a question to which the answer is not immediately evident. Finley, for in- stance, suggests that the contradictions regarding Arete may be the result of two conflicting traditions on the Phaeacians, which have been imperfectly amalgamated in the OdysseyJ Hainsworth also considers it likely that the poet inherited Arete and her story, and that Aretes status cannot be ex- plained from the text of the Odyssey.
He suggests that the emphasis on Aretes status can be partially derived from the importance of die bride's mother in the folktale. Reece also argues that Odysseus' return to Ithaca is derived from the same folktale motif, and that the Phaeacian episode is to a certain extent modelled on the Ithacan episode, so that Aretes status can also be seen to reflect the importance of Penelope.
Cook ar- gues in great detail that Scherie should be related to or identified with Elysium. He further maintains that the description of Scherie contains ele- ments of Hades, and that it is in the association of Scherie with the death realm that the prominence of Arete can be most fully understood, as she can then be seen as a reflection of Persephone.
The importance of this scene is further enhanced by the time lapse between Odysseus' appeal to Arete and her question to him. Arete shows herself as the only Phaeacian who fits Athena's description of them as unfriendly to strangers; her question represents a challenge to Odysseus. Odysseus must gain Arete's approval and his further fate depends on how he is able to answer her.
Arete thus lives up to the expectations con- cerning her role, and her importance is realised. Since Odysseus replies bril- liantly and Arete is won over, after this scene, the motif of Aretes influence is no longer important and her later interventions are of no significance. Rose argues that Odysseus does not win Arete s acceptance until after he has proved himself as a storyteller, when she proclaims her acceptance by calling him "my guest".
She believes that the elaborate in- troduction of Arete by Athena magnifies her position and adds weight to her intervention when she praises Odysseus' storytelling in the interlude during his recital of his visit to the Underworld.
Doherty compares Arete to Penelope and sees them as being presented as the ideal or model female lis- teners for the tale of Odysseus' adventures. It will here be suggested that at 11 Garvie22, 25, Earlier versions may have been the poet's own rather than inherited from the tradition.
See also Stanford See also Doherty, In the Odyssey, Homer very clearly distinguishes between the real world and the fairy tale world through which Odysseus passes on his return home from Troy.
The real world can be defined as correspond- ing to the world of the past as imagined by the poet and the epic tradition. It is geographically precise and consists of well-known places. After his raid on the Cicones, Odysseus and his men are blown off course and enter a fairy tale world.
Characteristic of the places visited by Odysseus is their isolation, in- wardness and lack of social context. These features are moreover emphasised by geography, as most of these places are islands which lie outside normal sea routes. The connections to the outside are with gods and monsters and not with men or human society.
As has been recognised, the land of the Phaeacians is to be interpreted as an intermediate area, a borderland between the real world and the fairy tale world. Scherie is linked to the world of Odysseus' adventures in that it repre- sents the last temptation which Odysseus must overcome before he can re- turn to the real world, and it is only after the narration of his adventures to the Phaeacians that Odysseus can at last exit from the fairy tale world and re- turn home.
Furthermore, in Scherie, Odysseus again encounters civilised hu- man society, and it can be said that his stay there is a preparation for his re- turn to normal life. Scherie is said to be located far out to sea, at the extremes of the earth, and the Phaeacians are said to have no contact with other people vi. Isolation, inwardness, and lack of social context are dierefore characteristics 18 which Scherie shares with the fairy tale world.
Scherie is like Ogygie or Circes island: Their world contains elements which link them both to the divine world and to the fairy tale world of Odysseus' travels.
Magical features, such as ships which sail without steersmen viii. The Phaeacians' particular relationship with the divine world is most ob- vious in the shared meals with the gods vii.
Furthermore, they live in a permanent state of luxury and blessedness characterised by lack of strife. Alcinous and Arete are closely related, which may reflect the marital relation- ships of the gods.
The royal palace shimmers with gold, silver, and bronze, and Alcinous' garden bears fruit in all seasons vii. Features which connect Scherie with the real world and places such as Pylos or Sparta are evident. The Phaeacian town has a harbour and is surrounded by city walls.
There is an agora and temples to the gods.
- Arete (mythology)
The Phaeacians excel in their navigational skills, but they are also farmers.