Nausicaa In The Odyssey

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The character of Nausicaa is both similar and dissimilar to the other women in the Odyssey, mortal and divine alike. For she holds the power in the relationship between herself and Odysseus, much like all the other women who do not sleep with him on his travels - Athene and Arete. She also represents the taunting and unattainable temptation to deviate from nostos, but in a very different way to the other female characters for she is descirbed as virginal and pure. Unlike most of the women Odysseus encounters during his voyage of nostos, Nausicaa does not impose an active threat to his homecoming; in spite of the temptation incited within Odysseus which is presented through Homer's method of comparing her to Artemis - the virgin huntress. Instead, she is a mere middle-man to events and guides him to Arete (although not directly, avoiding the assumption that she has any promiscuous intentions concerning Odysseus), her mother, for further aid. It can be argued that Arete too does not propose a threat to Odysseus's nostos,…show more content…
This gives her the power in the relationship, a feat no other women achieved as they gave him what he desired - sex - as opposed to what he truly coveted - love. Although it did take Athene's intervention of giving Nausicaa the courage not initially to flee from Odysseus, Nausicaa still offered him Xenia in the form of food, oil, the ability to wash and clothing before Athene enhanced his physical appearance. This being said, it can be argued that it is his divine appearance that urges her to escort him to the palace. The other females in the poem are drawn to him purely due to his 'god-like' enhancements; in both appearance - which entices Calypso and Arete - and in his immunity to Circe's potion at the hands of of
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