Relationship between alcinous and arete prep

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Areté Front cover of Areté issue 20, Areté is an arts magazine, published Discussion of the links between virtue of character (ēthikē aretē) and [2] As of , he was Dean of Students at Areté Preparatory Academy in Arētē "virtue") of Scheria, was the wife of Alcinous and mother of Nausicaa and Laodamas. The school changed its name to Arete Preparatory Academy and its mascot from Mesa Prep name) became a full member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association for high school . Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous by Francesco Hayez. Alcinous and Arete can also be seen to conform to the general conventions of . stay there is a preparation for his re- turn to normal life The significance of the Aronen has stressed the relationship of the Phaeacians to the Cyclopes and.

She sat at the hearth with her serving women, spinning sea-purple wool from a distaff. Thus the scene has already been set twice before Odysseus enters the Phaeacian palace, and there is no need to describe it a third time. We already have in mind the figure whose knees Odysseus grasps when he makes his supplication. He only repeated what was commonly said about it, that it fell from heaven. The image itself was doubtless much older, but how old we do not know. It played a central part in traditions about the Cylonian conspiracy of about BC: Iliad 6 offers a parallel for such a full-size seated image of Athena Polias in the Homeric era: Taking the robe fair-cheeked Theano placed it on the knees of beautiful-haired Athena.

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One thing is clear: It was very likely of a different order from other images, including those of Athena Polias in Troy and other cities. The question of what this image was should be approached with an open mind.

The fourth-century inventories reveal one very important thing about the image itself: This means that its right hand was extended. In representations of women spinning, the right hand is extended to spin wool drawn from a distaff, which is held at a higher level by the left hand; the pose is seen in this example: Perpetual fire is the essential element here, and from a Greek standpoint perpetual fire could be provided by either a hearth or a lamp.

The hearth probably became a lamp when the aegis and gorgoneion were added to the image itself, perhaps as early as the early sixth century. In front of them Pallas Athena held a golden lamp and made a beautiful light. Right then Telemachus quickly addressed his father: Surely some god is within, one of those inhabiting the wide sky. When Odysseus finishes his appeal to Arete and the rest of the Phaeacians, he sits in the ashes next to the hearth and the fire Odyssey 7.

So speaking he sat down by the hearth in the ashes near the fire. The scene of a suppliant seated in the ashes was presumably a familiar one in the temple of Athena Polias.

But when Alcinous, with sacred power, heard this, he took the hand of wise Odysseus, with inventive mind, and raised him from the hearth and sat him on the shining chair. The goddess herself in her temple would of course apparently do nothing during such an act, and that is what Arete does, apparently nothing.

It is precisely by doing nothing that she becomes the goddess in this tableau. Being compared to a god is not unique to Arete Alcinous himself is compared to an immortal when he sits next to her and drinks wine, Odyssey 6. There are fifty of them and their tasks include grinding corn, weaving, and spinning Odyssey 7.

In his palace are fifty servant women, some of whom grind yellow grain on millstones, and others weave fabric and spin wool, seated like the leaves of a tall poplar; liquid oil runs from the close-woven cloth. The passage continues, saying that just as the Phaeacian men excel at seafaring, the women excel at weaving, for Athena has given them, beyond others, knowledge of beautiful crafts and good wits Odyssey 7. As much as the Phaeacian men are skillful beyond all others at driving a swift ship on the sea, so the women are skillful at weaving; for Athena granted them beyond others understanding of beautiful works and good wits.

But it is really Arete whom they emulate in this domain, as is indicated by the two descriptions of her spinning by firelight, in which the maidservants are very much her extension. In the end, of course, this comes back to Athena herself if Arete plays the part of Athena Polias. Athena herself, however, is not incidental to this story; she manages the episode from beginning to end.

Twice more Athena directs events from behind the scenes: Nausicaa does not want him to go all the way into town with her, fearing the comments of the townspeople. Then at once he prayed to the daughter of great Zeus: Grant that I come dear and pitied to the Phaeacians. Odysseus does not know what Athena is doing for him even now, because she does not appear to him openly. But this is only part of the story. Then at once he prayed to the daughter of great Zeus.

So much-enduring shining Odysseus prayed there. This is a complex situation, and it is carefully managed so that the two figures, Athena and Arete, do not interfere with each other.

Indeed Athena, as soon as she has told Odysseus about Arete, removes herself from the scene by flying to Athens, leaving center stage to the figure that she has just introduced.

Thus it is not only respect for Poseidon that keeps Athena from appearing openly to Odysseus. The hidden identity of Arete simply would not work if it had to compete with the presence of Athena in her own persona. Nausicaa has played her part and attention now shifts to Arete. I have focused first on Arete, arguing that she represents Athena as a mother goddess; but Athena is also of course a virgin goddess, and both sides of her seem to be represented by the Phaeacians.

When Odysseus reaches shore in Phaeacia and falls asleep, Athena contrives to have Nausicaa find him there and bring him part way to town. In the dream in which she appears to Nausicaa she tells the princess that she must go and do her washing in the morning for her wedding is near: Athena then leaves Scheria and goes to Olympus, and just as her second departure identifies her as Athena the city goddess of Athens, her first departure identifies her as Athena the Olympian.

At once beautiful-throned Dawn came, who awakened her, beautiful-robed Nausicaa. There is another parallel between Arete and Nausicaa themselves, and it is, dramatically, the most striking. The silence that follows his appeal raises the level of tension higher still. Only one other moment in the Phaeacian episode compares with this in intensity, namely when Odysseus supplicates Nausicaa. The stakes are no less high, for Odysseus has just burst nearly naked onto a group of maidens not long from their baths in the river.

He went like a lion bred in the mountains, trusting in its might, which goes forth beaten by rain and wind, and the eyes in it burn; and it goes among the cattle or sheep, or after wild deer; and its stomach commands it, after it has made trial of the sheep, even to enter the strong house; so Odysseus was about to mix with the beautiful-haired maidens, naked as he was; for need had come.

The threat that Odysseus poses is of course clear, given his wild appearance. The other maidens all flee, but Nausicaa holds her ground, for Athena gives her courage Odyssey 6.

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Disfigured by the salt sea he was a frightful sight for them to see, and they fled in all directions to the jutting banks. Only the daughter of Alcinous stayed; for Athena put courage in her heart and took fear from her limbs. She stood face to face holding her ground. Nausicaa most takes on her hidden identity as Athena the virgin warrior when she holds her ground and Odysseus wisely decides to keep his distance and supplicate her from afar.

The parallel with Arete is again complete, for it is at the moment of supplication that each of these figures most closely realizes a different aspect of the goddess Athena, one the mother goddess, the other the virgin goddess. How do such overt comparisons fit with a hidden identity as Athena, the virgin warrior goddess?

An overt comparison, moreover, means that one thing is not another, that two things are similar but remain distinct. How is Nausicaa similar to Artemis?

She is a virgin, as we know from the start about this Phaeacian princess. But the comparison with Artemis suggests that she is also more than a virgin princess, that she is also, in terms of her hidden identity, a virgin goddess.

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.

Part 3. Athens

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. The Phaeacians excel in their navigational skills, but they are also farmers. The description of Scherie has often been seen as that of a model Greek colony. See also Rose See Stanford; Garvie; Hainsworth It will here be argued that her position is to be interpreted as an element which associates Scherie with the fairy tale world rather than as a feature of the real world of the Odyssey.

Although this view of the profoundly misogynist nature of the Homeric poems may be exaggerated, it is clear that male and female roles were sharply defined and clearly distinguished, and that social and political power was part of the male sphere of activity. The abnormality of her position is particularly evident in the fact that she is even said to settle disputes among men. In the Odyssey, female power is associated only with goddesses or non-hu- man beings such as Calypso, Circe and the Sirens.

The authority of Arete can therefore be seen as an element of the fairy tale world which links Arete to the female characters whom Odysseus has encountered in his wanderings, and who posed a threat to his safe return home.

He is washed ashore, takes refuge under some bushes and falls into a heavy sleep. When he awakens he is in complete ignorance as to his whereabouts, and he wonders not surprisingly whether he is among a savage and violent people or among a hospitable people vi. When he comes out from his hiding place in the bushes and im- plores Nausicaa to help him, he is at first reassured by her normality and friendliness. For a more positive view of the attitude of the Homeric poems towards women, see: Arthur; Lefkowitz; Raaflaub; Blundell When Odysseus later meets Athena in disguise she tells him the same things, but adds much detail.

Athena tells Odysseus not only that the Phaeacians are arrogant, but that they in fact intensely dislike strangers, and she gready emphasises Aretes exceptional status. The emphasis placed on the potential unfriendliness of the Phaeacians as well as on the exceptional power o f the queen functions as a warning to Odysseus that he may still have to undergo further trials and dan- gers, and prepares him to see Arete as a person whose malevolence may fur- ther increase his sufferings.

The possible hostility of Arete is also pointed to in Athena's recital o f her genealogy, where Odysseus and the poem's listeners are informed about her descent from Poseidon, the god whose anger towards Odysseus has run as an undercurrent through most of his adventures.

In a sense, Nausicaa's words anticipate those o f Athena, which have a much more explicit import for Odysseus. There is also irony, as Nausicaa speaks unaware o f the effect that her information about the Phae- acians and die importance o f the queen must have on Odysseus.

The necessity for caution and wariness is further impressed on Odysseus when Arete does not answer his appeal and Alcinous has to be reminded by the elder Echeneus o f his duties with regard to hospitality towards strangers before there is any reaction. When Alcinous later mentions the relationship between the Phaeacians and the Cyclopes and Giants, Odysseus' fears can hardly have been laid to rest vii. Significantly, when Arete first speaks to Odysseus, her words seem unfriendly and suspicious.

Arete does not show herself openly hostile nor does she in any way oppose Alcinous' promise to convey Odysseus home, although her first words to Odysseus are not overly friendly. Although any fears Odysseus might have would seem to 29 Cf. Fenik99, ; Garvie Hainsworth, on the other hand, thinks that Arete's words only represent the normal questioning of a guest after he has been given food and wine.

When Alcinous makes it clear in a circumlocutory fashion that he expects the stranger to reveal his identity, Odysseus answers by asserting that he is not a god, but only a mortal who has suffered much; he also replies evasively to Arete s direct enquiry. In the end, Odysseus only reveals his identity after Arete has addressed him a second time, warning him to lock carefully the chest con- taining the gifts he has received from the Phaeacians.

For Odysseus, her words signal that she anticipates his departure and has no wish to keep him from reaching home. Its pri- mary function would seem to be to tell Odysseus that he has not yet returned to the real world, and to warn him that he might still have to face further dangers before reaching home. Odysseus is thereby led to believe that Arete might be dangerous to him, which provides the motivation for his long delay in revealing his identity. It is certainly possible that in earlier versions of the Phaeacian episode, Arete played a more important role and acted as a formidable hindrance to Odysseus' safe return from Scherie to Idiaca.

However, the inconsistency be- tween the emphasis placed on her exceptional power and influence by Nausicaa and Athena and the fact that throughout the Phaeacian episode, Arete is clearly subordinate to Alcinous, can also be seen as corresponding to the ambiguity of Scherie as a place which belongs neither to the fantastic fairy tale world nor to the real world, but has features which connect it with 31 Cf.

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See Fenikfor a discussion of theories regarding Odysseus' long silence regarding his identity. Fenik does not believe that Odysseus has any practical reason for concealing his identity from the Phaeacians. See also Murnaghan8; Webber; Most On Odysseus' identification of himself in connection with Demodocus' song see Fenik At times in the narration of Odysseus' stay on Scherie, the emphasis is on the strange and magical features of Scherie, while at other times the nor- mality of the Phaeacians and their world is most prominent.

It would also seem appropriate to speak of thematic misdirection, in which authoritative predictions anticipate events that do not take place.