Study Guide

Alkinoös in The Odyssey

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Sometimes spelled Alcinous. King of the Phaiakians, husband of Arete, father to Nausikaa. He's a super hospitable guy, who offers Odysseus passage home:

this stranger, I do not know who he is, come wandering suppliant here to my house from the eastern or western people. He urges conveyance, and entreats us for its assurance. So let us, as we have done before, hasten to convey him, for neither has any other man who has come to my house stayed here grieving a long time for the matter of convoy. (8.28-33)

Odysseus isn't the only one who gets the benefit of Alkinoös' hospitality. He prides himself on being a good host to everyone, throwing feats, taking up collections, and in general going way out of the way to make sure that his guests have nothing but good things to say when they get home. He even offers Odysseus his daughter. Odysseus turns him down—but hey, maybe she'd be a good wife for Telemachos?

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