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Afraid of causing a scene if she walks into the city with a strange man at her side, Nausicaa gives Odysseus directions to the palace and advice on how to approach Arete, queen of the Phaeacians, when he meets her.
Though aggressive and determined, he is far from rash.
Instead, he is shrewd, cautious, and extremely self-confident.
All the gods except Poseidon gather again on Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s fate.
Athena’s speech in support of the hero prevails on Zeus to intervene.
The next morning, Nausicaa goes to the river, and while she and her handmaidens are naked, playing ball as their clothes dry on the ground, Odysseus wakes in the forest and encounters them.
At one point, he even ignores the goddess Ino’s advice to abandon ship, trusting in his seafaring abilities and declaring, “[I]t’s what seems best to me” ().
Our first encounter with Odysseus confirms what we have already learned about him from Menelaus’s and Helen’s accounts of his feats during the Trojan War and what Homer’s audience would already have known: that Odysseus is very cunning and deliberative.Finally, a river up the coast of the island answers Odysseus’s prayers and allows him to swim into its waters.He throws his protective veil back into the water as Ino had commanded him to do and walks inland to rest in the safe cover of a forest.By now, Odysseus alone remains of the contingent that he led at Troy; his crew and the other boats in his force were all destroyed during his journeys.Calypso helps him build a new boat and stocks it with provisions from her island.Nausicaa leaves him alone to wash the dirt and brine from his body, and Athena makes him look especially handsome, so that when Nausicaa sees him again she begins to fall in love with him.