Nausicaa was a female character in Greek mythology, who appeared in the Homeric epic Odyssey. She was the daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of Phaeacia. In the Odyssey, the ship of Odysseus was destroyed and washed ashore on the island of Phaeacia. On the shore, Nausicaa and her handmaidens washed their clothes, and the shipwrecked hero was awoken by their laughter and games. He appeared in front of them without wearing any clothes, and asked for help; the handmaidens ran off scared, but Nausicaa offered him some clothes and brought him to the edge of the town. There, she told him that she would go first, so people wouldn't see her walking with a stranger, and that he should then go straight to her father's palace, and speak to her mother first. Odysseus indeed went and spoke to Arete, won her trust, and was accepted as a guest at Alcinous' home. He recounted his numerous adventures and after a few days, Alcinous offered him the necessary ships in order to reach his final destination, Ithaca.
Nausicaa was described as young and beautiful, and a potential lover of Odysseus. However, this affair never emerged, and although deep affection is mentioned between the two characters, nothing happened. Some accounts say that Nausicaa eventually married Odysseus' son, Telemachus, and had a son together.
See Also: Alcinous, Arete, Odysseus, Telemachus
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