What is a description of King Alcinous?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

King Alcinous is the King of the Phaecians.  He is a very gracious man to Odysseus.  He is honorable to Odysseus because he is hospitable, just as he's supposed to be to beggars and strangers (in case they may be gods in disguise).  He gives him a large feast with much to eat and drink after getting him all cleaned up.  Then he provides entertainment to everyone in the court with the bard who sings of the Trojan War. This brings tears to Odyseus' eyes and Alcinous then asks his name and where he is from.  So he is an intelligent man because he sensed that Odyseus was someone respected. He is also gracious because he is eager to help Odysseus--both to get him food and drink and because he has his fast ship (for which he is known) that takes Odysseus home swiftly and safely. He even offers his daughter's hand to him in marriage.