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odyssey-characters

odyssesy key characters

QuestionAnswer
Odysseus main character of the Odyssey, a tale which chronicles his homecoming and his journeys since his departure from Troy
Telemachus Son of Odysseus and Penelope,he begins a journey to search for news of his father. When he returns to Ithaca, he helps his father overcome the suitors and regain his power
Zeus king of the gods
Poseidon Zeus' brother and the god of the sea, he is upset with Odysseus first for not offering sufficient sacrifices to him. He is even more unhappy after Odysseus blinds his son Polyphemus. It is he that Odysseus still must appease at the end of the poem.
Athena Daughter of Zeus and the goddess of Wisdom. She guides Odysseus and Telemachus throughout the poem helping them find their way from place to place and defeat their adversaries.
Penelope Odysseus' wife and mother of Telemachus. She remains loyal to Odysseus even after he is gone for twenty years.
Aegisthus The lover of Clytemnestra who kills Agamemnon and who is killed by Agamemnon's son, in revenge.
Orestes Son of Agamemnon who takes revenge for his father's death by killing his adulterous mother and her lover.
Clytemnestra Adulterous wife of Agamemnon who plots to have him killed.
Calypso Nymph who kept Odysseus on her island for many years by means of enchantment. Hermes orders her to release him by the authority of Zeus at the request of Athena. She has him make a raft to journey on.
Polyphemus Cyclops son of Poseidon who is blinded by Odysseus. Polyphemus is a shepherd who refuses to be a host to Odysseus and eats some of his men. He curses Odysseus and asks his father for revenge
Nestor Old king of Pylos who entertains Telemachus and advises him to go seek news for his father from Menelaus
Menelaus King of Sparta and husband of Helen for whom the Trojan war was fought. In this tale, he entertains Telemachus and gives him news of his father. He also tells the tale of his own journey back from Troy.
Antinous The head suitor, son of a man Odysseus saved from death. He is the first of the suitors to speak at all times and plans to kill Telemachus. He is also the first of the suitors to be killed by Odysseus.
Eurymochus The second suitor, he always speaks after Antinous or in place of him. He is the second suitor to die.
Mentor An older man of Ithaca whose form Athena takes first to help Telemachus travel to Pylos and then to help Telemachus and Odysseus fight the suitors
Eurycleia Odysseus nurse as a child and a servant in his house. She hides Telemachus' journey to Pylos and is the first woman to recognize Odysseus. She helps Odysseus sort out the good hand-maidens from the bad ones
Peisistratos Nestor's son who accompanies Telemachus to Sparta.
Medon The messenger of Odysseus' house. At the end of the poem he tells the assembly that a god slaughtered all of the suitors, not Odysseus
Laertes Odysseus' father. He appears only at the end of the poem and prepares to stand with his son against the Ithacan mob
Hermes messenger of the gods, he delivers the edicts of Zeus to gods and mortals. He instructs Calypso to release Odysseus. He also accompanies souls to the land of the dead
Ino Nymph who lends Odysseus her scarf so that he may float in the water for two days to make land after his raft is destroyed
Alcinous King of the Phaiakians who welcomes Odysseus and hears his long tale. He presents Odysseus with great treasure and gives him secure passage to Ithaca
Nausicaa Daughter of Alcinous who finds Odysseus in the thicket near the river where he washed up on the island. She was prompted to go to the river by Athena
Arete Wife of Alcinous who was approached by Odysseus for her help.
Demodocus blind bard of the Phaecians
Circe Witch-like woman who at first turns Odysseus' men into pigs but is impressed when she cannot affect Odysseus. She lusts after him and he stays with her for a year. She tells him to go to the land of the dead and advises him to avoid the cattle of the sun
Polyphemus Cyclops son of Poseidon who is blinded by Odysseus because he eats some of his men and won't release them. Polyphemus' plea to his father sidetracks Odysseus for many years.
Aeolus King of the winds who entertained Odysseus at an early part of his journey. He presents Odysseus with a bag of the winds so that he may get home safely. When Odysseus' men release the winds and the ship is blown back, Aeolus has no pity
Eurylochus One of Odysseus men. He is the man who does not drink from Circe's cup and warns Odysseus. He is also the one who convinces the Odysseus' men to stop at the Island of the cattle of the sun and is also the man who convinces them to eat the cattle.
Tiresias Blind prophet who Odysseus goes to find in the land of the dead. He tells Odysseus how to get home and that he must appease Poseidon once he gets there
Elpenor Young sailor who dies on the island of Circe from falling from her roof. He appears to Odysseus in the land of the dead and asks him to come bury him
Helen Wife of Menelaus and reason the Trojan war was fought. In this tale, she drugs the wine of Menelaus and Telemachus so that they will forget their sorrow.
Achilles Hero of the Iliad. He dies before the end of the Trojan war and is shown in the land of the dead regretting his fate.
Eumaeus Swineherd who takes in the disguised Odysseus and gives him shelter and food. He helps Odysseus and Telemachus defeat the suitors.
Amphinomus One of the suitors who is opposed to killing Telemachus.
Melanthius Goatherd who insults Odysseus and taunts the swineherd and the beggar
Phemius Minstrel who sings at the house of Odysseus He begs for his life and Telemachus tells Odysseus that he doesn't deserve to die.
Iros Younger beggar who comes in and challenges Odysseus to a boxing match. He is beaten with one punch
Philoitius Cowherd who helps Odysseus and Telemachus defeat the suitors.
Leodes Suitor who clings to Odysseus' knees and asks for mercy.
Created by: fitzgeralde