English Mythology: Important characters: Hercules through Thebes

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Hercules

The greatest hero of Greece; strongest man on earth

Alcemena

Mother of Hercules

Megara

Hercules' first wife, killed by Hercules in a fit of madness

Theseus

friend of Hercules, saves him from suicide.

Zeus

father of Hercules, greatest god.

Admetus

Friend of Hercules; wife dies for his sake. King of Thessaly

Deianira

Hercules fought Achelous in the form of a bull to win this princess, Second Wife of Hercules, her jealousy caused Hercules to die

Nessus

centaur who tried to rape Deianeira but killed by Hercules, his poisoned blood was used to kill Hercules later

Atalanta

daughter of Boetian Schoeneus or Arcadian Iasus; virgin huntress; offered marriage to whoever beat her in a footrace; Hippomenes won.

Meleager

Oeneus's son. Falls in love with Atalanta. Hero of C. Boar hunt.

Hippomenes

husband of Atalanta, won her suitor challenge w/help from Aphrodite, they were turned into lions after sleeping together

Icarus

(Greek mythology) son of Daedalus

Menelaus

King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, husband of Helen

Helen

(Greek mythology) the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda who was abducted by Paris

Hector

(Greek mythology) a mythical Trojan who was killed by Achilles during the Trojan War

Cassandra

(Greek mythology) a prophetess in Troy during the Trojan War whose predictions were true but were never believed

Teirisius

The blind prophet

Odysseus

Son of Laertes and Anticleia, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus. A cunning, shrewd and eloquent hero. Came up with the idea of the Trojan horse which led the Greeks to victory against Troy. "Man of many wiles".

Priam

(Greek mythology) the last king of Troy

Charon

(Greek mythology) the ferryman who brought the souls of the dead across the river Styx or the river Acheron to Hades

Cerebrus

Hades watchdog, with three heads

Turnus

suitor of Lavinia, major opponent of Aeneas who ultimately takes his life in battle

Tantalus

Suffered the fate of never being able to satisfy his thirst or hunger, though he is trapped in water and there is a tree with fruit hanging in arms reach that recedes whenever he tries to eat from it. He was punished because he had excessive pride (Hubris). schemed to trick the gods into doing something wrong to prove he is as good as them. Took his child (Pelops), chops him up, cooks him into a stew, and invites all the gods to his house for dinner and serves them the stew. The gods are not allowed to eat human flesh, and if he knows something that god didn't know (that they're eating human flesh) then he would be "worthy" of being on Olympus. None of the gods fall for the trick instead of the goddess Demeter.

Furies

three terrible spirits who punish those whose cuimes have not been avenged

Circe

(Greek mythology) a sorceress who detained Odysseus on her island and turned his men into swine

Orestes

(Greek mythology) the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra

Paris

Prince of Troy who fell in love with Helen

Calcus

Soothsayer, who told the Greeks Artemis was angry at them.

Ajax

Greek warrior, struck with madness and eventually kills himself, fights with Odysseus to safely bring Patroclus's dead body back to camp

Achilles

Greatest Greek warrior, husband of Briseis whom Agamemnon steals, only vulnerable place is his heel, prophecy that he would die in the Trojan war, which he does at the hand of Paris

Agamemnon

(Greek mythology) the king who lead the Greeks against Troy in the Trojan War

Iphegenia

Daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Sacrificed by Agamemnon for smooth sailing to Troy

Patroclus

(Greek mythology) a friend of Achilles who was killed in the Trojan War

Chryseis

Daughter of Apollo's priest; stolen by Greeks for Agamemnon

Briseis

A girl captured from the Trojans by Achilles as a prize of war

Thetis

A sea nymph; Achilles' mother

Sinon the Greek

convinced the Trojans of the Wooden Horse story

Andromache

Hector's loving wife, Andromache begs Hector to withdraw from the war and save himself before the Achaeans kill him. Watches her son thrown from the wall.

Penelope

(Greek mythology) the wife of Odysseus and a symbol of devotion and fidelity

Telemachus

Son of Odysseus and Penelope

Circe

(Greek mythology) a sorceress who detained Odysseus on her island and turned his men into swine

Calypso

(Greek mythology) the sea nymph who detained Odysseus for seven years

Sirens

sea nymphs who lured sailors to destruction with their songs

Nausicaa

The beautiful daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of the Phaeacians. Nausicaa discovers Odysseus on the beach at Scheria and, out of budding affection for him, ensures his warm reception at her parents' palace.

King Aeolus

Keeper of the winds; Supplied a bag of winds to Odysseus during his journey.

Aneas

Trojan hero who became "father of romans"

Venus

Mother of Aneas

Harpies

frighful flying creatures with hooked beaks and claws alwasy left behind a stench, belonged to Zeus, defiled food

Neoptolemus

son of Achilles, married to Hermione

Helenus

Trojan, son of Priam, prophet and warrior, and later married to Andromache

Cyclops

(Greek mythology) one of a race of giants having a single eye in the middle of their forehead

Dido

Phoenician exile, queen and founder of Carthage, wife of Sychaeus first, then consort of Aeneas, who commits suicide upon his departure for Italy.

Anchises

Father of Aeneas

Lavinia

daughter of Latinus and Amata;Turnus considers her his betrothed (fiancé) but her father Latinus recognizes that she is fated to marry Aeneas.

Author of Atreus

Aeschylus

Atreus

The son of Pelops and Hippodamia, he carried on a long-term feud with his brother, Thyestes, and served him a banquet of his own sons. Thyestes cursed the family of Atreus. Among the many dire consequences of this curse, Aegisthus, a later-born son of Thyestes, became the lover of Clytemnestra, and they murdered her husband Agamemnon, the son of Atreus.

Niobe

Amphion's wife, hubris against Leto caused Apollo and Artemis to kill her 7 sons and 7 daughters

Aegisthus

(Greek mythology) seducer of Clytemnestra and murderer of Agamemnon who usurped the throne of Mycenae until Agamemnon's son Orestes returned home and killed him

Clytemnestra

(Greek mythology) wife of Agamemnon who had him murdered when he returned from the Trojan War

Electra

(Greek mythology) the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra

Cadmus

Founder of Thebes. Son of Agenor.

Harmonia

The daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, she was married to Cadmus. The wedding was a grand affair, attended by gods and mortals alike. Along with her husband, she was turned into a snake at the end of her life.

King Laius

Oedipus's birth father and old King (Oedipus kills him accidentally)

Oedipus

(Greek mythology) a tragic king of Thebes who unknowingly killed his father Laius and married his mother Jocasta

Sphinx

(Greek mythology) a riddling winged monster with a woman's head and breast on a lion's body

Jocasta

(Greek mythology) queen of Thebes who unknowingly married her own son Oedipus

Antigone

Oedipus' daughter; hangs self when buried in cave because she buried her brother's corpse

Creon

(Greek mythology) the brother of Jocasta and uncle of Antigone who became king of Thebes after the fall of Oedipus

Ismene

daughter of Oepipus, sister of Antigone, very logical, sticks to the rules

Polynieces

antigones brother who does not receive proper burial

Eteocles

Antigone's brother that was given a proper burial

Adrastus

He is the son of Talaüs and Lysimache and one of the Seven against Thebes. He instituted the Nemean Games in honor of the infant Opheltes, who died tragically at Nemea. Adrastus survived the disaster at Thebes because Arion, his swift horse, carried him from the rout. He accompanied the Epigoni against Thebes, but died of grief when his son was the only Argive leader to die in the attack.

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