55 Odyssey Characters

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Achilles

Best Greek fighter. Leader of the Myrmidons. Dragged hector's body behind the chariot. Killed by Paris with an arrow through the heel.

Aeolus

God of the winds. Helped Odysseus originally with a bag of wind, but refused to help a second time.

Agamemnon

Clytmnestra's husband. Killed by her after Trojan War.

Ajax

King of Salamis. Took part and was killed in the Trojan War.

Alcinous

King of Phaecia. Told Odysseus about the prophecy/warning about Phaecia and helping strangers, yet helped him anyway.

Amphinomus

Penelope's favorite suitor. Didn't listen to Odysseus's warning-Athena had doomed him to die.

Anticleia

Odysseus's mother who we first met in Hades.

Antinous

Evil suitor. One of the leaders. First killed by an arrow though the neck from Odysseus.

Aphrodite

Married to Hephaestus, cheated on him with Ares.

Ares

Aphrodite's lover

Arete

Queen of Phaecia

Argos

Odysseus's loyal dog. Died when he returned

Athena

Goddess of wisdom, Symbols: owl, weaving, Aegis. (epithet: gray-eyed)

Calypso

Minor goddess/nymph. Odysseus stayed on Ogygia Island with her for 7 years

Charybdis

Giant whirlpool/geyser

Cicones

A tribe that fought off Odysseus and his men.

Circe

Witch. Odysseus stayed with her for a year, she turned his men into pigs.

Clytmnestra

Wife of Agamemnon. Killed him when he returned from battle (technically not in Odyssey)

Elpenor

Odysseus's comrade who got drunk at Circe's and fell off a roof. Asked Odysseus for a proper burial of his body in Hades, and Odysseus returned to give it to him.

Eumaeus

The loyal shepherd who, along with the cowherd Philoetius, helps Odysseus reclaim his throne after his return to Ithaca. Even though he does not know that the vagabond who appears at his hut is Odysseus, he gives the man food and shelter.

Eurycleia

Odysseus's and Telemachus's nurse. Faithful servant.

Eurymachus

Another evil suitor

Hector

(technically not in the Odyssey) son of Priam. Best Trojan fighter, killed by Achilles because he killed Patroclus.

Hecuba

(technically not in the Odyssey) queen of Troy

Helen

Wife of Menelaus and queen of Sparta. Her abduction from Sparta by the Trojans sparked the Trojan War. Her beauty is without parallel, but she is criticized for giving in to her Trojan captors and thereby costing many Greek men their lives. She offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find his father.

Helios

Sun God

Hephaestus

Trapped his wife, Aphrodite in a bed with her lover, Ares, for all the Gods to see.

Hermes

Messenger god. Giant killer. Gave moly to Odysseus so he could withstand Circe's spell.

Ino

Gives Odysseus a scarf that keeps him afloat after a storm wrecks his boat.

Iphigenia

Sacrificed by her father, Agamemnon.

Irus

Beggar king who gets beaten to a pulp by Odysseus.

Laertes

Odysseus's father.

Laestrygonians

A tribe of giant cannibals who destroyed everyone of Odysseus's ships except for his own.

Leodes

A minor prophet who predicted Odysseus's homecoming and was killed by him in the slaughter in the halls.

Lotus Eaters

A race of people who's fruit and vegetables seemed to cause peace, leading to Odysseus's men wanting to stay with them on the island. Odysseus, however, forced his men to continue on their long, treacherous, journey.

Melanthius

The goatherd. Evil, helps the suitors and gets horrible revenge from Odysseus.

Melantho

Bad maid. Slept with Eurymachus

Menelaus

King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, and husband of Helen, he helped lead the Greeks in the Trojan War. He offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find Odysseus when Telemachus visits him in Book 4.

Nausicaa

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

Nestor

King of Pylos and a former warrior in the Trojan War. Like Odysseus, he is known as a clever speaker. Telemachus visits him in Book 3 to ask about his father, but he knows little of Odysseus's whereabouts.

Odysseus

Main character (protagonist) Father of Telemachus, husband of Penelope, king of Ithaca. Smart, cunning, favored of Athena.

Orestes

(technically not in Odyssey) son of Agamemnon and revenged his dad's death.

Patroclus

Achilles best friend, Achilles killed Hector because of Hector's murder of Patroclus.

Penelope

Queen of Ithaca, wife of Odysseus, mother of Telemachus, clever, cunning, has many suitors.

Philoetius

Odysseus's cowherd, helps Odysseus fight in the slaughter in the halls.

Pisastratus

Became a friend of Telemachus's on his voyage to find his father, Odysseus.

Polyphemus

One of the Cyclops (uncivilized one-eyed giants) whose island Odysseus comes to soon after leaving Troy. He imprisons Odysseus and his crew and tries to eat them, but Odysseus blinds him through a clever ruse and manages to escape. In doing so, however, Odysseus angers his father, Poseidon.

Poseidon

God of the sea, Symbols: trident, horses, father of Polyphemus.

Priam

King of Troy (technically not in the Odyssey) father of Paris and Hector.

Scylla

Six-headed monster who lives in the side of the cliff-across from Charybdis.

Sirens

Women who coerced men to come with them by their enchanting songs. Odysseus's men blocked up their ears so they couldn't hear, but Odysseus was tied to the mast and forced himself to listen, but was obviously unable to leave.

Telemachus

Son of Odysseus and Penelope, prince of Ithaca, protagonist of the Telemachia (his coming of age in the Odyssey)

Theoclymenus

Telemachus's prophet. He tells Penelope that Odysseus is already on Ithaca.

Tiresias

Blind prophet in Hades. Tells Odysseus about Helios's island and how to get home.

Zeus

God of gods. Symbols: lightning bolt

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