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Odyssey Characters

All of the characters we need to know for the final.
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Odysseus
- son of Laertes, wife of Penelope, father of Telemachus, king of Ithaca and the surrounding islands
Penelope
- Odysseus's wife, mother of Telemachus, queen
Telemachus
- son of Odysseus and Penelope, heir to the throne
Laertes
- Odysseus's father, who resides on a farm in Ithaca. In despair and physical decline, Laertes regains his spirit when Odysseus returns and eventually kills Antinous's father
Mentor
- friend of Odysseus often impersonated by Athena
Eurycleia
- Old nurse of Odysseus and Telemachus, attendant of Penelope, found Odysseus's scar bathing him
Muse
- "sing to me of the man, muse, the man of twists and turns; goddess, daughter of zeus, 1 of 9
Zeus
- king of the gods, father to Athena and the Muse
Athena
- goddess, daughter of Zeus, defender of the Achaeans; watches after Odysseus and Telemachus
Poseidon
- god of the sea, younger brother of Zeus, father of Polyphemus, through out the book is an enemy of Odysseus
Ithaca
- home to Odysseus and Telemachus, Ionian island off the west coast of Greece
Pylos
-Nestor's capital city
Nestor
- king of Pylos and a former warrior in the Trojan War. Like Odysseus, Nestor is known as a clever speaker. Telemachus visits him in Book 3 to ask about his father, but Nestor knows little of Odysseus's whereabouts.
Sparta
- capital city of Lacedaemon, home of Menelaus and Helen
Menelaus
- brother of Agamemnon, husband of helen
Helen
- consort of Paris; her abduction by him from Sparta caused the Trojan War
Agamemnon
- husband of Clytemnestra, murder by her and Aegisthus, supreme commander of all Achaea's armies and leader of the largest contingent at Troy
Clytemnestra
- queen of Argos, wife of Agamemnon whom she killed with her lover, Aegisthus,
Aegisthus
- seducer of Clytemnestra and murderer of Agamemnon, revenged by Orestes
Orestes
- son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, avenged his father
Calypso
- goddess-nymph who makes her home on Ogygia and kept Odysseus there for 10 years
Nausicaa
- daughter of Alcinous and Arete, finds Odysseus once he makes it to land
Arete
- queen of Phaeacia, mother of Nausicaa, husband to Alcinous
Alcinous
- king of the Phaeacians, where Odysseus told his story, sent Odysseus with gold to Ithaca, and he finally made it there but then Poseidon destroyed their ship
Phaeacians
- under the rule of Arete and Alcinous, including BroadSea
Broadsea
- Phaeacian who mocks Odysseus, saying that he must be terrible at contests when he declines to play, but then Odysseus chucks a discus and shows him up
Cicones
- people who Odysseus sacks right after leaving Troy, then reinforcements come while Odysseus's men are unprepared; Trojan allies
Lotus Eaters
- legendary people visited by Odysseus, they live on a plant whose fruit induces stupor and forgetfulness of home; danger Odysseus's return home even though it isn't physically dangerous, Odysseus has to carry some crewmen back to the boat
Cyclops
- a cannibal clan of one-eyed giants, where Odysseus lands and goes with some of his men to explore, he ends up in Polyphemus's cave
Polyphemus
- son of Poseidon, Odysseus escapes after blinding him and tricking him but going under the sheep, and then taunts him as he leaves; Polyphemus gets mad and prays to his dad (Poseidon) who then deters the rest of Odysseus's return home
Aeolus
- master of the winds, gives Odysseus a bag with winds, while Odysseus is asleep the crew open it and are blown back to Aeolus who shun them.
Laestrygonians
- legendary clan of giant cannibals,
Circe
- goddess and enchantress who turns the men to swine, and then houses them for a year
Elpenor
- dies falling of the roof of Circe's house, the crew returns to bury him
Tiresias
- blind seer of Thebes, who retains his prophetic powers even in the underworld where Odysseus visits him and he warns him of Helio's cattle
Achilles
- commander of the Myrmidons, Achaean allies, at troy; traded a long life for a short and glorious one; Achilles was an Archean warrior, who fought alongside Odysseus until he was killed by an arrow to the heel; he appears in the land of the dead in Book 11, and has a conversation with Odysseus; he treats Odysseus like a friend, and is kind and respectful, through this conversation Odysseus learns some of the realities of the afterlife and that he is not invincible.
Sirens
- enchantress of the see whose song can tempt a sailor to his ruin; to pass it the crew plugs their ears with beeswax and Odysseus listens while tied to the mast
Charybdis
- monster in the form of a giant whirlpool, located across from Scylla
Scylla
- 6 headed man-eating monster that lives in a Cliffside cavern opposite the whirlpool of Charybdis; takes some of the crew but the rest make it past
Eumaeus
- swineherd of Odysseus; stays very loyal to Odysseus, Telemachus and Laertes; provides Odysseus with a place to stay; delivers Penelope message of Telemachus's return.
Argos
- Odysseus's dog, who dies when he sees Odysseus, but is the first to recognize him
Antinous
- the leading suitor, he is rude, obnoxious, and greedy. Antinous leads the suitors to invade the palace, eat all the food and tries to marry Penelope; in Book 18, Antinous tries to host Odysseus, but is reminded that he is not the host by Telemachus; he tries to kill Telemachus on his return, which Athena stops, and is the first to be killed by Odysseus
Eurymachus
- 2nd leading suitor to Antinous, tries to regroup the suitors after Antinous is killed, but then he is killed 2nd,
Melanthius
- disloyal rude goatherd; insults Odysseus when he walks by him as a beggar, and is the last to be killed, after he gets weapons for the suitors, and is punished by torture
Irus
- nickname of a fat, greedy, provoking Ithacan beggar, beat up by Odysseus, but he makes sure that he doesn't kill him, and the victory gains him access to inside his own house
Philoetius
- loyal cowherd; keeps hope
Phemius
- Ithacan bard who is spared because they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, he didn't try to get Penelope
Medon
- prophet who was spared, he didn't try to get Penelope
Hermes
- messenger god, guide of dead souls to the underworld