The Odyssey Characters

Achilles Immortal man, vulnerable only in his heel
Aeolus God of the winds
Agamemnon King and leader of the Greek forces
Alcinous King of Phaeacians to whom Odysseus tells his story
Anticlea Odysseus’s mother
Antinous Leader of the suitors
Athena Daughter of Zeus; goddess of wisdom; helps both Telemachus and Odysseus
Calypso Sea goddess who imprisons Odysseus for 7 years.
Charybdis Monster in the form of a giant whirlpool
Circe The sorceress who turns Odysseus’s men into pigs
Cyclops Cannibal clan of one-eyed giants
Epic A long narrative poem about the adventures of a hero whose actions reflect the ideals and values of a nation or race
Eumaeus The swineherd (pig “shepherd”) who helps Odysseus
Eurycleia Loyal servant to Penelope, helped raise Odysseus and Telemachus
Eurylochus Second in command on the voyage home from Troy; one who told Odysseus that their comrades were turned into pigs (swine) by a witch goddess; also provoked men to eat Helios’ cattle
Eurymachus One of the leaders of the suitors who shows strong influence over other suitors. He forces Penelope to choose a husband.
Helen Wife of Menelaus, Queen of Sparta, her abduction by Paris started the Trojan war
Helios The sun god
Hermes Messenger of the gods
Homer Ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BC)
Lotus-Eaters Legendary people who live on a plant who’s fruit induces stupor and forgetfulness of home
Menantho Female servant of Odysseus’ household who is having an affair with Eurymachus.
Menelaus King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, husband of Helen, offers to help Telemachus
Mentor The male disguise that Athena sometimes takes
Odysseus Endures a long journey from Troy to Ithaca; King of Ithaca
Paris The son of Priam, takes Helen which begins the Trojan war; fatally wounds Achilles with an arrow
Penelope Wife of Odysseus and mother of his son
Polyphemus The cyclops who imprisons Odysseus and his men in a cave.
Poseidon God of the sea; tries to get revenge on Odysseus
Scylla Man eating, six-headed monster that lives in a cave across from Charybdis
Sirens Beautiful creatures whose songs lure sailors to their deaths
Telemachus Odysseus and Penelope’s son
Tiresias Theban prophet in the Underworld; he is physically blind, but he has spiritual insight
Zeus Father of all gods and goddesses

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