King of Ithaca, husband of Penelope, and father of Telemachus, former commander in the Trojan War, Odysseus is the flawed, beloved hero of this tale of homecoming and revenge. His character is deeply… read analysis of Odysseus
Odysseus's young son. Telemachus spends his youth helplessly watching the suitors corrupt his household and harass his mother Penelope, but Athena's forceful guidance helps him mature from a nervous youth to a… read analysis of Telemachus
Odysseus's wife and Telemachus's mother. In the beginning of the story, Penelope's most prominent qualities are passivity, loyalty, and patience (along with beauty and skill at the loom) – the age-old feminine virtues… read analysis of Penelope
The goddess of wisdom, justice, and courage. She takes a particular liking to Odysseus, and by extension Telemachus – perhaps because Odysseus's suffering is greater than his crimes, perhaps because he embodies the values… read analysis of Athena
King of all the gods, and the god of sky and lightning. He holds assembly on Mount Olympus and negotiates the desires and grievances of the gods. He punishes Odysseus when his crew eats the… read analysis of Zeus
One of Athena's disguises.
A sea god who holds a longstanding grudge against Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. He makes Odysseus's journey home very long and difficult.
Odysseus'sfather, who lives in poverty on a farm.
Odysseus's mother, who died of longing for her son.
Odysseus's kindly nurse, and the first person to recognize Odysseus in his beggar disguise.
A beautiful goddess who falls in love with Odysseus and holds him captive for seven years on the island Ogygia.
A beautiful witch from the island Aeaea who turns Odysseus's crew into pigs; when Odysseus (with the aid of the drug moly) proves immune to her spell, she falls in love with him and hosts him and his crew on the island.
The most insolent and impious suitor. Antinous riles the other suitors to conceive violent schemes against Odysseus and Telemachus, ignores rules of basic decency, and mouths off every chance he gets. He is the first to die in the battle.
A rude and deceitful suitor.
The loyal swineherd who helps Odysseus defeat the suitors.
King of Pylos, commander in the Trojan War.
King of Sparta, commander in the Trojan War, Agamemnon's brother.
Menelaus's wife, famous for her beauty and pivotal role in the Trojan War.
Menelaus's brother, murdered by his wife's lover when he came home from the Trojan War.
Clytemnestra's lover, Agamemnon's murderer.
Agamemnon's unfaithful wife.
A shape-shifting sea god.
Herald in Odysseus's court.
The messenger god.
A general word that encompasses the Greek civilizations.
A hospitable people who deliver Odysseus to Ithaca.
The people of Troy, the site of the Trojan War.
A goddess who helps Odysseus reach the Phaeacianshore.
The Phaeacian king who hosts Odysseus very hospitably and helps him return to Ithaca.
The Phaeacian queen.
A Phaeacian Princess, daughter of Alcinous.
A bard in Alcinous's court.
A man in Alcinous's court.
A man in Alcinous's court who provokes Odysseus to take part in the athletic contests.
A warrior who gained great fame and died in the Trojan War.
A warrior in the Trojan War.
The god of war, Aphrodite's lover.
The goddess of love, wife of Hephaestus.
The crippled goldsmith god, jilted husband of Aphrodite.
The sun god, owner of the Cattle of the Sun.
A people that take revenge on Odysseus's crew .
A people who grow and eat the somnolent lotus flower.
Cannibalistic giants who live in caves.
A Cyclops son of Poseidon whom Odysseus blinds.
The god of wind.
King of the Laestrygonians.
A member of Odysseus's crew who often disobeys Odysseus.
A prophet with whom Odysseus speaks in the underworld.
A member of Odysseus's crew who died by falling off Circe's roof after getting drunk.
Creatures disguised as beautiful women whose beautiful singing lures sailors to jump into the sea and drown.
A man-eating monster with six heads.
A monster that creates a whirlpool three times a day.
A kindly and well-intentioned suitor.
The rude goatherd.
Odysseus's old dog.
A rude beggar whom Odysseus fights.
Odysseus's grandfather, with whom he got the hunting scar on his knee.
A rude, violent suitor.
The cowherd that helps Odysseus fight the suitors.
One of the suitors.
A prophet who correctly prophecies that the two eagles tearing each other to pieces is an omen of the suitors coming destruction. However, the suitors mock him and do not listen.